‘Hurt Locker,’ ‘The Cove’ win with DGA

Posted by · 11:43 pm · January 30th, 2010

Kathryn BigelowI don’t want to be presumptuous and say something like, “It’s time to call this thing,” but it’s difficult to argue with the two biggest guild crowns ON TOP OF the critical sentiment “The Hurt Locker” is dragging into phase two.

Kathryn Bigelow has won the DGA award for her work on the film, becoming the first woman to be awarded by the guild to date and taking one step closer to the same designation on Oscar night. (Louie Psihoyos won the documentary prize for “The Cove”). Left in the dust with its billions, it seems, is James Cameron’s “Avatar,” with nothing but a Golden Globe to its credit.

Sometimes a winner just looks like a winner. Not to take the intrigue out of it. But seriously, the money thing, it’s just not hurting “The Hurt Locker,” and perhaps the Oscars will serve a purpose in a year the Academy became craven enough to expand its field to allow for critical successes. An independent that barely brought in $12 million at the box office will get the exposure it deserves on a global stage and perhaps reach a new audience.

The irony is unbelievable. On to phase two.

(Photo of Bigelow holding nomination plaque, not winner’s plaque.)

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88 responses so far

  • 1 1-31-2010 at 5:19 am

    Simone said...

    Give Bigelow the Director Oscar, she deserves it. But give Quentin the Best Picture. He deserves that too!

    Congrats to Bigelow.

    Anyone but Cameron deserved to win.

  • 2 1-31-2010 at 5:26 am

    N8 said...

    I’m not convinced yet. If “The Hurt Locker” wins the ACE Eddie, then I’m on board, but I still have this sickening feeling that “Avatar” could be inside the envelope on the big night.

    Bigelow for Best Director, on the other hand, has it won.

  • 3 1-31-2010 at 5:46 am

    Michel said...

    She’s a lock. Now that the DGA have picked their first female win ever, the Oscars will do the same to not look retrograde in comparison. Plus, she really deserves it.

  • 4 1-31-2010 at 6:15 am

    Paul said...

    Wilt Chamberlain was right; nobody roots for Goliath.

    But sometimes Goliath is miles ahead of David, quality-wise. And by “All this just goes to prove that the Golden Globe judges are just a bunch of starf*ckers”, you actually mean, the GG’s were the ONLY ones to get director and picture right. Avatar’s director and best picture Oscar hopes are dead. The DGA and PGA have decided that the next-best choice is their choice when the best choice has wowed critics and fans alike, will go over $2 billion worldwide at the boxoffice today or tomorrow and will surpass Titanic domestically by Friday. Sometimes we mere moviegoers get it right. We got it right when Hurt Locker crashed and burned in its release, and we got it right by seeing Avatar over and over again.

  • 5 1-31-2010 at 6:43 am

    JJ said...

    I think BASTERDS will have the most noms of all and I think it could win a technical or two, maybe screenplay, and probably S.Actor.

    I think THL will win director, editing, and perhaps BP.

    And I think AVATAR will win about 4 or so techs.

    Buzz needs to be heard about ‘The Hurt Locker’ NOW because it will probably win in 5 weeks and too few people will know what to make of that (I’m not only talking about those who watch the telecast, I’m talking about the tens, if not hundreds of millions of people around the world who HEAR what won Best Picture at the Oscars).

    Most of those tens or hundreds on millions who even incidentally want to know what film won will go “What??!?”

  • 6 1-31-2010 at 6:50 am

    Paul said...

    “Most of those tens or hundreds on millions who even incidentally want to know what film won will go “What??!?”

    And then the 2011 Oscars will get MyNetworkTV-esque ratings because they went all elitist in 2010.

  • 7 1-31-2010 at 6:51 am

    JFK said...

    I’m very excited about this win, go Kathryn!

    Nicholas M. –right there with you on LOST man!

  • 8 1-31-2010 at 7:00 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “Buzz needs to be heard about ‘The Hurt Locker’ NOW because it will probably win in 5 weeks and too few people will know what to make of that.”

    Last week, The Hurt Locker was the most-rented DVD in the U.S. Clearly, the buzz is being heard.

  • 9 1-31-2010 at 7:08 am

    Paul8148 said...

    Well it about done….I guess they will be some spin that maybe it be between Hurt Locker vs. Bastards since Bastards can carry the acting branch vote….But yeah it over.

  • 10 1-31-2010 at 7:09 am

    Meli said...

    This makes me happy, but it will never be enough for me because there’s only one female filmmaker getting our attention – and some wins – through this awards season. Jane Campion and Bright Star are missing from this party and that keeps me from celebrating to excess.

  • 11 1-31-2010 at 7:09 am

    Morgan said...

