Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Deerslayer's Back (and lining up for some Awards)

My earlier post on Hurt Locker: The Deerslayer's Back.

And it's winning awards. Here's Ebert,
"The Hurt Locker," Kathryn Bigelow's compelling film about a death-defying bomb disposal unit in Iraq, swept the field Monday as the 57 members of the Chicago Film Critics Association revealed their 2009 awards.

The film won every category it was nominated in: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Jeremy Renner), Best Original Screenplay (Mark Boal), and Best Cinematography (Barry Ackroyd).

The Chicago victories, seen in the context of other big-city critics groups and the Golden Globe nominations, bring a few pre-Oscar trends into focus:

* "The Hurt Locker," moderately-budgeted at $11 million and produced independently, is in a horserace with "Up in the Air" in the Best Picture Category.

* Bigelow is the possible front-runner for Best Director. No woman has ever won in the category, and only three have been nominated: Lina Wertmüller ("Seven Beauties," 1976); Jane Campion ("The Piano," 1993), and Sofia Coppola ("Lost in Translation," 2003). That will work in her favor. Ironically, if her ex-husband James Cameron is nominated for his "Avatar," that may help her. Oscar voters love drama.
As a complete story, it's not much, but there are bits-and-pieces, individual scenes, that are good; and I especially liked the end when the hero is getting off the C-120 for his second deployment. It sure looks like Iraq too. Not some place in southern California.

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