From Steve Pond at The Wrap:Although “Avatar” won awards for Visual Effects, Art Direction and Cinematography, “Locker” was clearly the film of the night. It seemed clear that the Academy liked the little movie better than the big one.
How did the $21 million (and that’s worldwide) “Hurt Locker” do it?
A few keys:
1. It had a release date that allowed the film to stand out.
2. For months, it remained in the comfortable position of a longshot, not a frontrunner.
3. As other movies fell away, it was primed to move up.
4. The critics took the lead.
5. It established itself as the prime alternative to the populist sentiment of the season.
6. It had an irresistible storyline. The battle of the exes? The first woman to win Best Director? Nobody could turn away from those narratives.
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