Thoughts on DGA?

Posted by · 7:16 pm · January 29th, 2010

James CameronI have none, really.  If I’m pressed for a prediction, I think James Cameron is going to pull off what will be perceived as an upset for reasons mentioned in today’s Oscar Talk and a number of weeks back when I said J.J. Abrams was a threat for a nod (and I’ve come to find out he was actually pretty close).

The answer is in the populist leanings of the guild, a vast, diluted membership that is TV-heavy, rules against sending screeners (which is a definite thorn for Kathryn Bigelow, whose film pulled down minuscule box office), etc.

So the race will be back and forth one more weekend and the real victor of the week might well be the film that ends up with the most Oscar nominations Tuesday morning.  The epic of David and Goliath will turn one more page at that time as we make our way through February and, ultimately, Oscar’s stage, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be asked to anoint a representative from the class of 2009 to represent the best in filmed art and entertainment.

But will it be art, or will it be entertainment?  The saga continues…

→ 31 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

31 responses so far

  • 1 1-29-2010 at 7:57 pm

    Megan said...

    I’m not sure if the limited viewings of THL vs. Avatar will matter.

    I remember when you speculated that Jeff Bridges SAG win could possibly be threatened by the fact that few were able to see Crazy Heart by then, but he pulled it off. So that may or may not be an issue.

    As for the other factors mentioned….all sound reasoning, but I am going yet again with my gut and saying Bigelow. Talk about the little engine that could; this film is making enormous strides, particularly of course with the PGA. The winds are changing.

    And I sense that the potency of Avatar will go on the wane quite a bit before March. There’s a novelty-factor to Avatar that’s keeping this monster going, but when a film relies on energy like that, it can run out of steam fast.

    So those are my thoughts. This is too much thinking for a Friday night.

  • 2 1-29-2010 at 8:04 pm

    Craig said...

    I’m going to bet that you’re wrong. I certainly hope so…

  • 3 1-29-2010 at 8:29 pm

    Andrew2 said...

    The wins for Crazy Heart and THL and the nominations for The Last Station raise a very interesting proposition: How many voters actually SEE the films they are voting for???

  • 4 1-29-2010 at 8:31 pm

    Me. said...

    I think Bigelow will take this one… but Cameron making a surprise would be awesome.

  • 5 1-29-2010 at 8:36 pm

    Andrew2 said...

    Alot has been written about THL and box office. Yes, AMPAS does not always go for box office success, but THL’s $12m is MINISCULE compared to previous BP winners:
    The Departed $132 m
    Slumdog $141 m
    No Country $ 74 m
    Return of the King $ 377 m
    Million Dollar Baby $ 100 m
    Crash $ 54 m

    In a year when AMPAS has gone to 10 BP nominees to embrace populism, are they really going to give the prize to THL??

    BTW, I want THL to win

  • 6 1-29-2010 at 8:36 pm

    Encore Entertainment said...

    I like both films, but is your implication that Avatar is not art just populist and The Hurt Locker is…art I mean?

  • 7 1-29-2010 at 8:42 pm

    Me. said...

    All films are art. Film is an artistic medium. Avatar is art. So is The Hurt Locker.

  • 8 1-29-2010 at 8:54 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    You guys are taking the words by their meaning a bit strongly. Each film is certainly largely perceived as one or the other, however simplistically.

  • 9 1-29-2010 at 9:07 pm

    Troy said...

    Ebert called The White Ribbon a dark horse candidate for best picture, which makes me happy. But he also said bad lieutenant one as well…

  • 10 1-29-2010 at 9:25 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    The above picture of Cameron makes him look like an 80’s porn stud.

  • 11 1-29-2010 at 10:01 pm

    qwiggles said...

    “… back when I said J.J. Abrams was a threat for a nod (and I’ve come to find out he was actually pretty close).”

    Go on!

  • 12 1-29-2010 at 10:41 pm

    Hans said...

    That picture only serves to remind that Cameron looks more like a douche every day.

    But a douche who makes damn fine movies.

  • 13 1-29-2010 at 10:44 pm

    Nigel Bridgeman said...

    I preferred previous years when the DGA would be announced after the Oscar nominations, and if there was a controversial omission there there was a chance that the DGA would give their award to that person – Spielberg for The Color Purple and Howard for Apollo 13 – and so we could speculate a little more. Oh well.

    Something that could really make things interesting – after the PGA gave their award to The Hurt Locker and the SAG gave theirs to Inglourious Basterds, the DGA honours Up in the Air. So still no industry awards for Avatar. Won’t happen of course – it’ll go to Bigelow or Cameron – but I want something exciting to happen, especially after the jolt the PGA delivered the other day.

