Over at Gold Derby, Tom O’Neil is convinced that Jim Cameron is your winner:
“The Hurt Locker” juggernaut sweeping the Hollywood film industry and America’s movie critics right now may be largely isolated to those groups. DGA is comprised of more than 13,000 members who are scattered across the U.S. and don’t necessarily work in the feature film biz. Most, in fact, work in television, direct commercials, music videos, etc. We must assume that many members probably didn’t see “The Hurt Locker” at movie theaters, where it reaped only $12 million. Summit set up lots of industry screenings, yes, but if members missed those, they may have missed the boat entirely. According to guild rules, studios aren’t permitted to send DVD screeners to DGA members.
Lots of DGA members who work on music videos and other commercial fare have a strong appreciation for the special-effects wizardry in “Avatar.” Another key point: The fanatic national buzz over “Avatar” peaked two weeks ago just as DGA members received their final ballots ‚Äî right about the time “Avatar” won the Golden Globe for best drama picture, which gave it a hefty awards bump. By the time “The Hurt Locker” pulled off its shockeroo victory at the Producers Guild of America, most DGA ballots were probably already filled out and mailed in.
Ah, but Tom, final ballots were only due yesterday – during which time The Hurt Locker won the PGA against all possible odds. Who is the main recipient of that prize? Kathryn Bigelow. Cameron was one of the producers on Avatar. Bigelow on The Hurt Locker. Cameron v. Bigelow. Again, not saying Cameron won’t win. He probably will. Just saying that it isn’t a done deal, especially if the basis of this thinking is that they “didn’t see the movie” Sorry, but that’s just not a theory I’m willing to buy – if you are in the Directors Guild you have seen the two main competitors for the prize, otherwise why bother with anything?
Meanwhile, Steve Pond makes a really great case as to how Cameron can win this:
But Cameron is still a formidable competitor, and in the past day or two a groundswell of pundits have been suggesting that he’s regained the upper hand. One of the factors that may well have helped ‚ÄúThe Hurt Locker‚Äù at the PGA awards is that the producers, like the Academy, use the preferential system to tally their final best-picture ballots; that system works against ‚Äúlove ‚Äòem or hate ‚Äòem‚Äù films, a category that may well include ‚ÄúAvatar.‚Äù
The DGA, on the other hand, uses a straight count ‚Äì and it‚Äôs certainly possible that enough members are impressed by the scale of Cameron‚Äôs achievement to give him the edge. ¬†I spoke to a friend who’s a member and former DGA winner and is active within the guild, and that was his take: discerning voters would go for Bigelow and the other nominees, while the “mass of voters” would “jump on the ‘Avatar’ bandwagon.” ¬†(He is not a fan of that film.)
In the end Pond writes:
But I’m sticking with my feeeling that ‚ÄúThe Hurt Locker‚Äù will pull this one out — that for a variety of reasons, including the simple fact that she made the better movie, Kathryn Bigelow will become the first woman to ever win the DGA feature film award.