Oscar winners 2010: full of drama
Oscar winner 'Hurt Locker' beat out 'Avatar' for Best Picture, while Sandra Bullock won Best Actress, beating out 16-time nominee Meryl Streep.
Last night‚Äôs Academy Awards ceremony was chock-full of drama as the Oscar winners were announced. Sandra Bullock won Best Actress, beating out acting icon Meryl Streep, who has been nominated a record 16 times. ‚ÄúThe Hurt Locker,‚ÄĚ a very tiny film that has barely made $21 million worldwide, won Best Picture over the global juggernaut ‚ÄúAvatar,‚ÄĚ now the highest-grossing film of all time. And, yes, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman in 82 years of Academy history to walk off with the Best Director statuette.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a great validation for women directors,‚ÄĚ said composer and former Academy governor Charles Bernstein as he made his way from the awards ceremony in Hollywood‚Äôs Kodak Theater to the nearby Governor‚Äôs Ball. As he spoke by phone, he walked past a not very jubilant, ‚Äúthough not sad,‚ÄĚ James Cameron. ‚ÄúHe has nothing to feel bad about,‚ÄĚ noted Mr. Bernstein. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a wonderful David-and-Goliath story and after all, he‚Äôs got the highest grossing film of all time so both sides win.‚ÄĚ
Young female voices around town were unequivocal. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs officially groundbreaking,‚ÄĚ says box office analyst Karie Bible at Exhibitor Relations. While it‚Äôs not clear how much the win will help Ms. Bigelow‚Äôs film, which is already out on DVD (‚Äúit may get a rerelease,‚ÄĚ she suggests), it will definitely help open doors for other women, Ms. Bible adds.
‚ÄúThis gives me hope,‚ÄĚ says 18-year-old Chloe Miller, an aspiring director who plans to begin film school next fall. ‚ÄúThis win makes me think that Hollywood is not as closed a place as it has been and that maybe doors are opening for more diversity of all kinds.‚ÄĚ
The time for change in Hollywood indeed has come, says Howard Suber, UCLA professor emeritus and author (‚ÄúThe Power of Film‚ÄĚ), who maintains that Bigelow‚Äôs win was more about Hollywood‚Äôs desire to recognize a woman director than the inherent quality of the film. ‚ÄúFive or 10 years from now, I seriously doubt anyone will view ‚ÄėHurt Locker‚Äô as a classic or enduring film,‚ÄĚ Mr. Suber says. Unlike a film such as ‚ÄúAvatar,‚ÄĚ which pushed technical and stylistic boundaries, ‚ÄúThe Hurt Locker‚ÄĚ is a very conventional war film. While it is gritty and intense, employing what has now become standard techniques such as a cin√©ma verit√© style created by shooting with a hand-held camera, it does not break any new ground.
‚ÄúMainstream filmmakers have been using this for decades,‚ÄĚ Suber says, adding that this is all about history. ‚ÄúIf this film had been directed by [a male director such as] Ridley Scott, this film would never have won Best Picture,‚ÄĚ he adds. It may have little impact on the film‚Äôs box office, but, he says, it will certainly immeasurably improve Kathryn Bigelow‚Äôs chances of getting a meeting at major studios for her next project.
Here are the top five winners with links to their acceptance speeches (for a complete list, go to the Oscar site):
‚ÄúThe Hurt Locker‚ÄĚ
Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges in ‚ÄúCrazy Heart‚ÄĚ
Actor in a Supporting Role
Christoph Waltz in ‚ÄúInglourious Basterds‚ÄĚ
Actress in a Leading Role
Sandra Bullock in ‚ÄúThe Blind Side‚ÄĚ
Actress in a Supporting Role
Mo‚ÄôNique in ‚ÄúPrecious: Based on the Novel ‚ÄėPush‚Äô by Sapphire‚ÄĚ