Despite all the recent hype for The Hurt Locker, Chris Orr predicts that the Academy will still cave to Avatar:

For the Academy to elevate so small a picture over one so big would be wildly out of keeping both with its recent, much-discussed desire to keep the Oscars "relevant" to a mass audience, and with its lifelong prejudice in favor of films that succeed commercially. To whit: Over the past 20 years, the highest- or second-highest-grossing of the five Best Picture nominees has won 19 times. The third-highest-grossing has won once-in 1999, when American Beauty's $130 million box office narrowly trailed The Green Mile's $136 million. The fourth- and fifth-highest-grossing nominees have not won a single time in over two decades. Where does The Hurt Locker stand in this year's overcrowded field of nominees? Number eight out of ten.

Or less than one-fiftieth of Avatar's domestic gross. I have to say that so far, this has to be among the dreariest, least funny, most tired Oscars I can remember. But I guess I block most of them out after a while.

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