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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Kathryn Bigelow Wins DGA

Happy news tonight. The first woman to win DGA could not deserve the honor more.
I do think that Jim Cameron’s achievement as a director deserves major accolades. But making so much of so little, budgetwise, is a great achievement as well. And she did, after all, direct the best American movie of 2009.

21 Responses to “Kathryn Bigelow Wins DGA”

  1. Ducard says:

    Could not agree more! THL is better & just as intense the 2nd time you see it. “Avatar” was an amazing experience the 1st I saw it but was decidely under-whelming the 2nd time I caught it.
    As much as I loved “Up In The Air” Bigelow & THL are my clear favorites for top honors –along with just about every other possible nominee in this remarkable film.
    The ONLY thing bad about this film was the way it was marketed. The people who sold this film couldn’t sell ammo to the NRA or oxycotin to Rush Limbaugh.

  2. Super happy for Bigelow. She hasn’t had the most illustrious career, but she’s put in the hard yards and made some great entertaining flicks along the way and with The Hurt Locker finally came across that sort of perfect storm of a project.
    And Lee Daniels is right, but it’s not just her legs that are sexy.

  3. leahnz says:

    well, unlike ducard i think avatar improves upon second viewing, but ‘the hurt locker’ is a very skillfully directed film and i’m absolutely thrilled to bits for kathryn, she’s the real deal. kudos!!! awesome
    (one quibble: the several comments during the DGA ceremony on her appearance rather than the focus on her work smacks of more than a little sexism and double standards at play; can you imagine a male director having his appearance commented on so often when the spotlight belongs on his work/achievement? i can’t. the more things change, the more they stay the same)

  4. The Pope says:

    Leahnz, yes it is a stumbler that people feel it necessary to comment about KB’s appearance. I mean, I have yet to read how hot Quentin Tarantino is… especially considering he is the only one of the “young” directors who even bothers to shave.
    Cameron, the senior, is looking a little jowly these days. Plus his grey hair kinda makes him look… you know, old. And sorta lame.
    Reitmen looks just scruffy. A grunger from the early nineties who never got over Kurt’s suicide. Get with it Jason and get thee to a salon. A little trimming to that sloppy hair of yours and you might just get yourself a hot date come Oscar night.
    As for Lee Daniels, he has it all. Sparkly eyes, nice big smile. And he keeps his facial hair neatly manicured.

  5. jose says:

    Hey Dave, tell me what you think
    predictions:
    film
    avatar
    hurt locker
    up in the air
    inglorious basterds
    precious
    invictus
    crazy heart
    an education
    district 9
    the blind side
    THE SURPRISE: a serious man
    director
    avatar
    hurt locker
    inglorious basterds
    up in the air
    precious
    THE SURPRISE: invictus
    actress
    the blind side
    precious
    julie and julia
    an education
    last station
    THE SURPRISE: Young Victoria
    actor
    invictus
    a single man
    hurt locker
    up in the air
    crazy heart
    THE SURPRISE: The Road
    original screenplay
    hurt locker
    inglorious basterds
    avatar
    a serious man
    500 days of summer
    THE SURPRISE: up
    adapted screenplay
    up in the air
    precious
    crazy heart
    julie and julia
    invictus
    THE SURPRISE(S): a single man or fantastic mr. fox or district 9 or star treck
    cinematography
    inglorious basterds
    avatar
    the white ribbon
    hurt locker
    nine
    THE SURPRISE: the road, but its not going to happen
    editing
    inglorious basterds
    hurt locker
    avatar
    district 9
    star treck
    THE SURPRISE: up in the air
    costume
    inglorious basterds
    young victoria
    a single man
    julie and julia
    nine
    THE SURPRISE: sherlock holmes, THE RIDICULOUS SURPRISE: Avatar
    art direction
    avatar
    inglorious basterds
    young victoria
    julie and julia
    nine
    THE SURPRISE: sherlock holmes or a single man
    score
    avatar
    a single man
    up in the air
    the road
    up
    THE SURPRISE: fantastic mr. fox or the informant
    song
    crazy heart
    avatar
    nine
    THE HORRIBLE SURPRISE: anything from the frog princess
    supporting actor
    inglorious basterds
    invictus
    the lovely bones
    the messenger
    the last station
    THE SURPRISE: an education
    supporting actress
    precious
    up in the air
    up in the air
    a single man
    nine
    THE SURPRISE: crazy heart, THE RIDICULOUS SURPRISE: avatar
    foreign film
    the white ribbon
    a prophet
    THE SURPRISE: Haneke not winning
    sound mixing
    THE SURPRISE: Avatar not winning
    sound editing
    THE SURPRISE: Avatar not winning
    makeup
    star treck or
    district 9
    young victoria
    THE SURPRISE: no surprise
    visual effects
    avatar
    star treck
    district 9
    THE SURPRISE: no surprise

  6. anghus says:

    my favorite part of that post:
    THE SURPRISE: no surprise.
    Is that really surprising?
    And District 9 for best picture?
    seriously? i liked it, but best picture material?

