Why ‘The Hurt Locker’ is Hurtin’

Nicole LaPorte of The Daily Beast has a nice rundown of how “Hurt Locker” went from being a considered a shoe-in for “Best Picture” at the Oscars, to the mean, red-headed stepchild of the Academy.

It all started last week when the film’s financier Nicolas Chartier sent a series of inappropriate emails to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members, bashing Avatar. Things immediately went downhill from there.

Chartier’s emails — which were first reported by Los Angeles Times Oscar blogger Pete Hammond, and which are a violation of Academy rules — was just the first scandal for Hurt Locker, which until now, was enjoying a near-perfect run. To this point, Bigelow, who is expected to be the first woman to win a Best Director Oscar, is the belle of the Hollywood ball. Her movie is regarded as the deserving David facing a Goliath (Cameron), who has already had his share of Oscar spoils.

On Friday, another blow came in the form of a front-page Los Angeles Times story — “The Hurt Locker Sets Off Conflict” — saying that several soldiers and Army veterans found the film an inaccurate representation of combat, and that the U.S. government had pulled its funding of the film after seeing the script.

Yet, notes LaPorte, Hurt Locker was released last summer. Why did the L.A. Times wait until a week before the Oscars to run a story about the film’s accuracy? Smear campaign perhaps?

Read the rest of LaPonte’s analysis at The Daily Beast.