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Is This Year’s Oscar Contest ‘David v. Goliath’?

February 26th, 2010

Lots can be said about this year’s Academy Awards contest: it’s got the most “Best Picture” nominees in almost 70 years, there’s an animated film nominated for Best picture, there are two science fiction films up for major awards (800 pound gorilla “Avatar” has 9 nominations – and Neil Blomkamp’s  “District 9” is nominated for Best Picture , and his and and Terri Tatchell’s script for  is nominated for Best  Adapted Screenplay) and there’s the retro-domestic drama playing out over the year’s two putative Best Picture favorites. As any moviegoer knows, “Avatar” is now the all-time box-office champ, with $2.4 billion, yet it has received the same number of nominations as “The Hurt Locker,” the bomb-squad war picture directed by Kathryn Bigelow, “Avatar”‘s director Jim Cameron’s ex-wife, which grossed something less than $13 million in its original release. Yet both pictures are being touted as Best Picture favorites – both by their respective studios and their audiences.

It makes for a compelling melodrama right out of the Tracy/Hepburn mold. The successful director, with numerous Oscar statuettes on his shelves, zeroes in on his ex-wife, a tough-as-nails director in her own right (after all, who would want to be married to Jim Cameron if they were weak-willed? The guy is intense), as her ‘little-film-that-could’ chugs across the finish line first. It’s a scenario that could  play out on Sunday, March 7, when the Best Director and Best Picture statuettes are handed out: could ‘David’ beat ‘Goliath’? Although the results are known only by Price Waterhouse Coopers at this point, one thing’s for sure: it’s going to be one for the record books. If Kathryn Bigelow wins, she’ll be the first female director so honored in the Academy’s 82 years of awards. And if “The Hurt Locker” beats “Avatar” for Best Picture (assuredly a less likely outcome), they’ll hear the cheers of the victors from here to Pandora.

Whether you’re behind the 800 pound gorilla or the little film that could, the 2009 Oscar contest is going to be one for the record books!

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