  7. Rob says:

    Can someone do some research and tell me how many films have won both the DGA and PGA and still lost the Best Picture Oscar?

  8. Rob says:

    Can someone do some research and tell me how many films have won both the DGA and PGA and still lost the Best Picture Oscar?

  9. Rob says:

    Okay, just checked Wikipedia. Looks like Brokeback Mountain is the only one. (And sorry about the double post.)

  10. Hallick says:

    “And District 9 for best picture?
    seriously? i liked it, but best picture material?”
    I’d go for that. It was just as satisfying as Hurt Locker, with masterful (and delightful) shifts in tone from deadpan mockumentary to dramatic horror to full-tilt action and back again.
    And Sharlto Copley deserves consideration as much as most of the likely Best Actor nominees have gotten.

  11. yancyskancy says:

    leah wrote: “can you imagine a male director having his appearance commented on so often when the spotlight belongs on his work/achievement?”
    No, simply because the ranks of male directors don’t tend to be studded with studs. But I suspect if a really hot guy was up for directing awards, there’d be comments about it at the ceremonies.
    Bigelow’s good looks are a rarity in her field, and people appreciate beauty. Hence, they draw comments and compliments. That doesn’t strike me as sexist in and of itself, though I haven’t heard or read the specific comments.

  12. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Peter Jackson’s infamous purple shirt comes to mind, but I agree that the emphasis definitely should have been on her work.

  13. Sam says:

    Perhaps one reason why the conversation doesn’t center on her work as much is because nobody’s SEEN the work.
    I’m not adding anything to the conversation by saying it was poorly marketed, but seriously. It’s mind-boggling that such a suspenseful hard-hitting guy movie didn’t land closer to $80m. It’s not like this was some pretentious art film or some Hollywood liberal’s soapbox.
    But maybe it’s that the word “Iraq” attached to a movie creates those expectations. The reason is probably obvious: stuff like Lions For Lambs and Redacted were exactly those sorts of things.
    But I also wonder if all these Iraq movies are out of step with history. The only war I can think of in U.S. history where the movies about them came so soon was World War II — but that was a war that the American public overwhelmingly believed in. And movies like Mrs. Miniver, 49th Parallel, Destination Tokyo, So Proudly We Hail, The Story of G.I. Joe, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, and even war-related films of other genres like Lifeboat and To Be Or Not To Be — all these, made before the war was even over, were revelling cries championing the war effort and our soldiers.
    Less popular wars have had to wait a decade or so before movies got made about them, and certainly before said movies were successful. All Quiet On the Western Front wasn’t until 1930. The Deer Hunter and Platoon weren’t until 1978 and 1985. Even the Gulf War, which was pretty well supported as wars go, had to wait until 1999 to get its Three Kings.
    So I wonder if a lot of the problem is that we’re not ready for Iraq war movies, even if they’re good, and won’t be for a few more years. The fact that we got Iraq movies thrown at us prematurely — and bad ones, at that — may ultimately mean it’ll take longer before people want to see them.
    The unfortunate thing is that a real masterpiece like The Hurt Locker was thrown out with the bathwater. Its awards success is therefore all the more welcome and will ensure that it won’t be forgotten in the future. If it wins Best Picture at the Oscars (and perhaps even if it doesn’t, in light of its other awards), it’ll mean people will discover it later, when they’re ready to.

  14. jennab says:

    Oh, boy…let the flame-throwing begin.
    So, I guess I’m the only one who was slightly underwhelmed by Hurt Locker. Saw it VOD…with very high expectations that were not met.
    (If you saw it coming out of Toronto, or wherever it debuted, with no context, the impact of “discovery” probably made it much more powerful.)
    When Renner’s character comes rolling into town, oh man, is this rogue bad ass going to cause trouble. Only…he doesn’t. He’s too good to be true. Really, a bomb squad tech with a heart of gold who APOLOGIZES to the towel-head (I’m Iranian, btw) with a bomb strapped to his chest…the type of explosive that has probably killed several of his comrades in combat…? Did NOT ring true.
    Yes, defusing bombs is inherently suspenseful, but…for me…I kept waiting for the story to get started. As a character study, it was much more satisfying, except…see above.
    And…the whole thing looked like an episode of “24.” I know, I know!! Listen, there is always a diversity of opinion around art, and I simply did not connect with HL. So sue me.
    Happy Bigelow won as “first woman,” but have a hard time believing…without even having seen Avatar…that she deserved it over Cameron.

