Bigelow’s Path Is Cleared

On top of The Hurt Locker‘s win at last weekend’s Producer’s Guild awards, Kathryn Bigelow‘s triumph at last night’s DGA Awards means she’s truly fortified and Movie Godz-favored to take the Best Director Oscar. This also slightly strengthens The Hurt Locker‘s shot at taking the Best Picture Oscar, although I doubt this will happen.

Bigelow became the first woman to win the DGA’s highest honor in its 61 years of award-bestowing. (The org’s first feature-directing trophy went to Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1949 for his helming of A Letter to Three Wives.) In so doing Bigelow nudged aside Avatar‘s James Cameron , Precious helmer Lee Daniels, Up In The Air‘s Jason Reitman and Inglourious Basterds maestro Quentin Tarantino.

Bigelow said she was “stunned, honored and proud…this is the most incredible moment of my life.”

Taking Chance director Ross Katz was handed the DGA’s best movies for TV-miniseries award. For hoodwinking everyone into thinking he’d made a film about restrained hinterland sadness over a young soldier’s death (instead of a sneaky Iraq War sell-job, which is what Taking Chance frundamentally is), I think Katz deserves this award. In the same way that three-card-monte dealers have to know what they’re doing on the streets of Manhattan, Katz is an expert salesman with high-end chops.

Louis Psihoyos won the DGA’s documentary award for The Cove, which won the PGA documentary award last Sunday

  • juligenb

    I cant believe this woman is 58, she is sooo beautiful and sexy. Oh and THANK GOD Cameron didn’t win.

  • btwnproductions

    Both excellent Iraq-themed films, whatever your political persuasion, and deserved directorial winners.

  • Steven Kar

    Whose job was more challenging as a director? Bigelow’s or Cameron’s?

  • Markj74

    I actually think Cameron deserves it. Hurt Locker is excellent, but it is not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination. I’m torn as i’m a huge fan of both Bigelow and Cameron, but I can see Cameron getting the nod on Oscar night.

  • CitizenKanedforChewingGum

    I’m really starting feel a possible Tarantino upset vulturing…

    Love to see Bigelow get it, though, of course.

  • Glenn Kenny

    “A Letter To Three Wives,” now that was a good picture…

  • Mgmax, le Corbeau

    She has kind of mannish shoulders. I don’t see the Academy voting for a woman with mannish shoulders.

  • CitizenKanedforChewingGum

    Poppycock. Hilary Swank has mannish shoulders and won twice. Tilda Swinton won and she’s full of features that are at least androgynous, if not downright masculine.

  • Deathtongue_Groupie

    “…but it is not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination.”

    You are suggesting AVATAR is????

  • Admiral82

    Kathryn deserved it, “The Hurt Locker” is a masterful directorial achievement.

    I’m glad she won.

  • Mgmax, le Corbeau

    I’m not saying that Oscar voters who vote for a woman director with mannish shoulders are necessarily having wicked fantasies, but it’s only natural to vote for a director with gender-appropriate upper arms.

  • great scott

    Bigelow won. Just like I predicted.

    Actually, I predicted Cameron would win. Just thought I’d see what it feels like to be DeeZee for a second.

  • great scott

    Oh and I’d hate to be Tom O’Neill this morning after his “Cameron can’t lose” certainty the other day.

  • Alboone

    No there’s not going to be any Tarantino upset. Biegelow is going to get it for very good reasons. She made a very taut and suspenseful film with grade A acting all round from the principles in a REAL hostile environment. Avatar’s achievements cannot be diminished in any way, in the technical arena what Cameron and his team have done is taken the CGI process and brought it into the physics of the real world, a major accomplishment which will change efx as we know it from now on, but what’s hurting Avatar IMO is indeed the story and the acting which I’m sorry to say is just too dopey to be taken seriously. If he had the guts to stand up to those Fox a-holes and release his full scripted version which effectively plugged in all the plot holes the current release has in spades then this conversation would be different. But he didn’t and again from my perspective the film suffered for it. For all the Avatar cheerleaders out there I urge you to read the script and I bet you a hundred to one that your perspective will change.

  • Deathtongue_Groupie

    The news of this spreading just two days before the nominations are announced pretty much locks her in for the director trophy March 7th.

    Not only is there momentum from almost every other awards group, but people like to feel like they are part of a historical moment. Bigelow and Cameron are equally deserving (she for turning in a taut film under difficult conditions, he for spearheading innovations that took film to a new level), but she has the trump card of giving the night a historical moment.

    Considering how cut and dried the acting categories are (does anyone seriously doubt it will be Mo’Nique, Waltz, Bullock and Bridges?), the pressure is on to give the night something noteworthy. Plus, let’s be realistic, this is a group with a heap of old school Lefties who eat this stuff up especially when the person clearly has merit as Bigelow does.

    All of which goes exactly to the point that you don’t give out awards for art based on popular votes of large groups.

  • Mgmax, le Corbeau

    “people like to feel like they are part of a historical moment”

    Speaking of people who’ve pretty much disappeared, how about another woman who directed a Best Picture nominee (but didn’t get a director nom), Penny Marshall?

