Hurt Locker in final sprint to win Oscar race
Published: 6th Mar 2010 18:37:23
The final countdown to the 2010 Oscars has begun, with The Hurt Locker and Avatar going head-to-head for the coveted best picture award.
James Cameron's 3D sci-fi juggernaut, which has taken more than $2bn (£1.32bn) at the box office, had looked like a clear favourite in the early part of the year.
But his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq bomb disposal drama is now being tipped in Tinseltown to take the prize.
If it wins, it will be the lowest-grossing best picture winner in Oscars history with earnings of around $15m (£9.9m).
Both films lead the way at the 82nd Academy Awards with nine nominations each.
But with 10 films in the running for best picture and a change in the voting system, the way is still open for a major Oscar upset.
Quentin Tarantino's eight times nominated World War II fantasy Inglourious Basterds could benefit from a split vote.
Cameron and Bigelow also go against each other in the best director category with Bigelow heavily tipped to win.
Industry paper The Hollywood Reporter on Friday predicted wins for Bigelow for both best picture and director.
If Bigelow is named best director she would be first female to win - only four women have ever been nominated.
Jeff Bridges is widely expected to take best actor for Crazy Heart.
The 60-year-old has swept the awards season this year, winning Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards for his portrayal of an alcoholic country singer.
British hopes in the acting categories include Colin Firth, Dame Helen Mirren and Carey Mulligan.
Firth, up against Bridges for his Bafta-winning performance in A Single Man told the BBC he did not expect to be making an Oscar speech.
"I'm not sure I'll get the chance. I think I might have peaked," he admitted at the Independent Spirit Awards on Friday.
Likewise, Sandra Bullock is expected to win best actress for American football drama The Blind Side.
But she has close competition from Meryl Streep, whose role in Julie and Julia has earned her a record 16th Oscar nomination.
She is also up against Carey Mulligan, whose Bafta win for An Education raised her profile in the final few days of voting.
'Christmas for movies'
Meanwhile Dame Helen Mirren, nominated for The Last Station, told the BBC she was not too nervous ahead of the big night.
"The first time is so frightening and intimidating, but once you've done it once you know the nature of the beast," she said. "But they do it incredibly well here in America. It is the great celebration of film - it's like Christmas for movies."
The best supporting actor and actress awards seem to be already in the bag for Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) and Mo'Nique (Precious).
All of which leaves stop motion animation heroes Wallace and Gromit as one of Britain's best hopes of taking home an Oscar.
Nick Park, nominated in the short animated film category for A Matter Of Loaf And Death, is in line to win his fifth golden statuette.
He said: "What's really difficult is I've read that Wallace and Gomit is favourite but you can't afford in yourself to get too confident, and you've got to imagine things not working out so you enjoy the evening.
"But obviously with four already, I won't be that disappointed."
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. Hurt Locker in final sprint to win Oscar race [Online] (Updated 6th Mar 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/42462/Hurt-Locker-in-final-sprint-to-win-Oscar-race [Accessed 18th Apr 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com