DGA Winners

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Postby Franz Ferdinand » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:04 pm

All I know is that I saw The Hurt Locker in the theaters when it came out - it was playing at a multiplex, even! It was marketed, it was given a chance, it just didn't catch on. It may have been because of the general status of previous Iraq II movies that had bombed in previous years. The Hurt Locker was lumped in with those flops and never given a fair chance as the outstanding war movie (coincidentally set in Iraq) that it is.

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Postby Okri » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:00 pm

Tee, you don't feel that Children of Men was hurt by a poor release strategy?

And I'd argue that the split you mention actually runs against the idea of vote splitting. The idea being that if two films are similar in nature/audience, that a third choice geared towards a different audience is at an advantage. That only works when there's a straight, single choice vote. Now, with preferential ranking, we have ten choices to make.

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Postby FilmFan720 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:58 pm

Mister Tee wrote:And to answer dws' question, how can a split between Hurt Locker and Avatar help Inglourious Basterds (or, I'd argue, Up in the Air): the same way a film or performance that doesn't lead on the first ballot at a critics' voting can move up and win the final tally. As I understand it, all ballots will be sorted by first place vote. At that point, it's possible Hurt Locker and Avatar will have the most votes, but well short of the 50%+1 necessary for a win. But the next step will be to take the tenth-place finishing film's ballots, and reassign by the second place votes on those ballots. Then the same with the ninth-place film. It's possible that, after a few rounds of this, a movie like Basterds or Up in the Air can do well enough in runner-up votes to overtake one of the leaders. By the end, you're down to two films, and there's no saying just because a film was leading based on first-place tallies that it will still be even among the top two once second/third/fourth places votes are re-distributed.

It seems to me that this voting system would hurt a film like Avatar. Avatar seems to have love it or hate it camps. People who love it will pile it on as number one, maybe two. A good portion of the Academy will probably have it at 8 or below...people who say put An Education or A Serious Man at the top of their ballots may be more likely (this is a gross generalization) to put an Inglourious Basterds at number 2 or 3...maybe that is how Tarantino's film sneaks in?
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Postby Mister Tee » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:29 pm

Magilla, I think you're making excuses. The Hurt Locker had its shot at doing better. It opened well in big cities; it simply didn't hang on. Just for instance, Memento almost a decade ago had the same sort of little-publicity-but-great-reviews release, and almost doubled Hurt Locker's gross in actual (as opposed to relative) dollars, by hanging around at a successful level. And Memento was too little a film, in the end, to get more than two nominations. The Hurt Locker had an initial rush and fairly quickly faded. I know people who love the film wish to death it had been more successful -- as I wish A Serious Man or Children of Men or Far from Heaven had been -- but you don't do your argument any favors by twisting statistics.

In a way, though I love seeing Tom O'Neil red-faced, I can see why he felt as he did. The DGA winner, like the Oscar best picture winner, has usually been an enormous success. Most of the winners in the past two decades have topped $100 million; those that haven't have finished in the $70-90 million range. You have to go back to The Last Emperor to find a film that fell this short, and even there it's far ahead of Hurt Locker's $12-13 million. I'm not sure what was the last DGA winner with this low a gross even in actual dollars, let alone relative.

And for that reason, I have to reinforce BJ's paranoia, and say that, while I think Bigelow is dead-solid certain as a directing winner (for the reasons Italiano articulates), I believe best picture is up for grabs -- especially because we have no idea how the new voting system will affect balloting.

And to answer dws' question, how can a split between Hurt Locker and Avatar help Inglourious Basterds (or, I'd argue, Up in the Air): the same way a film or performance that doesn't lead on the first ballot at a critics' voting can move up and win the final tally. As I understand it, all ballots will be sorted by first place vote. At that point, it's possible Hurt Locker and Avatar will have the most votes, but well short of the 50%+1 necessary for a win. But the next step will be to take the tenth-place finishing film's ballots, and reassign by the second place votes on those ballots. Then the same with the ninth-place film. It's possible that, after a few rounds of this, a movie like Basterds or Up in the Air can do well enough in runner-up votes to overtake one of the leaders. By the end, you're down to two films, and there's no saying just because a film was leading based on first-place tallies that it will still be even among the top two once second/third/fourth places votes are re-distributed.