  15. Eric says:

    Jenna, I’m with you. I’ve loved Bigelow for a long time (especially Strange Days) but was unexpectedly underwhelmed by Hurt Locker.
    SPOILER WARNING FOR HURT LOCKER
    It just didn’t have the suspense I expected because I never really thought they’d kill Renner. And I was right. So the movie didn’t really work for me as an action / suspense thriller.
    And as a character piece I was unconvinced too. It was just too on-the-nose to start the movie with the “War is a drug” thing, but every character beat after that felt like it was beaten to death. None of the other characters were as interesting– they put up with a lot more than I believed they would, probably for the necessary plot mechanics.
    HURT LOCKER SPOILERS OVER
    I’m happy to see Bigelow get all the attention but the movie just didn’t grip me. But if it means she gets to make more movies, then all for the better.

  16. leahnz says:

    jennab, i also feel your pain on this one. OVER-HYPING of movies is the curse of the internet. imagine if you’d gone into ‘the locker’ cold, not expecting anything or having heard what a ‘masterpiece’ it is, expecting nothing in particular, how different your reaction to it might have been (or not, perhaps, but you get my meaning). even great movies rarely can live up to their hype. over-hyping is the devil.
    “No, simply because the ranks of male directors don’t tend to be studded with studs. But I suspect if a really hot guy was up for directing awards, there’d be comments about it at the ceremonies.
    Bigelow’s good looks are a rarity in her field, and people appreciate beauty. Hence, they draw comments and compliments. That doesn’t strike me as sexist in and of itself, though I haven’t heard or read the specific comments.”
    well, i very much disagree yancy, the double standard is glaring. had a great-looking older male director won, i would bet the farm not a SINGLE one of the male presenters/commentators would have quipped about his looks instead his achievement, and certainly not to the degree kathryn was subjected to it.
    in general men don’t tend to comment lecherously on the appearance of other men, and they certainly don’t dwell on it. the sad fact is, many men probably don’t even understand how this is demeaning to kathryn. she won a prestigious award for working her bloody ass off to see her vision realised, and when recognition comes, instead of the focus being on her work all the men could do was talk about how she looks. this is the very definition of objectification. i mean, really, i actually wonder if in some fucked-up way kath’s looks actually helped her to win, men are that easily stymied by beauty accompanying ability. i suspect kath was slightly horrified by the focus on her looks rather than her achievement last night.
    you said, ‘people appreciate beauty'; yes, but that really isn’t the issue here. the issue is the ‘male gaze’ and the objectification of women as lynch pins of the patriarchal paradigm, some of which is at play here: 1) valuing women first and foremost for their pleasing appearance; 2) commenting on the appearance of women as a male ‘right’ (one would have to be blind not to get that kath is obviously a damn fine specimen of womanhood, there is no need to dwell on it); and 3) the misguided belief that commenting on a woman’s looks rather than her achievement is ‘harmless’ and complementary instead of simply demeaning.
    hey there’s nothing wrong with complimenting a woman on her beauty and it’s nice to hear in the right context, but really, good looks are just an accident of nature not some great achievement, and when the focus in regards to judging women is so often on the outside rather than the inside, it’s a problem. kathryn knows she’s a looker, she has eyeballs, but i guarantee you that isn’t what she hoped would be the focus of her DGA win.

  17. Oh boohoo, people are talking about how HOT and SEXY a 58-year-old woman is. Jesus bloody christ, somebody call the police.
    FFS you guys. She’s a sexy woman in a field that that, let’s be honest, doesn’t usually produce anybody that could described as such. People just think she’s sexy. How often does a 58-year-old women get that compliment.
    When has the word EVER stood on its own, at least for women. So, really, get over it and get on board. Kathryn Bigelow is a foxy woman. Besides, Lee Daniels’ comments were funny.

  18. yancyskancy says:

    Again, I haven’t seen or read anything about the DGA ceremony except in this thread, so I can’t speak to specifics. But hey, at least she won the thing — I think that suggests a pretty high level of respect right there. Award show banter is always quip-heavy, and Bigelow’s looks are an obvious hook.

  19. leahnz says:

    it is an obvious hook, that’s true, too obvious, i think that’s why it irked me (and others i know). i have no probs with a 58 yr old chick being on the end of sexy time, good on her, it was just a bit creepy in the context of a prestigious ceremony, the first woman ever to win and i felt a little bit embarrassed for kathryn but she’s probably still laughing her ass off and downing the dom with her ‘partner’ mark

  20. Eldrick says:

    oh dear, the pc cops are out again in force. cant even tell a female she is hot anymore. then when you stop doing that ,thy lose their confidence? damned if u do, damned if u dont.

  21. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Or… you could compliment her appearance and then move on to focusing on the work for which she has been nominated. You don’t have to go to extremes.
    I’d claim “perspective” but then I’d have to pay DP a royalty.
    …oh damn…

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