“Hurt Locker” beats “Avatar”

“Hurt Locker,” the intense thriller about an American bomb squad in Iraq–a low budget film with a tiny audience–beat the 3-D anti-military environmentalist blockbuster “Avatar” in the Academy Awards.   “Avatar” won the cinematography and art direction, as was proper, but “Hurt Locker” won best picture and best director (to Kathy Bigelow, ex-wife of “Avatar’s” James Cameron), among others.

Sandra Bullock won best actress for the pro-Christian “The Blind Side.”   “Precious,” the heart-rending depiction of an abused, neglected, overweight African-American child took a number of awards.  On the whole, it was a good night for positive movies.

I didn’t think “Avatar” would win much, despite the record money it is making.  Actors make up a big percentage of the Academy voters, and they, on the whole, are scared of the prospect of being replaced with computer-animations.  (Yes, I know there were actors somewhere behind the elongated blue aliens, but it isn’t the same as old-school acting.)

Full list of Oscar winners – NYPOST.com.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • DonS

    I was most pleased about Sandra Bullock. I am sick of reading about young actresses who first become known to their audiences doing positive, uplifting roles, and then breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate when they get to “grow” into a seamier, or even evil role. They don’t want to be typecast as only playing good people. Well, now we know that good roles portraying positive, Christian values can win Oscars. Congratulations to Ms. Bullock for taking the role and playing it magnificently!

  • DonS

    I was most pleased about Sandra Bullock. I am sick of reading about young actresses who first become known to their audiences doing positive, uplifting roles, and then breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate when they get to “grow” into a seamier, or even evil role. They don’t want to be typecast as only playing good people. Well, now we know that good roles portraying positive, Christian values can win Oscars. Congratulations to Ms. Bullock for taking the role and playing it magnificently!

  • Dr. Joan

    I also appreciated her comment about dedicating the role to the mothers who take in babies and little children. What a gracious thing to say.
    What was interesting for the best actor/actress awards were the comments made by their “presenters.” You would think most of the Oscar nominees were being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize! Oprah was over the top.

  • Dr. Joan

    I also appreciated her comment about dedicating the role to the mothers who take in babies and little children. What a gracious thing to say.
    What was interesting for the best actor/actress awards were the comments made by their “presenters.” You would think most of the Oscar nominees were being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize! Oprah was over the top.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I have no worries that last night’s results will in any way affect the notions that those on the right have of Hollywood.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I have no worries that last night’s results will in any way affect the notions that those on the right have of Hollywood.

  • Winston Smith

    The Oscars boil down to this: in the opinion of other people somewhere, certain movies (none of which I have seen) were better than others.

    I, too, applaud Sandra Bullock’s award as a tribute to hot 40-something women (even if she is married to a sleazy guy with tattoos).

  • Winston Smith

    The Oscars boil down to this: in the opinion of other people somewhere, certain movies (none of which I have seen) were better than others.

    I, too, applaud Sandra Bullock’s award as a tribute to hot 40-something women (even if she is married to a sleazy guy with tattoos).

  • James Hageman

    Dr. Joan:

    Get a peace prize!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnLqoRtUAVg

  • James Hageman

    Dr. Joan:

    Get a peace prize!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnLqoRtUAVg

  • kerner

    Oh I don’t know, tODD, let’s review. Is it possible…just possible…that Hollywood has begun to apprectiate the courage and determination of American fighting men and women, and the fact that our enemies are really bad people, and that (no matter what they may think of the rationale for invading Iraq) enough good may come of this war for us to consider it worth being fought? Have the movie moguls begun to regard Christians (even southern white ones) as something other than hypocritical kill-joys, or that many such Christians might actually take their religion seriously enough to engage in acts of charity often enough to regularly portray Christians as complex human characters instead of cardboard cut-outs? Gee….I suppose it’s possible…just possible…that these awards may signal a trend toward respect for conservative and Christian principles that may have staying power……….nah! ;)

    Seriously, I think a number of factors may have helped achieve these results. First, Katherine Bigelow (director of The Hurt Locker) is the first female director to win the Oscar for best director or best picture. I am sure that pulled in a few votes. Also, she did it on a shoe string budget. Since the majority of Academy members are not A-listers, I think this is another vote getter. And of course, it was a very good movie. So I guess I’m suggesting that a lot of factors went into the Hurt Locker’s success. But I will give the Academy some credit for not letting the material kill the oscar for Ms. Bigelow.

    Likewise, I think regard for Sandra Bullock, and the fact that she stepped outside of her perfectly legitimate, but non-Oscarworthy, usual cute comedy to give a really convincing and sympathetic portrayal of a real life character, helped her win over Meryl Streep, who also gave a convincing and sympathetic portrayal of a real life character. Ms. Streep has 2(?) oscars already, and may well be up for more before she’s done. Like John Wayne, Ms. Bullock’s work usually isn’t the kind that gets nominated, so there was some incentive to give her the award while the opportunity was there. But again, I have to give the Academy credit for not letting the character of Leann Thouy (and the fact that most members of the Academy probably don’t know anyone like her) kill the deal.