    Lovely shoulders, that one. Didn’t help.

  • CitizenKanedforChewingGum

    “Biegelow is going to get it for very good reasons. She made a very taut and suspenseful film with grade A acting all round from the principles in a REAL hostile environment.”

    Yes, those are all very fine reasons for why Bigelow should win, but will she? I think she’s still the front-runner (barely), but there is still some time left.

    Mgmax, what on earth is your point? No female has ever won a Best Directing Oscar, pretty shoulders or not.

  • Flash Gordon

    How pissed would people be if Hurt Locker won Best Picture but Cameron won Director? That would make people see red more than the awful Crash winning Best Picture.

    And Penny Marshall wasn’t snubbed because she was a woman. It was because she was Laverne. The Academy snubbed Opie and Meathead too.

    And Bigelow is as much a sure thing as Rob Marshall after he won DGA for Chicago and Ang Lee after winning for Crouching Tiger. It ain’t over yet.

  • Mike

    For me, this is like the year The Departed won it.There were a few decent choices but none of them was a great movie. They gave it to the movie with the best pedigree. I see that happening this year with The Hurt Locker and Bigelow.

    Avatar was a really good kids movie but giving it Best Pic would be foolish. Though not as foolish as when Titanic beat L.A. Confidential.

    And agreed, Bigelow is smoking hot.

  • Mgmax, le Corbeau

    Oh, jeez Kane, I thought post #11 was obvious enough.

  • Mgmax, le Corbeau

    “And Penny Marshall wasn’t snubbed because she was a woman. It was because she was Laverne. The Academy snubbed Opie and Meathead too.”

    Opie has an Oscar.

    Though I agree Marshall wasn’t snubbed she was a woman. The director’s branch typically snubs (or did when there were 5 of each) at least one of the five Best Picture nominees, replacing the lpwest-brow one(s) with something highbrow. That year they substituted Frears (The grifters) and Schroeder (Reversal of Fortune) for Marshall and whichever Zucker directed Ghost, which is perfectly understandable.

  • poseidon72

    I honestly cant begin to understand how one can compare a film like The Hurt Locker against Avatar. One is a modestly budgeted movie and one was made with a 250+ million. One is a realistic war film and one is a fantasy movie with effects galore. Thats why the Oscars and most awards dont make much sense. Its impossible to judge these two very different films against each other.

    Thats my opinion of course.

  • Alboone

    “For me, this is like the year The Departed won it.There were a few decent choices but none of them was a great movie. They gave it to the movie with the best pedigree. I see that happening this year with The Hurt Locker and Bigelow. ”

    Normally I would agree with that sentiment, but HL is the real deal when you look at it as a whole. Its shot well. The acting is top notch. And the story is actually pretty good. I genuinely don’t see what’s not to like about this movie. If you’re just not partial to war films then that’s one thing, but if you like action, suspense, multi dimensional characters, guns and bombs, I don’t think you can go wrong.

  • markj

    I actually think Cameron deserves it. Hurt Locker is excellent, but it is not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination. I’m torn as i’m a huge fan of both Bigelow and Cameron, but I can see Cameron getting the nod on Oscar night.

  • Flash Gordon

    “Opie has an Oscar”.

    Yeah, six years after NOT being nominated for Apollo 13 the year it was up for Best Picture.

  • Ronald McFirbank

    She has kind of mannish shoulders. I don’t see the Academy voting for a woman with mannish shoulders.

  • George Prager

    I want to get a look at her feet before I can decide whether or not Oscar voters are going to go for her or not.

    P.S. Marshall wasn’t nominated because she’s in a league with the asshole who directed PATCH ADAMS.

  • Gordon27

    I’m 50-50 on who’ll win director, but I’m pretty sure ‘Avatar’ is going to take picture. (I definitely see the makings of a Tarantino upset in one or both categories, but I suspect he won’t quite have the votes.)

  • Gordon27

    “And the story is actually pretty good. I genuinely don’t see what’s not to like about this movie. ”

    I think it’s a really solid movie, but the script boils down to a lot of soldier movie cliches pretty quickly when it gets away from the suspense. Some of them benefit from the direction, though — I mean, the ending has been done to death, but that shot of the supermarket sure helps make it feel new for a moment or two.

  • Ronald McFirbank

    I’m not saying that Oscar voters who vote for a woman director with mannish shoulders are necessarily having wicked fantasies, but it’s only natural to vote for a director with gender-appropriate upper arms.

  • Ronald McFirbank

    “people like to feel like they are part of a historical moment”

    Speaking of people who’ve pretty much disappeared, how about another woman who directed a Best Picture nominee (but didn’t get a director nom), Penny Marshall?

    Lovely shoulders, that one. Didn’t help.

  • Ronald McFirbank

    Oh, jeez Kane, I thought post #11 was obvious enough.

  • Ronald McFirbank

    “And Penny Marshall wasn’t snubbed because she was a woman. It was because she was Laverne. The Academy snubbed Opie and Meathead too.”

