All year Up in the Air has been a festival and critics darling thanks to the great script and direction of Jason Reitman. The only thing that may keep it from gaining Oscar gold is the dark horse, The Hurt Locker. The Kathryn Bigelow drama has been running neck and neck with Reitman’s latest, and is on it’s way to making Academy Awards history. If Bigelow gets a nomination and a win, she’ll be the first woman to ever receive a Best Director Oscar. But in order for her to break that barrier she has to take Reitman and his flick out of contention, which won’t be an easy feat.
For the Golden Globes, Up in the Air led the pack with 6 nominations, which included the major categories of Best Picture, Director, Actor, Screenplay, and Supporting Actress. The Hurt Locker went on to receive recognition in all the same areas except for acting. The snub of Jeremy Renner was one of the biggest surprises but when the Screen Actors Guild gave their two cents, his performance was noted with a Best Actor nomination. Now he’s going head to head with Up in the Air’s George Clooney as well as a slew of other talented actors.
Up in the Air won Best Picture from the Southeastern and Washington DC Film Critics, while The Hurt Locker took the honor from The New York Film Critics Circle and The Boston Society of Critics. This is one of the few times that a female directed film has garned so much critical attention. Locker‘s Kathryn Bigelow has single handedly swept most of the directing categories this year, which means an Oscar could be in her reach.
Throughout history only three women have been nominated for the coveted prize with the last one being Sofia Coppola for her work on Lost in Translation. Even though Reitman has been noted as the early frontrunner, Bigelow’s work on The Hurt Locker can’t be ignored. She helmed a brutally honest war film, with strong performances and a great screenplay. She’s proven that female directors don’t have to stick to romantic comedies to have a successful career.
With the exception of Lee Daniels and Precious, the big Oscar showdown will be between Reitman and Bigelow. If Reitman wins he’ll be one of the youngest, second generation directors to take home the award. But if Bigelow wins she’ll be the first woman to ever do so, which will make this year’s ceremony truly history in the making.
Who do you think should win Best Picture and Director at the Oscars?