The Hurt Locker and Avatar split best movie/director Oscars. Which movie gets which award, and why?

The title pretty much says it all. Assuming that The Hurt Locker and Avatar are to split the Best Picture and Best Director awards, which award do you think should go to which movie, and why?

Take my opinion with a huge grain of salt, because I’ve only seen one of these movies (Avatar), but . . .
. . . Avatar is not deserving of best picture. The script is way too weak. That movie is tops in many ways, but the script keeps it from being a great movie over all, so I say best director to Avatar by default.

I wouldn’t be surprised, or unhappy, any which way it goes. I even think that there’s a good chance neither will win Best Picture because of the new voting rules this year. It would not surprise me at all if Inglorious Basterds, **Up In The Air **or, a longshot but not too far-fetched, A Serious Man won, especially Basterds, which has the better chance.

But, since we’re assuming it’ll all be between both of those and that it will be a split, I’m going to guess Bigelow for Director and Avatar for Picture.

Bigelow because she’s been around for ages, directed a fantastic movie worthy of Best Picture, and it would make history with her being the first female Best Director winner.

Avatar because it’s an amazing movie, most everybody loves it, it’s an epic (of sorts), not everyone agrees that the script is weak, and it’s one that would be on not only a lot of #1 spots, but a lot of #2 and #3 spots, which might make the difference.

I agree. I have only seen Avatar, and for all it’s merits, it is an extremely poorly written movie. It’s a great experience and an interesting tech demo, but lacks a lot as a full-fledged movie.

One of the things I’m hoping to learn in this thread is what makes The Hurt Locker so highly regarded. I thought it was an excellent movie and very well done, but it didn’t strike me as being exceptional and not much different in terms of quality than any of a dozen other competently filmed movies that Hollywood churns out each year. I’m aware that many people consider Avatar’s script to be subpar, but to me the work that Cameron has done with it is much, much more impressive than that done by either Kathryn Bigelow (who I like quite a lot, btw) or any of the other directors whose movies are in Oscar contention this year.

And Equipoise (and everyone else), I’d like to know your personal opinions as to which one should win and why, rather than which one you think the academy will select. I don’t think I got that across in the OP.

I think Avatar should win because it’s an amazing movie, I love it, it’s an epic (of sorts), I don’t agree that the script is weak, and it would piss off a lot of people, just like Titanic’s (very deserved, IMO) win did, and that’s always fun.

My personal choice for Best Picture is Inglorious Basterds. If IB didn’t win, I’d want to see Avatar win. If Avatar didn’t win, I’d want to see A Serious Man win. If A Serious Man didn’t win, I’d want to see The Hurt Locker win. So you can see that I’m not the one to tout THL’s Oscar prospects, but, if it did win, I would cheer because I do think it’s Best Picture worthy. Why? I don’t know, I’m not articulate like that. I just think it’s good enough to be Best Picture, just like I think 4 other films are good enough to be Best Picture (the 4th being Up In The Air). I love this Oscar year because the field is so deep. There’s not a movie on the list I dislike, and there are only two that would make me sigh and say “Aw, that’s a shame” if they won Best Picture, and that’s The Blind Side and Precious. Not because I don’t like them, but because I don’t think they should win over Inglorious Basterds, Avatar, The Hurt Locker, A Serious Man, Up In The Air, An Education, Disctrict 9 and Up.

I guess I’m pretty useless, sorry.

Since Avatar already won best picture 20 years ago I’d give it to The Hurt Locker this year.

The Hurt Locker wins Best Picture because it encompasses all the things a great movie should be: it’s witty and moving and offers insight into the human condition, and it has excellent production values.

Avatar wins Best Director, because James Cameron is bringing obscenely huge piles of money into Hollywood, and they have to give him something to acknowledge that.