    Opie has an Oscar.

    Though I agree Marshall wasn’t snubbed she was a woman. The director’s branch typically snubs (or did when there were 5 of each) at least one of the five Best Picture nominees, replacing the lpwest-brow one(s) with something highbrow. That year they substituted Frears (The grifters) and Schroeder (Reversal of Fortune) for Marshall and whichever Zucker directed Ghost, which is perfectly understandable.

  • http://moviebob.blogspot.com THE MovieBob

    I feel like I’m back in the Democrat Primary, with Cameron playing Hillary and Bigelow as Obama…

    I don’t honestly know that I can say she “deserves” Best Director over Cameron in this particular year – neither of their films made my top ten, and as much as I liked “Locker” being the best Iraq movie isn’t the same thing as being a classic in your own right. Cameron had more money, fine, but he also set himself a much more ambitious task.

    Still, it’s not really “about” who “did better,” right? It’s about spreading the love, holding back a blockbuster-sweep in the FIRST year of 10-nominees and – above all else – NOT denying the first-ever female win for Best Director by giving it to the frontrunner’s ex-husband. I get that, it makes sense, and her career is more than distinguished enough to warrant it. Godspeed, as far as I’m concerned.

    Now, if “Locker” were to get PICTURE in the same year that also gave us Avatar, District 9, Basterds, Serious Man and Watchmen? THAT would be bullshit.

  • Mgmax, le Corbeau

    “her career is more than distinguished enough”

    Uh, really? I mean, Point Break is a guilty pleasure, and K-19 is a solid 50s style movie, and Near Dark is a sexy little B horror. And Strange Days is utter shite, and nobody saw The Weight of Water and Blue Steel.

    The Hurt Locker strikes me as a comeback film for someone of promise which went wildly unfulfilled for two decades, not the continuation of a career remotely comparable to the leading filmmakers of the day. The Coens or Clint Eastwood made more good movies in any 3-year period during that time than Bigelow has in the whole 20+.

  • Chicago48

    Why hasn’t Oprah had her on the show? That would cause interest in the Hurt Locker.

  • Gordon27

    Because she has a vested interest in ‘Precious’.

  • econeywaaa

    Say what you want about her looks, but goddamn she looks fucking great for 58! Also, every time you bring up “Taking Chance” you start with that Iraq war sell job shit, please just once more explain to me how a movie that chronicles what could have been any war, not just Iraq, with no battle sequences or “Call of Duty” type action, is a sell job for Iraq. Where was the sell job? The only thing I saw was hey, join the Marines and some guy you don’t know will proudly escort your body home.

  • LFF

    If you want to seriously do some back slapping and tip of the hat for pulling off sell jobs- Some credit should be given to Ricky Gervais for getting the atheistic THE INVENTION OF LYING a wide release in the US last fall. The man was able to put “MAN IN THE SKY CONTINUES TO GIVE AIDS TO BABIES” in bold text across 1700 screens of people expecting to see a LIAR LIAR brainless styled comedy. That’s pretty punk rock.

  • Ronald McFirbank

    “her career is more than distinguished enough”

    Uh, really? I mean, Point Break is a guilty pleasure, and K-19 is a solid 50s style movie, and Near Dark is a sexy little B horror. And Strange Days is utter shite, and nobody saw The Weight of Water and Blue Steel.

    The Hurt Locker strikes me as a comeback film for someone of promise which went wildly unfulfilled for two decades, not the continuation of a career remotely comparable to the leading filmmakers of the day. The Coens or Clint Eastwood made more good movies in any 3-year period during that time than Bigelow has in the whole 20+.

  • Rich S.

    Finally saw The Hurt Locker on DVD over the weekend (my city’s theaters had it for about a week). It’s a good little film and very well directed, but that’s as far as I’d go. There’s not really much of a story and, once you get past the point of what you thought was going to happen, you can see the end coming up Sixth Avenue.

    Interesting that they chose to focus on Renner’s character, because most of these movies ask you to identify with the “normal” character, who then reacts to the loose cannon (i.e. Platoon). I actually think that might have been the better way to go, but the movie is fine as-is.

    One observation. I’m not a huge fan of 3D and I’m kind of dreading all films going that way. But I will say that if 3D kills off “shakycam,” that will be a huge bonus.

  • raygo

    Also just saw Hurt Locker this week. It’s ok. I don’t get the awards sweep at all. Serviceable war thriller. DGA and Oscars embrace a woman who makes a war film. It’s almost a gimmick. Jane Campion or Sofia Coppola would have been more representative of women struggling against the system than this film. And for people saying Bigelow is due … seriously. Her name isn’t synonymous with the great directors who have gone unrewarded. Delusional is all I can say.

  • Steven Kar

    I’m a fan of comments 29, 34, and 35.

    They said pretty much what I was about to post.

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    This is great, she is a really fantastic actor! I haven’t actually seen the Hurt Locker as yet though and so will have to pick it up on DVD soon. With all them Oscars, I am surely missing out there. Ryan @ Childrens Slide UK

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