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Oscar Watch: Where Are The Hurt Locker Screeners?

by Anne Thompson
November 17, 2009 11:34 AM
11 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood

At the start of the awards season, I had The Hurt Locker at the top of my top ten picks list. But right now quite a few other movies are getting more noise. That doesn't matter in the end. Finally, the Academy voters will dig back to all the films they saw this year, especially when they don't have time to see all the marginal indies in their DVD stack. It's more likely that they will remember the movies that the critics pick for their top ten lists at the end of the year, or that other awards groups like the Gothams, Critics Choice or Golden Globes anoint as must-sees.

Finally, though, screeners are the best reminder. So where are those The Hurt Locker DVDs? At the New Moon party, I asked Summit's Rob Friedman, who denied that director Kathryn Bigelow was refusing to send out screeners because she wanted people to see the film on the big screen. (Ideally, that's where it should be seen; it's still playing in NY and LA.) Summit will send Academy screeners soon; they've already gone to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

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More: Awards, Independents, Oscars, Golden Globes, Summit

11 Comments

  • John M | November 20, 2009 5:05 AMReply

    Actually, Ryan Sartor, I apologize for my tone, especially that needless jab at the end. I just felt compelled to defend a movie I thought was very good, and sadly overlooked--we moviegoers, we do get passionate, don't we? Sorry about the escalation...I do hope you give Hurt Locker another try!

  • adam | November 19, 2009 4:24 AMReply

    come on, most academy screeners don't go out until after thanksgiving. what a ridiculous non story

  • Ryan Sartor | November 18, 2009 9:38 AMReply

    Thanks, John M

  • John M | November 18, 2009 9:34 AMReply

    Yeah, boy, Ryan Sartor, this plus a few other comments I've read from you on this site suggest maybe you're not firing on all pistons. That was not a "triumphant" return to war--as hinted at in the title card at the beginning of the movie, the soldier returns to war because he's tragically addicted to war.

    Also, just because a film's episodic doesn't mean it doesn't have a "story." Ease off that copy of Robert McKee for a second, 'kay?

    Maybe you didn't like the movie because you didn't understand it at all?

  • Jan Lisa Huttner | November 18, 2009 8:22 AMReply

    Thank you, Anne!!! I've also been raising the red flag this week about the screener problem. As a member of the Chicago Film Critics Assoc, I've been inundated every year, but this year--barely a trickle. Yes, yes, the economic woes are real, but I've been especially worried about how this might impact high profile films by women directors like THE HURT LOCKER as well as BRIGHT STAR and AN EDUCATION. Yes, ideally, these should all be seen on the big screen, but life is short & sometimes we all have to scramble to catch up, so please, please, keep pushing! All best, Jan

  • Jerg | November 18, 2009 8:09 AMReply

    The academy members should see the film in theaters. There's tons of screenings open for them, at good times, with great sound, free parking and open seats.

  • Better on the Big Screen | November 18, 2009 6:53 AMReply

    This is a tense and thrilling film that is best seen and heard in a movie theater for maximum impact. Academy members would be advised to try to get out of the house and catch a scheduled screening rather than to just wait for the DVD on this one. It'll be worth their time!

  • Joey Berlin | November 18, 2009 6:45 AMReply

    Been wondering this myself. Thanks for the info.

  • CM | November 18, 2009 5:13 AMReply

    Triumphant Return? I don't know what film you were watching, but the scenes with our protagonist back in the US are maybe the most tense and painful in the entire film.

  • PB | November 18, 2009 4:59 AMReply

    Ryan, if you think that's all the film was, you didn't get it at all.

  • Ryan Sartor | November 18, 2009 3:48 AMReply

    The Hurt Locker, while well-acted and based on an interesting concept, was a film without a story. It was just a series of bomb defusion sequences followed by (spoiler alert) the soldier's triumphant return to battle with ABSURD heavy metal rock music on the soundtrack. I could see Anthony Mackie's performance getting a nomination, but I don't think the film itself is anything special, and I think that Ms. Bigelow's attempt to take an apolitical stance just came across as pro-war by default.

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