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Postby jack » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:53 pm

Why do so many people still think Avatar poses a threat? If Cameron had won last night then I think it would be between Avatar and The Hurt Locker, but not anymore.

Avatar's double Globe win will likely be a fluke. Come the Bafta's I guarantee The Hurt Locker will take Picture and Director (An Education will win British Film). It seems to me that consdering Avatar a possible Best Picture champion is just a way of making the Best Picture race a bit more unpredictable.

As it stands right now Bigelow wins Director and her film wins Picture.

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Postby Big Magilla » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:06 pm

I agree with most of Italiano's points, but I disagree that The Hurt Locker was a box office flop. It didn't make a lot of money, but it wasn't a flop in the traditional sense that people ignored it, they simply didn't have a chance to see it.

The film was not properly marketed. It was only shown in a limited number of theatres. It didn't have an opportunity to make a lot of money at the box-office, which is different than say, Nine, which was heavily promoted and opened in wide release to an indifferent public.

The Hurt Locker is a huge success on DVD and will have been seen by much of the general public as well as Academy members by the time the Oscars are actually handed out.
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Postby ITALIANO » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:35 pm

How could Avatar and Hurt Locker cancel each other out? What do they have in common?! American mysteries.

Bigelow's win here could easily be repeated on Oscar night, if only because the Academy (while essentially conservative, see Crash vs Brokeback Mountain) wants to be perceived as very liberal, and after all these prizes going to Bigelow I doubt they'll want to miss the chance of making a historical, officially "feminist" choice (the movie is, of course, far less feminist - and feminine - than many movies directed by men, but trust me, nobody will say this in the US).

Best Picture could be another story. And not only because Bigelow's movie (as far as I read here) has been a box office flop. If things were still like before (five nominees, old voting system, etc), it would be between Avatar and Hurt Locker only, the other three nominees wouldnt have a chance. But now, who knows. There are no precedents, one can still guess but based more on feelings than on anything more rational. So while I still think it's between Avatar and Hurt Locker, I admit that another movie, in theory, could finally win. But not because of vote-splitting.

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Postby dws1982 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:04 pm

I liked The Hurt Locker, but I think at this point I'm pulling for it not because I want a good movie to win, but because I want Avatar to lose. I think I'd be pulling for any tolerable alternative to Avatar right now.

Some people over on the other board seem to think that this win for Bigelow means that Inglourious Basterds is going to win Best Picture. Something about Avatar and The Hurt Locker cancelling each other out. I don't quite see the logic, but I also don't want to see the logic behind a potential win for Basterds.




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Postby Big Magilla » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:56 am

Has Tom O'Neil taken his foot out of his mouth yet?

In his usual know-it-all know-nothing manner he got a lot of mileage out of saying that the commercial directors in the DGA wouldn't vote for Bigelow, tipping the win toward Cameron.
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Postby Sonic Youth » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:59 am

OscarGuy wrote:Dewey Defeats Truman anyone? I was following Steve Pond who was in the press room last night. Also, if you look at the DGA website, it's Kathryn Bigelow

Who are you going to believe? The DGA's website with all those suspect photos, or the El Paso Times?

I know who won. I just posted the link because it was amusing.




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Postby taki15 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:49 am

So, have we figured out who won?

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Postby Okri » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:48 am

The Original BJ wrote:To spin Mister Tee's comment from the other day, after all those years in which a DGA win corresponded directly to a Best Picture Oscar victory, I really hope the year MY favorite move wins the DGA isn't one to buck the trend.

Seriously. Though it's only my fourth favourite movie.

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Postby OscarGuy » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:44 am

Dewey Defeats Truman anyone? I was following Steve Pond who was in the press room last night. Also, if you look at the DGA website, it's Kathryn Bigelow
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Postby The Original BJ » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:43 am

To spin Mister Tee's comment from the other day, after all those years in which a DGA win corresponded directly to a Best Picture Oscar victory, I really hope the year MY favorite move wins the DGA isn't one to buck the trend.

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Postby Sonic Youth » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:34 am

Wrong. It's James Cameron!

At least, according to the El Paso Times. Charming headline, too: "Cameron Beats Out Ex-Wife"
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