I can see the folks in the Summit offices right now, patting themselves on the back for picking up The Hurt Locker and now watching as it picks up Best Feature and Best Ensemble Performance awards at the 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards. They can celebrate the fact they hardly distributed the film into a grand total of 535 theaters and didn't market the film as it managed to make $1.2 million less than their loathed 3-D animated film Fly Me to the Moon. After all, they're floating around over there on a river of Twilight cash, a film series that can't manage to win over critics who would much rather praise a fan favorite feature than pan it. But who cares? Hot Topic is stocked with a battle of t-shirts pitting Team Edward vs. Team Jacob and now the company can claim ownership of Venice Film Festival Gucci Prize winner, critical favorite and now a double winner at the Gotham Awards.
Where it goes from here is unknown, but it obviously hasn't been forgotten after Summit buried it in June. When I asked director Kathryn Bigelow about the release date decision rather than releasing it late 2008 for an Oscar push she replied, "Yeah, I was thinking that would be a pretty viable course of action, but on the other hand, this might be perhaps a better approach because it kind of singularizes it."
Obviously being diplomatic Bigelow didn't get too involved at the time, and the film has been singularized... at least for now. The Gotham Awards aren't any kind of major Oscar indicator, but it's nice to see the film hasn't been forgotten. It will be interesting to see where things go from here.
- The Hurt Locker - Kathryn Bigelow, director; Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, Greg Shapiro, producers (Summit Entertainment)
- Food, Inc. - Robert Kenner, director; Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein, producers (Magnolia Pictures)
Best Ensemble Performance
- The Hurt Locker - Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, David Morse, Evangeline Lilly
- Robert Siegel for Big Fan
- Catalina Saavedra in The Maid
Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You
- You Won’t Miss Me; Ry Russo-Young, director/producer
You can check out the list of the nominees right here.