    Speaking of potential director nominees, this video presentation by Neill Blomkamp (from last November’s TEDx Vancouver conference) is pretty interesting and gives a clue as to what his next movies might touch on.


    (I’d love Blomkamp to be nominated THIS year however…)

  • 12 1-31-2010 at 7:10 am

    aspect ratio said...


    The enormous difference between Crash and Avatar though is that Crash was perceived as an “important” film, a serious drama with a message, all that sort of stuff. Avatar is big entertainment, and while I wouldn’t call it brainless, it’s certainly not perceived as an important film.

    That’s not to say The Hurt Locker can’t still lose out to Avatar (or another film), but I don’t think it should be compared to Crash and Brokeback Mountain.

  • 13 1-31-2010 at 7:25 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Over at The Envelope, Tom O’Neil describes Bigelow’s DGA win as “shocking.”

    Only 20 of the 28 pundits he polled saw it coming, after all ;)

  • 14 1-31-2010 at 7:44 am

    Paul said...

    If you’re an Avatar fan, you’re paraphrasing a famous Paul Simon tune; “BAFTA’s, we turn our lonely eyes to you.”

    There’s still a sliver of hope for a Best Picture/Director split; the BAFTA’s announce their winners on 2/21. If (a huge one) Avatar wins both best picture and director, and hopefully its voters will be a little less jealous and vindictive against Cameron, then possibly the Oscar voters will have an attack of sanity and split the difference on 3/7.

  • 15 1-31-2010 at 7:47 am

    Paul said...

    “Last week, The Hurt Locker was the most-rented DVD in the U.S. Clearly, the buzz is being heard.”

    I wouldn’t crow about it THAT much; its main competition was Saw 6 and Surrogates. Not exactly A-list movies even when they were released. ;)

  • 16 1-31-2010 at 8:17 am

    lance said...

    Red wine – thanks for ruining what’s waiting on my dvr. Just Joking – I guess I need to avoid ALL web sites until I watch mt taped sporting events! When will I learn!

  • 17 1-31-2010 at 8:20 am

    JJ said...

    I know I’m in a minority with this opinion, but:

    I liked The Hurt Locker a lot, I liked Avatar a lot, & I like Inglourious Basterds a lot.

    Never was I looking for a message/moral/importance. I just don’t naturally approach and/or gravitate towards that when I watch a movie.

    I watch for aesthetic pleasure, exceptional acting, wonderful craftsmanship, & most of all … entertainment. It’s why I fell in love with movies in the first place (Gone with the Wind, Wizard of Oz, Singing in the Rain, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Jaws, Star Wars, Back to the Future, Jaws, Forrest Gump, Shawshank Redemption, Titanic, American Beauty, Gladiator, Return of the King, Slumdog Millionaire, etc, etc, etc.).

    So, the idea that a Best Pic winner HAS to have some sort of incredible message/moral/importance always bugs me, a bit.

  • 18 1-31-2010 at 8:21 am

    Craig said...


    To be fair, Avatar’s competition ain’t shit either.

  • 19 1-31-2010 at 8:24 am

    Craig said...

    Nevermind, you’re an Avatar fanboy.

  • 20 1-31-2010 at 8:27 am

    lance said...

    I’m more shocked that anyone was shocked over any of.the wins by “the hurt locker”. I still don’t understand the box office argument. I mean most bp winners make more money than this film BUT box office results are all over the place for bp winners. Also, didn’t “the Last Emporer” “Ghandi” and “chariots of Fire” do very little bussiness prior to the nominations?

  • 21 1-31-2010 at 8:28 am

    Megan said...

    “So, the idea that a Best Pic winner HAS to have some sort of incredible message/moral/importance always bugs me, a bit.”

    I agree 100 percent. Ideally, the Best Picture winner should be so based on the craft itself. It is pretty frustrating that we have this natural tendency to gravitate toward things that seem to reflect the current–I’m begining to loathe this word because of its recent overuse with Up int he Air–zeitgeist.

    Select a film because it was GOOD, not because it sent a message about the war in Iraq, or the economy, or whatever it might be.

    But alas, since when has the world ever lived up to the ideal?

  • 22 1-31-2010 at 8:36 am

    Craig said...

    But if we’re selecting films because they were good, then Avatar wouldn’t make the ten…

  • 23 1-31-2010 at 9:11 am

    JJ said...

    I don’t think Megan or I were necessarily leading on that a film like AVATAR is just good. Whether someone thinks it’s great, good, or bad … it’s “message” is ‘Ohhh, the environment’. Or “Ohhh, political/U.S. army” etc.

    Yeah, you’d have to be a moron not to pick up on those, it’s just part of the simplisitic plot. There’s no message.

    I liked The Hurt Locker for it’s story, acting, & technical work. I liked Avatar for it’s grandness. And I liked Inglourious Basterds for it’s controlled preposterousness.