No voter would think like that. Ok, maybe a few would, but a majority of 6000? No way. If he wins it’ll be because of his massive directorial achievement, not the money. This “they” you speak of consists of 6000+ individual people, of all ages, in many different occupations, scattered around the world. You think Keisha Castle Hughes in New Zealand gives a fig what kind of money Cameron’s brought to Hollywood? You think Bjork in London (or Iceland, where ever she was at the moment she filled out her ballot) gives a fig what kind of money Cameron’s brought to Hollywood? You think Baz Luhrmann in Australia cares? You think Roman Polanski in, well, where ever he is now, cares? You think Pedro Almodóvar in Spain cares? You think Elvis Costello in England cares? You think Alfonso Cuarón in Mexico cares? You think Charlie Kaufman in New York cares? You think the Coen Brothers or Frances McDormand in Minnesota care? You think Dante Ferretti in Italy cares? You think Sandy Powell in London cares? You think Eminem in, well, where ever he is, cares? You think Philip Glass in, where ever he lives now, cares? You think Michael Moore in Michigan(?) cares? You think Ken Watanabe in Japan cares? You think Fernando Meirelles in Brazil cares? You think Sylvain Chomet in France cares? You think Denys Arcand in Canada cares? You think Ondrej Trojan in the Czech Republic cares? You think Guillermo del Toro in, well, I guess he’s in New Zealand at the moment, cares? You think Chung Man Yee in China cares? You think Rachid Bouchareb in Algeria cares? You think Wim Wenders in Germany cares?

I could keep going.

Yes a lot of voters work in Hollywood and yes a lot of voters like the fact that a movie made a lot of money because some of that will help get projects going that they can be hired for. But no one votes for Best Director or Best Picture or any other thing because of that. They vote as individuals and they vote alone (or maybe with some family members or staff nearby) and they vote for whatever they want to vote for for their own personal reasons. I would guess that the two biggest reasons are 1) they truly think the movie/person deserves the award, and/or 2) it’s what they liked best.

If YOU were a member…let’s say you directed a documentary short, and surprise, surprise, surprise, your film got an Oscar nomination! Congratulations! Now that you’re nominated, you’ll probably (not necessarily, but probably) be invited to join AMPAS. You figure the screeners, screenings and other perks are worth the dues you have to pay, so you do. Oscar season comes around and, COOL!, you get to vote. You take it very seriously and you watch all or at least most of the movies, and then you take the ballot in to the dining room table, sit down with your pen and start marking your ballot.

Are you going to say, “You know, this one movie made a lot of money for Hollywood. I think I’ll vote for it!”

Would you? Really?

Now put yourself into 6000 other people’s shoes.

How many Oscars did Titanic win again?

Titanic won all those Oscars because it was a great movie and deserved every single one of them. It did not win the ones it didn’t deserve.

Titanic made all the money it made because it was (still is) a great movie that touched a lot of people. It deserved every penny.

Forgot to add, that would be Kate Winslet for Best Actress and Gloria Stuart for Best Supporting Actress. Not that I personally think every Oscar ever given is deserved, but it’s a personal opinion. Kate lost to Helen Hunt for As Good As It Gets. I don’t think that was deserved. If I’d been a voting member I would have voted for Judi Dench in Mrs. Brown. Gloria lost to Kim Basinger for L.A. Confidential. I would have voted for Julianne Moore in Boogie Nights.

And btw, I would have voted for L.A. Confidential for Best Picture, but I still think Titanic deserved the 11 Oscars it received.

People vote for what they like/think deserves to win. A majority of voters like what ends up winning. We may not always agree, but majority rules.

I’ve seen 9 of the best pic nominees (all but “An Education”).

I liked “A Serious Man” best, very very slightly over “Basterds”

For me, “Hurt Locker” was the least of the lot. I missed whatever is in that movie that’s being praised so much.

But to answer the thread: “Avatar” for best picture, “Hurt Locker” best director.

This is the first Oscars I’ve looked forward to in a while because of the very different fates of “Avatar” and “Hurt Locker”

One is the biggest grosser of all time and the other (or so i’ve read) would be the least-seen Best Picture winner ever.