  • 14 1-30-2010 at 5:39 am

    Simon Warrasch said...

    KATHRYN BIGELOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and nobody else!!!!!

  • 15 1-30-2010 at 5:39 am

    Megan said...

    I happen to think that’s one of James Cameron’s better pictures.

    Lately, he looks like a cross between George Washington and an 18th century Viennese composer.

    And not in a good way.

  • 16 1-30-2010 at 5:49 am

    Liz said...

    Yeah, Cameron’s appearance at the Globes screamed “Quaker Oats” to me.

    Still think Bigelow’s gonna take this one.

  • 17 1-30-2010 at 6:20 am

    Loyal said...

    Tom O’Neil is on board with a JC win tonight and explains why:

    I still think it’s not a slamdunk. As I pointed out earlier this week, the DGA is more working-class and that should equal JC support. But The Hurt Locker has had and will continue to have lots of love.

  • 18 1-30-2010 at 6:28 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “Lately, he looks like a cross between George Washington and an 18th century Viennese composer.”

    Don’t forget Martina Navratilova.

  • 19 1-30-2010 at 8:26 am

    Megan said...

    Liz and Guy:


    Really not a bad-looking guy, but more on the face and less on the top would be far more becoming.

  • 20 1-30-2010 at 9:37 am

    Sawyer said...

    The Hurt Locker’s lack of box office shouldn’t, and I don’t think does play into its BP chances. It’s been the number one DVD rental since it was released a few weeks ago, so millions of Americans who didn’t see it at the theatres (most likely because it didn’t play or not for very long in their local area), have had a chance to see it. The end-of-year accolades have kept it fresh on everyone’s minds. In fact, I doubt Academy voters would even know it fared so poorly in theatres except that we’re constantly reminded of it by pundits.

  • 21 1-30-2010 at 10:39 am

    Megan said...

    Sawyer’s got a very good point. I personally rushed out to rent Hurt Locker the day it came out because of word-of-mouth. And other people are following suit.

    Although its rental status doesn’t translate into Avatar-sized dollars, it’s no longer the movie that nobody saw. This alone can be a huge boon to its chances, and I still think it will win.

  • 22 1-30-2010 at 10:50 am

    Paul Outlaw said...

    Megan: “Lately, he looks like a cross between George Washington and an 18th century Viennese composer.”

    Liz: “Yeah, Cameron’s appearance at the Globes screamed “Quaker Oats” to me.”

    Guy: “Don’t forget Martina Navratilova.”

    No, Melissa Etheridge in about fifteen years:

  • 23 1-30-2010 at 11:32 am

    Speaking English said...

    Except everyone’s seeing the film after months and months of hyperbolic hype, and I can’t imagine people not being severely let down after that. The movie is already underwhelming as it is… but with everyone pushing down their throats how much of a masterpiece it is? Yikes.

  • 24 1-30-2010 at 1:16 pm

    JTag said...

    Check out the Newsweek roundtable between the actors. There is no way that Avatar is winning Best Picture.

  • 25 1-30-2010 at 3:04 pm

    Tyler j. Pratt said...

    I personal believe that Bigelow will win the award tonight, yes, Cameron and her are neck and neck, but you cant deny that she really made her mark this year. Check out my full predictions article on my blog The Oscar Hut.

  • 26 1-30-2010 at 3:04 pm

    Yikes said...

    @ Speaking English.

    Sounds like you are speaking “Avatard”. The difference between “hype” and earned “word of mouth” is the difference between Avatar and The Hurt Locker. The Hurt Locker was made to mint money or to garner awards. Avatar was made ONLY to do those things. Hype is a $150 million dollar ad campaign, which is what Avatar has. Hype is a director falsely claiming that he is inventing technology that he did not invent. “Word of mouth” which is what Hurt Locker has is a movie living UP to its hype and then still surprising viewers. Unlike Avatar, which is like a roller coaster that you ride once and only once because you don’t want to lose your cheesy lunch.

  • 27 1-30-2010 at 3:14 pm

    Nono said...

    Yeah the Hurt Locker had great word of mouth. No wonder it didn’t make its money back.

  • 28 1-30-2010 at 3:24 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    “The Hurt Locker” made its money back, plus a little change. Let’s not exaggerate.

  • 29 1-30-2010 at 4:27 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Funny how you bring up “Avatar” when I didn’t even mention it once in my post. Says a lot about you.

  • 30 1-30-2010 at 9:08 pm

    Megan said...

    Hey Yikes,

    Can we not talk about cheese and vomit right now?

    I’m eating a sandwich.

  • 31 1-30-2010 at 11:49 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Y’all know I was just joking, right?