Entertainment – “Avatar” lands on list of directors’ top films
LOS ANGELES: The Directors Guild of America unveiled nominees for its film awards on Thursday, pitting James Cameron and his box office hit Hollywood showcase 3D sci fi epic Avatar
Premiere of James Cameron’s movie ‘Avatar’ in Mumbai
“Avatar” against his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow and her war film “The Hurt Locker,” among others.
Joining them on the list of five nominees for 2009’s best film director are Jason Reitman and his tale of mid-life crisis “Up in the Air,” Lee Daniels and the dark drama “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” and Quentin Tarantino for his World War Two fantasy “Inglourious Basterds.”
Awards from the Directors Guild, or DGA, which represents U.S. makers of film and television shows, are considered a key indicator of movies that will compete for Oscars, Hollywood’s top honors.
In all but six years since the industry group began handing out film awards in 1948, the winner has gone on to take home the best director Oscar, and very often that filmmaker’s movie also has claimed the best picture Academy Award.
This year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which gives away the Oscars, will name 10 nominees for best movie, so the DGA honors have taken on an even greater role for Hollywood watchers in helping narrow the list of contenders.
Among early awards from film critics, “Up in the Air,” “Precious” and “The Hurt Locker” all have figured prominently, and “Basterds” also has turned in a strong showing.
“Avatar” debuted in theaters only in mid-December, and since then it has wowed critics, Hollywood and moviegoers with its technical mastery and blend of real-life actors and animation, in a science-fiction action movie.
Its global box office has topped $1 billion, and given its success in theaters and with critics and industry players, some Hollywood watchers think the movie from “Titanic” director Cameron is now the one to beat for the best picture Oscar.
The DGA gives out its honors on Jan. 30 in Los Angeles.
Cameron was married to Bigelow from 1989 until they divorced in 1991.
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