Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker

When Avatar picked up Best Picture and Best Director at the Golden Globes, it seemed likely that the march to coronate Avatar as Best Picture was one — but last night the Producers Guild gave its top honor to Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” and this, plus the Screen Actor’s Guild also ignoring Avatar (not a surprise) leaves the Oscar race for Best Picture in a state of confusion.  The Hurt Locker has been picking up numerous awards and the fact that  Bigelow is Cameron’s ex-wife adds to the intrigue.  Hurt Locker, about bomb disposal experts in Iraq, as well as Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards, must both be considered strong contenders.  Adding to the “mad scramble” vibe will be the fact that when Oscar nods are announced on February 2, the field for Best Picture will include 10 nominees rather than the usual 5–ironically a move designed to open up the Best Picture field to more mainstream Hollywood blockbusters after a number of years in which smaller, independent films had dominated the Best Picture category.  Stay tuned.

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