So if it had to be one of those 2, I’d like to see “Hurt Locker” win just for the message it would seem like Hollywood is sending.

To wit:

“F you, people who pay our salaries. We know better than you – the cattle.”

I think this is an easy decision. Avatar, taken as a whole, was not a great movie. It was good, and it was executed flawlessly, and it really is a product of the director’s vision. Hurt Locker was a better movie: more original, greater depth, better dialogue, themes, etc.

So my votes would go to Hurt Locker for Best Film and Avatar for Best Director. That the way I hope to see it end up.

Me too. It was touted as “gritty and realistic”. I found it to be neither. In fact, this one strained my ability to suspend my disbelief ( It set off my BS meter more than once).

As for Avatar, although I had no problem with my suspension of disbelief and was gorgeous to look at, I did feel like I’d seen it before several times. I’d like it to to get some technical awards but giving JC Best Director for derivative work seems like going too far.

I would rather the Hurt Locker win both over Avatar, but I agree with Lethal Babydoll and UncleRojelio that HL is not an all-time film.

I think I would vote for Basterds or Up In the Air (seeing it today, so speculating it is as good as I think it will be!). I think Basterds will hold up well over time. It will always be campy, but approachable.

Avatar will someday look like crap, even if it is spectacular by modern visual standards.

Awarding the OScar to Avatar would be like the cheesy film Jason and the Argonauts winning the 1963 Best Picture simply because Ray Harryhausen’s FX work was groundbreaking. At the time, I’ll bet the audience were in awe of the skeleton warriors. Today, they look silly.

And if that is all you base your vote on, how the FX look today, you are setting yourself up to have a REALLY bad winner long term because CGI+10 years will put these efforts to shame. (I still think the models of the Original Star Wars trilogy look more realistic than the CGI of the modern trilogy!)

Mini-rant aside, to answer the OP, I would rather see Cameron win best director, because he really put in his time to make something that the masses enjoyed, which wasn’t SO dumbed down as to offend my snobby sensibilities. It would suck to see history missed (female winner), but I don’t want to see Avatar as BP.

I expect that Avatar will win Best Picture. “Best Picture” is subjective. The Hurt Locker is a great movie. It is better than Avatar in many respects. Better writing, better acting, better story. But the Best Picture award doesn’t have to go to the movie that is actually the best movie as film scholars would define it. It often goes to a movie that is popular and does something new. Titanic had many of the same faults as Avatar, but it also had many of the same virtues. Nobody had ever made a movie on the scale of Titanic before, and it turned out to be wildly successful despite everyone predicting its failure. Avatar followed that same path. The voters will recognize the tremendous achievement in vision and execution even though the story is weak and the acting is crummy.

I think there’s a whole lot of room for disagreement on this assertion. The number of Oscars I thought it deserved I could count on one hand.

You’ll get no argument from me that it touched a lot of people. That’s about the only thing I can agree on, though.

If I had to choose, I would prefer Avatar win Picture because there’s a nice long tradition of substandard movies beating far superior ones, so this would be no exception. But Cameron already has his Oscar, and like Brokeback Mountain, people will remember that at least the Oscars got Director right, and while Bigelow isn’t “due” based on her past films, she certainly deserves the award for this one.

I finally saw Hurt Locker (on Demand, through COX) and thought it was quite good.
That said, I still think AVATAR was better and would also be happy if INGLORIOUS or A SERIOUS MAN won.

However, HURT LOCKER has all the “buzz”, and there is that feeling that it is about time a woman won as Best Director, plus the extra glee at seeing Cameron’s ex-wife beat him in the race. Also, I think there is that “in for a penny, in for a pound” mentality that keeps people voting for Best Director and thus the same film from that director (although there have been a few notable exceptions in the past); therefore, my prediction is Hurt Locker wins both top prizes.

Bahh, Avatar is just Fern Gully crossed with Dances With Wolves.

(Look, if it is an Avatar related thread someone is required by law to make that statement before the second page is reached).