In the Dark

Back in the Locker

As I write, it’s already been three weeks since the Academy Awards broadcast on March 7, and I’m still surprised that the judges for Hollywood’s annual ceremony of self-love named The Hurt Locker Best Picture of 2009, awarding it six Oscars in all.  The pooh-bahs of mediocrity voted for art rather than commerce, and so the enormously profitable spectacle Avatar had to bow to a low-budget independent production.  Adding spice to the outcome, Locker’s Oscar-anointed director, Kathryn Bigelow, is the former wife of Avatar’s director, James Cameron.

Chronicles’ editors decided to run my September 2009 review of the film on the day after the ceremony.  This pleased me.  It’s nice having your name attached to a winner.  But putting vanity aside, if such is possible, I really do believe, as I said in my original review, that this film about an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team hunting IEDs on the streets of Baghdad should be required viewing for all Americans, especially those who continue to think our adventure in the desert is honorable.  Anything that advances the film’s notoriety, whether an Oscar or my humble reflections, is all to the good.

Bigelow’s film, made in 2008, had a limited release after a successful run at various independent festivals.  Now, with six Oscars, it will reach a much...

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