Frankly, I'm thrilled. Not that I necessarily think it will win Best Picture (right now it's definitely moving into position to win Best Director), but the love for this film tells me one important thing: we're ready to talk about Iraq in film. As I said in my original Daily Gamecock review, The Hurt Locker is an important and necessary step forward for "Hollywood's Iraq" - the way we've been portraying the war and the soldiers in film up to now has been largely disgraceful. Flat, one-dimensional propaganda. Awful stuff. Now, regardless of whether it's "the best film of 2009" (I don't think it is), we have a (female) director making a serious(ly suspenseful) film about the people on the front lines. It's an arching and personal story of soldiers trying to do a job. It's thrilling, it's visceral, its construction is absolutely stunning.
But it takes the war and it focuses it down to an apolitical consideration of how people respond to these life-threatening situations. For that, it's an important film for the country, especially as we struggle with negotiating the troop surges/withdrawals in Afghanistan.
Plus, with a blizzard pelting Roanoke, it looks like I won't be seeing Avatar until early next week. Might I remind that an ex-Hollywood couple are both making war epics - one in Iraq and one on Pandora?