Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Over the Weekend, Vol. 2: BAFTAs

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts presented its 2010 awards over the weekend, and the biggest winner was...

...all together now....

The Hurt Locker.

Kathryn Bigelow's awards season juggernaut (which it absolutely is, sweeping literally everything from critics groups to nearly every major guild...forget about Avatar being the runaway freight train, though it is still in the thick of the Oscar race) continued to plow through the competition, taking home five BAFTAs in all: Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing.

Up won animation. A Prophet took Best Foreign Language Film. No surprise that Reitman and Turner won Adapted Screenplay for Up in the Air. Less surprise that Mo'Nique and Christoph Waltz took the supporting prizes. A little more surprise -- and delight -- that Carey Mulligan and Colin Firth won the lead acting prizes, though not too much surprise, considering they are both Brits. Nonetheless, the great work cannot and should not be diminished.

Avatar took two, for Production Design and Special Effects, and it will likely repeat that combo at the Oscars...though at this point, anything more seems iffy. Maybe one or both of the sound categories. Maybe not. Or maybe it will somehow pull out the Big One. Anyone's guess at this point, though it peaked a long time ago and has been on the decline ever since. The story is The Hurt Locker.

An amazing job by the Hurt Locker crew from top to bottom, and an amazing course charted by this "little film that coud" (HATE using that phrase, especially for this film, though they did deliver so much for so little). It has gone from being a small film making the festival rounds and scoring two low-level Indie Spirit nominations last year (thus making it ineligible this year) to being, at this point, the prohibitive front-runner for the Best Picture Oscar, as well as the film that will likely deliver the first female Best Director winner in Oscar history. Amazing work, amazing story, amazing movie.


Mark said...

It's always good to have a bit of bias in who you vote for.

It seems like The Hurt Locker is snatching victory from Avatar's big blue hands with every passing awards ceremony in the lead up to the Oscars.

What was more interesting was Kristen Stewart winning Rising Star Award.
The reason (in my opinion) being that the public voted for who won this. Those Twihards do it again. I wonder how many of them have seen Adventureland?

K McKiernan said...


I agree with you about the power of the public (those twihards can really pull with power). However, the power of the public is not the reason for The Hurt Locker winning anything. The Hurt Locker is beating the big guy to a pulp through sheer magnificence.

James Cameron agrees and said this weekend that he thought HL deserved all its winnings and that he hoped Bigelow would beat him for Best Director. That she DESERVED to win!

HL is (hopefully) going to take Best Picture (and others) because of its genius and its importance. Avatar is fun, beautiful escape, period. And, the writing was abysmal in spots--characters too simply drawn and I would argue horrible acting in spots. Lang might as well have twirled an imaginary mustache!

HL was my favorite to win the moment I saw it last summer. Have you seen it yet? Amazing.

Thanks for writing!

Mark said...

Well I watched in on a plane travelling to Florida just before Christmas. I did enjoy but obviously not as easy to get immersed in a plane seat so will need another viewing soon.

The lead character in this is absolutely crazy and I wonder if you'd get away with that in real life. Was also nice to see Evangeline Lily as someone other than Kate in LOST.

I haven't seen Avatar yet so can't comment on that. Don't know if I can be bothered to go see it now. Just missed the opportunity to really.

K McKiernan said...

I can see where it would be hard to get into the film while traveling on a plane!

When you can, Avatar is obviously worth seeing. The technology is beautiful and pioneering, but the writing is just NOT that good. Its very simplistic. Its very black and white with no real intricacies of thought or characterization. Its hard to care too much about that though since its just piled in liberalism which I do love to see :).

So, you are a Lost fan? I am not ready for it to be all over. You?


J McKiernan said...

I think the fact that The Hurt Locker has started to not just steamroll the critics groups, but also most of the major awards after the Golden Globes (which now seem like a minor, insignificant blip on the radar) solidifies its front-runner status for Oscar. At this stage, I'd actually be very surprised if Avatar took Best Picture or Best Director.

As for the Stewart thing, all I can say is: at least it wasn't Robert Pattinson or Taylor Lautner. Stewart has real talent, and once the Twilight debacle is over with she might actually be able to show it.