ROLE CALL: DISTRICT 9: OR WHY THOSE OTHER ALIENS DESERVE THE OSCAR
Only three science-fiction movies have ever been nominated for a best picture Oscar: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Star Wars (1977) and A Clockwork Orange (1971). None of them won.
This year, with 10 best picture nominations, the oft-ignored sci-fi genre actually has a shot at being recognized, but it all depends on whether the Academy members support it. In the running are two films of this nature: Avatar and District 9. Most would put money on the former walking away with the prize, considering the insane hype around the Titantic director and his billion-dollar blue people, but there’s a small chance it could be the latter.
How could a film about a bunch of crazy prawns and a sweaty bureaucrat in ill-fitting khakis — played by a cast of newcomers and directed by a twentysomething South African whose only experience had been in TV commercials — ever hope to take the coveted best picture?
War films at the Oscars have only won the best film Oscar three times – the ultra realistic Vietnam war drama Platoon (1986), the George C. Scott vehicle Patton (1970), and the film with the longest wedding scene in film history, The Deer Hunter (1978). So, with this kind of record, how much chance does The Hurt Locker, a film about bomb-disposal experts in Iraq, really have? A pretty good chance judging by the multiple awards it has won to date, including the BAFTA best film award.