Over at Coming Soon, our pal Ed Douglas has laid out his Oscar predictions – a risky endeavor before nominations come out. The nominations might go as predicted. But they might not. Any weird kink to throw the whole race off. And since there is now a month with final ballots outstanding, there is time to think carefully about the outcome. Either which way, Douglas’ analysis is solid as he runs down the major categories. Here is Best Pic:
On top of that, The Hurt Locker’s minimal box office does put it a disadvantage, because one of the longest standing traditions at the Oscars is that the movie that makes the least amount of money doesn’t stand much of a chance. To date, Crash is the lowest grossing movie to win the Oscar Best Picture and that made more than $50 million. What’s interesting is that the Producers Guild of America (PGA) yesterday awarded Bigelow’s movie with its highest honor, an award most expected to go to Cameron’s movie because it grossed the most money. (These are producers after all.) But their support of The Hurt Locker is a good sign and if the DGA gives their top honor to Bigelow, this could weigh things back in that direction.
What hurts Avatar is that it’s not being taken that seriously among actors, proven by its lack of any acting awards up until this point, not even an Ensemble nomination from the Screen Actors Guild. Since SAG first started giving out this award, only one other movie has won Best Picture without at least being nominated in the SAG Ensemble category and that was Mel Gibson’s Braveheart in the very first year. Since then, every other Best Picture winner has at least been nominated, and sometimes, the winner for SAG Ensemble was an early clue of a Best Picture upset, which was the case both with Shakespeare in Love and Crash. SAG Ensemble gave that honor to Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds rather than The Hurt Locker, which is somewhat telling that Bigelow’s movie might not be connecting with actors as much as with critics.
In the end, he bets on a split vote, with Avatar winning Best Pic, Bigelow taking director. Check it out.