Sunday, January 31, 2010

Producers and Directors Guilds Hurt Avatar

While Avatar keeps making and breaking box office records, it's The Hurt Locker that's been getting all of the awards love in the form of the guilds since the billion-dollar-grossing movie upset the smaller film at the Golden Globes a couple of weeks ago.

Both movies were a non-entity at the Screen Actors Guild Awards with The Hurt Locker going 0 for 2 and Avatar not even being nominated at all. The following week was when the race came into focus as The Hurt Locker, in somewhat of an upset, took the Producers Guild Award. Many had predicted a shoe-in win for Avatar especially considering this award more than any other is usually tied to box office performance and Avatar is all about its box office performance. Avatar losing was shocking, but to lose to a film that only grossed $12.7 million is sending a message especially considering all of their other likely choices with Inglourious Basterds, Up in the Air, and Precious all at least cracking $45 million at the box office. Here is a list of the PGA winners/award recipients:

Motion Picture: The Hurt Locker
Television - Drama: Mad Men
Television - Comedy: 30 Rock
Non-Fiction Television: 60 Minutes
Live Entertainment and Competition: The Colbert Report
Long Form Television: Grey Gardens
Animated Motion Picture: Up
Documentary Motion Picture: The Cove
Milestone Award: Sony Picture's Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton
Norman Lear Achievement Award: Mark Burnett
David O. Selznick Achievement Award: John Lasseter
Vanguard Award: Joss Whedon
Stanley Kramer Award: Precious

After that surprising win, all eyes were on what the Directors Guild would do. Before the hoopla that was the Golden Globes and the PGA, everyone was ready to bet their house that Kathryn Bigelow would take the win and in the process be the first woman in the DGA's 62-year history to win. Then a lot of people, perhaps wanting to create a sense of a horse race, started predicting that James Cameron could upset his ex-wife. Of course this was for naught since Bigelow did win and did make history last night. The winners/award recipients at the DGA:

Feature Film: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
TV Drama Series: Lesli Lina Glatter, Mad Men
TV Comedy Series: Jason Winer, Modern Family
TV Movie/Mini-Series: Ross Katz, Taking Chance
Documentary: Louie Psyhoyos, The Cove
Musical Variety: Don Mischer, Obama Inaugural Celebration
Reality Programs: Craig Borders, Build it Bigger
Daytime Serials: Christopher Goutman, As the World Turns
Children's Programs: Allison Liddi-Brown, Princess Protection Program
Commercials: Tom Kuntz
Lifetime Achievement Awards: Norman Jewison and Roger Goodman
Honorary Life Member Award: Robert Iger
Frank Capra Achievement Award: Clebe Landsberg
Frankling J. Schaffner Achievement Award: Maria Jimenez Henley

Sure there's still the WGA and the BAFTAs where both Avatar and The Hurt Locker are going head-to-head once again, but is there any way The Hurt Locker doesn't win the Oscars come March? Wins at the Critics Choice Awards, the PGA, and the DGA alone would almost guarantee it, but odder things have happened en route to Oscars and Avatar (and Inglourious Basterds, Up in the Air, Precious) can still pull of the upset. Bigelow, however, will win Best Director.

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