Every year it seems like the Oscars are becoming less like a night of industry recognition and more like a presidential election with the amount of campaigning and political B.S. that goes into winning an Academy Award. In the past decade we have even started to see thinly-veiled smear campaigns attempting to sway voters away from the competition, and this week Best Picture frontrunner Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker has been getting slammed from all sides.
The first bit of controversy emerged when the film’s producer Nicolas Chartier reportedly committed a major no-no by sending out an e-mail to rally support for the film, urging voters to honour The Hurt Locker and not “a 500-million-dollar film”. This is obviously forbidden by the Academy, and he has since sent out an apology claiming ignorance as a first-time nominee. There may, however, still be repercussions, at least for Chartier, as some are saying his tickets to the ceremony may be withheld or that he may not be given membership to the Academy if they do win.
If that wasn’t enough, now suddenly some military representatives are coming forward to question the film’s authenticity and call it disrespectful. So why are they speaking up now, just a week before the Oscars? And should this even matter? It all seems a bit suspicious to me, but in the end, most people are saying this won’t realistically affect its chances since a large majority of voters have already sent in their ballots. If you’re still unsure, let me just remind you that the cast members of Jersey Shore just starred in an online parody of The Hurt Locker. If that doesn’t scream shoo-in, I don’t know what does!
Update: Nicolas Chartier was banned from the Oscar ceremony, but the movie will not be disqualified.