    Whether I like, love, or hate a movie – it’s message is not remotely the thing I’m “ooh, ooh, ooh, looking for”; and then judging how good or bad it is from THAT.

    But again, that’s just me.

  • 24 1-31-2010 at 9:21 am

    head_wizard said...

    Congrats to Bigelow I still have mixed feelings on the film but her direction was flawless. Well deserved.

  • 25 1-31-2010 at 9:53 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Looking at the resumes of all the female directors in the world, I would never have guessed that Kathryn Bigelow would be the first to win this award.

  • 26 1-31-2010 at 10:09 am

    red_wine said...

    But this isn’t a life time achievement award is it?
    To be very frank I wasn’t much aware of Bigelow in the summer when her film came out. But since then I’m really taken with her and would like to see some of her other work.

  • 27 1-31-2010 at 10:28 am

    Chris138 said...

    I’m glad that she won. At least the DGA didn’t go the popular route like the HFPA did and award whatever is making the most money at the box office.

  • 28 1-31-2010 at 10:29 am

    JR said...

    O’Neil’s shock only speaks to his ignorance and allegiance to the Hollywood’s corporate pockets.

  • 29 1-31-2010 at 10:36 am

    Theo said...

    I think I am the only person left on the planet who likes Up in the Air. Basterds was fine but Up in the Air was robbed at the SGA’s. It doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning but whatever.

  • 30 1-31-2010 at 10:42 am

    Craig said...

    I loved Up in the Air, but Basterds is the better film and had the better ensemble cast. That said, I’d rather Up in the Air had gone on to win than Avatar…

  • 31 1-31-2010 at 12:33 pm

    Frank Lee said...

    @Theo: You may be on to something. I wonder if, just possibly, “Up in the Air” will not get a best picture nomination. Who would rank it #1 (or #2 behind a film that is eliminated early)? It would seem to be the kind of movie that, in previous years, would barely limp over the finish line once all but four other films are eliminated, but this year there will be nine others not eliminated. Who would rank “Up in the Air” above “Inglourious Basterds” AND “The Hurt Locker” AND “Avatar” AND “A Serious Man” AND “Precious” AND “An Education” and so on? In other words, it’s not exactly a niche film that will attract 1/11th of the academy voters because of its unusual attributes. It’s a fairly solid mainstream movie that got overpraised by critics at the early film festivals. It didn’t even get a SAG nomination for best ensemble. If the actors aren’t behind the film, who is?

  • 32 1-31-2010 at 12:43 pm

    JJ said...

    I think UP IN THE AIR will get in because it’s popped up everywhere. Furhermore, Clooney, Farmiga, & Kendrick got nommed from SAG.

    However, it’s lack of ‘Up in the Air’ Ensemble nom WOULD lead you to believe that it wouldn’t be on too many people’s #3,4,5,6. Also, I don’t see too many Ed, Cin, AD, Cost, Mup, Sound, Music, Doc, Anim, etc etc etc people putting it in a #1,2, or 3 slot, either.

    Again, I def. think it’s in, I just think it’s no longer in the Top 3 anymore. I could be dead wrong.

  • 33 1-31-2010 at 1:59 pm

    Yogsam said...

    I’m SOOOOO not watching the OSCARS
    i’m sick of this shit, the films i support never get recognized as i want to
    Fucking predictable Oscar race

    See you next year guys!! :)

  • 34 1-31-2010 at 2:11 pm

    Craig said...

    There’s a 0% chance of Up in the Air not getting a best picture nomination. Nice try though.

  • 35 1-31-2010 at 4:10 pm

    tony d said...

    Part of Up in the Air not getting the SAG ensemble nod is a result of it not being an ensemble film, only four actors have any significant screen time — it will have no problem getting nominated and is likely due a screenplay win

  • 36 1-31-2010 at 4:46 pm

    Me. said...

    I feel bad for saying this because I really liked “The Hurt Locker” and I’m all for Bigelow winning Best Directing at the Oscars but, right now, I’m all for “Avatar” winning Best Picture. More than a great film, it’s a major achievement for cinema. What I experienced when I saw it in IMAX was something that was beyond anything I had ever felt or lived in my life. It was like being inside Pandora, fighting, flying with the creatures, experiencing nature. And the whole ecological, anti-war message is key for the moment we live in today. “Avatar” was the best cinematic experience of my life, and that’s saying a lot. Right now, it’s among my favorite films ever, EVER, right next to “Fanny and Alexander”, “Cinema Paradiso”, “Stalker” and “Persona”. Yes, I went there. James Cameron, than you for your achievement.

  • 37 1-31-2010 at 4:47 pm

    Me. said...


    Also… look at this video:

  • 38 1-31-2010 at 5:15 pm

    Andrew said...

    Meli youre right it should be Campion getting this adoration