Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, February 26, 2010

Shouldn't The Hurt Locker be too proud to beg for an Oscar?

Movie studio campaigns for Best Picture nominees at the Oscars are notoriously known for some down and dirty tactics over the decades which has brought about a number of strict guidelines from the Academy detailing just how far they can go.

A small scandal is currently rocking the Hollywood boat that may affect the status and votes for a film that's been a front runner in this year's race. One of the producers of The Hurt Locker sent out an e-mail that all but had the man on his hands and knees,urging Academy voters to support his movie and not so subtly slamming Avatar in the process. Read this for yourselves,folks:

I hope all is well with you. I just wanted to write you and say I hope you liked Hurt Locker and if you did and want us to win, please tell (name deleted) and your friends who vote for the Oscars, tell actors, directors, crew members, art directors, special effects people, if everyone tells one or two of their friends, we will win and not a $500M film, we need independent movies to win like the movies you and I do, so if you believe The Hurt Locker is the best movie of 2010, help us!

I'm sure you know plenty of people you've worked with who are academy members whether a publicist, a writer, a sound engineer, please take 5 minutes and contact them. Please call one or two persons, everything will help!

best regards,

Nicolas Chartier Voltage Pictures

The producer did send out an apology e-mail,claiming to be ignorant of the rules due to being a first time contender,but that seems to be as sincere as Tiger Woods' latest press conference.

With the deadline for Oscar voting being next Tuesday and the awards to be given out the following weekend,this quick burst of negative publicity does threaten to sink The Hurt Locker's chances for a win.

The weird thing about this whole mess is the completely unnecessary need for this plea. Forget about the rules for a moment;why in the world did this producer have so little faith in this film,which has garnered tons of critical accolades,several film festival honors,top spots on more than one influential Best Film of the Year lists and fans who fully support the movie both online and off?

Indie films have a great track record when it comes to winning Best Picture for quite a while now and Hollywood loves to pick films with Very Serious subject matters,another bonus for Hurt Locker here. Perhaps this was a case of nerves getting the best of this guy-after all,Oscar buzz is very heady stuff even for seasoned professionals:

True,Avatar is a big money machine but when it comes to Oscar,the voters don't always like to be reminded about the business side of things and as I mentioned earlier this week,Avatar's biggest setback is that it's a science fiction fantasy saga. Hollywood folks may financially support those films one way or another but they're about as appreciated as Twilight fans are by the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction selection committee.

Either way,is it fair to The Hurt Locker as a film to reap the bad harvest of what someone else sowed sadly on their behalf? I don't and I say this as someone who has not yet seen the movie(Netflix sent it to me this week but as of this writing,no one in my house has watched it so far).

Granted,I can easily understand why anyone would have cold feet about the movie's chances of winning-I'm still annoyed that Crash won over Brokeback Mountain in 2005- and what that producer did was beyond stupid,but it's really not right that the work of numerous artistic collaborators be undone by one man's desperate attempt to grab the brass ring here.

Of course,fair and right are subjective terms when it comes to things like this and while I may not even be impressed by The Hurt Locker after I do see it,the movie still deserves a shot at the big gold on March 7th.

It's earned a place on the ballot just as much as Precious,An Education or District 9 and while it may not be everyone's cup of tea(Avatar certainly isn't for some and neither is The Blind Side for others),it would be a real shame for such a heartfelt film to be given the shaft on such a well intentioned but badly done misstep. Good luck,Hurt Locker-looks like you may need it to get thru this award show minefield safely:


Melissa said...

The Hurt Locker was on my list of movies to watch, but only because it was nominated. After seeing the trailer, I can't WAIT to see it! Thanks for sharing!

Ladytink_534 said...

I don't even remember hearing about Hurt Locker before but it looks great! I'm not impressed with that email however.