The Hurt Locker won Best Picture and Best Director at tonight’s Oscars without winning any acting or major craft honors — a pretty rare achievement.
In the 25 years between Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and Out of Africa (1985), only The Hurt Locker and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) has won Best Picture without an acting or a cinematography award.
Million Dollar Baby (2004) was the last movie to take the top prize without a screenplay award, though it took the Best Actress award, and Clint Eastwood was named Best Director for it. Driving Miss Daisy won Best Picture with a Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay award, though without winning the directing award, in 1990.
Gladiator was the best picture of 2000 without either a Best Director (Ridley Scott) or a Best Screenplay Award. (Almost Famous beat it in the Best Original Screenplay category.)
The acting winners were all expected: Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart, Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side, Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds, and Mo’nique for Precious.
But the Precious Best Adapted Screenplay win was a shock to many (including us, who had strongly suspected Up In The Air to win).
Runnin’ Scared was also surprised by the winners of Best Costume Design (The Young Victoria), Best Documentary Short (Music by Prudence), Film Editing (The Hurt Locker), Best Foreign Language Film (The Secret in Their Eyes), Best Animated Short (Logorama), Best Live Action Short (The New Tenants), Best Sound Mixing (The Hurt Locker) and Best Sound Editing (The Hurt Locker).
We correctly predicted the acting and directing winners, Best Animated Feature Film (Up), Best Original Score (Up), Art Direction (Avatar), Cinematography (Avatar), Documentary Feature (The Cove), Makeup (Star Trek), Best Original Score (Up), Best Song (“The Weary Kind,” Crazy Heart) and Visual Effects (Avatar) winners.
Which means we picked 14 out of 24 categories — a massive defeat compared to our 19 successful picks last year. We would plead ignorance, but ignorance was our method both years, so we will just plead bad luck.
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