  • kerner

    Oh I don’t know, tODD, let’s review. Is it possible…just possible…that Hollywood has begun to apprectiate the courage and determination of American fighting men and women, and the fact that our enemies are really bad people, and that (no matter what they may think of the rationale for invading Iraq) enough good may come of this war for us to consider it worth being fought? Have the movie moguls begun to regard Christians (even southern white ones) as something other than hypocritical kill-joys, or that many such Christians might actually take their religion seriously enough to engage in acts of charity often enough to regularly portray Christians as complex human characters instead of cardboard cut-outs? Gee….I suppose it’s possible…just possible…that these awards may signal a trend toward respect for conservative and Christian principles that may have staying power……….nah! ;)

    Seriously, I think a number of factors may have helped achieve these results. First, Katherine Bigelow (director of The Hurt Locker) is the first female director to win the Oscar for best director or best picture. I am sure that pulled in a few votes. Also, she did it on a shoe string budget. Since the majority of Academy members are not A-listers, I think this is another vote getter. And of course, it was a very good movie. So I guess I’m suggesting that a lot of factors went into the Hurt Locker’s success. But I will give the Academy some credit for not letting the material kill the oscar for Ms. Bigelow.

    Likewise, I think regard for Sandra Bullock, and the fact that she stepped outside of her perfectly legitimate, but non-Oscarworthy, usual cute comedy to give a really convincing and sympathetic portrayal of a real life character, helped her win over Meryl Streep, who also gave a convincing and sympathetic portrayal of a real life character. Ms. Streep has 2(?) oscars already, and may well be up for more before she’s done. Like John Wayne, Ms. Bullock’s work usually isn’t the kind that gets nominated, so there was some incentive to give her the award while the opportunity was there. But again, I have to give the Academy credit for not letting the character of Leann Thouy (and the fact that most members of the Academy probably don’t know anyone like her) kill the deal.

  • kerner

    I mean, Touhy

  • kerner

    I mean, Touhy

  • DonS

    To Kerner’s well-stated comment, I would add only that it may not have hurt the case of “The Hurt Locker” that Katherine Bigelow is the ex-wife of James Cameron. Hmmmm

  • DonS

    To Kerner’s well-stated comment, I would add only that it may not have hurt the case of “The Hurt Locker” that Katherine Bigelow is the ex-wife of James Cameron. Hmmmm

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Okay then, Kerner (@6), allow me to restate my post (@3):

    I have no worries that last night’s results will in any way affect the notions that those on the right have of Hollywood. With the exception of Kerner. Possibly.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Okay then, Kerner (@6), allow me to restate my post (@3):

    I have no worries that last night’s results will in any way affect the notions that those on the right have of Hollywood. With the exception of Kerner. Possibly.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I saw both movies, and was quite pleased with the results. Avatar had some mind-blowing graphics. But it had a plot line so simple I knew what was going to happen before the trailer was over, there was no character development, the dialogue was mercilessly pedantic, and why oh why did they put devil tails on the giant blue Pixar monsters?

    In contrast, Hurt Locker was outstanding. My only complaint was that there was no chaplain in the movie. The chaplain is actually one of the core elements of our ground troops, not phsychologists like the one pictured in the movie.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I saw both movies, and was quite pleased with the results. Avatar had some mind-blowing graphics. But it had a plot line so simple I knew what was going to happen before the trailer was over, there was no character development, the dialogue was mercilessly pedantic, and why oh why did they put devil tails on the giant blue Pixar monsters?

    In contrast, Hurt Locker was outstanding. My only complaint was that there was no chaplain in the movie. The chaplain is actually one of the core elements of our ground troops, not phsychologists like the one pictured in the movie.

  • Peter Leavitt

    While Hurt Locker does portray warriors in Iraq favorably, anyone familiar with the military would know that this three man Explosive Ordinance Device Unit would be under strict command and not free to do the sometimes foolish heroics that the movie portrayed. While we may be glad to see warriors portrayed heroically, in the end it is a fairly typical Hollywood portrayal of the reality of war.

    The movie, also, in typical Hollywood fashion glorifies the individuals involved and suggests that war itself is some sort of a brutal, addictive badness.

  • Peter Leavitt

    While Hurt Locker does portray warriors in Iraq favorably, anyone familiar with the military would know that this three man Explosive Ordinance Device Unit would be under strict command and not free to do the sometimes foolish heroics that the movie portrayed. While we may be glad to see warriors portrayed heroically, in the end it is a fairly typical Hollywood portrayal of the reality of war.

    The movie, also, in typical Hollywood fashion glorifies the individuals involved and suggests that war itself is some sort of a brutal, addictive badness.


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