Back to IndieWire

Oscar Watch: Where Are The Hurt Locker Screeners?

Oscar Watch: Where Are The Hurt Locker Screeners?

Thompson on Hollywood

At the start of the awards season, I had The Hurt Locker at the top of my top ten picks list. But right now quite a few other movies are getting more noise. That doesn’t matter in the end. Finally, the Academy voters will dig back to all the films they saw this year, especially when they don’t have time to see all the marginal indies in their DVD stack. It’s more likely that they will remember the movies that the critics pick for their top ten lists at the end of the year, or that other awards groups like the Gothams, Critics Choice or Golden Globes anoint as must-sees.

Finally, though, screeners are the best reminder. So where are those The Hurt Locker DVDs? At the New Moon party, I asked Summit’s Rob Friedman, who denied that director Kathryn Bigelow was refusing to send out screeners because she wanted people to see the film on the big screen. (Ideally, that’s where it should be seen; it’s still playing in NY and LA.) Summit will send Academy screeners soon; they’ve already gone to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

This Article is related to: Uncategorized and tagged , , , ,


John M

Actually, Ryan Sartor, I apologize for my tone, especially that needless jab at the end. I just felt compelled to defend a movie I thought was very good, and sadly overlooked–we moviegoers, we do get passionate, don’t we? Sorry about the escalation…I do hope you give Hurt Locker another try!


come on, most academy screeners don’t go out until after thanksgiving. what a ridiculous non story

Ryan Sartor

Thanks, John M

John M

Yeah, boy, Ryan Sartor, this plus a few other comments I’ve read from you on this site suggest maybe you’re not firing on all pistons. That was not a “triumphant” return to war–as hinted at in the title card at the beginning of the movie, the soldier returns to war because he’s tragically addicted to war.

Also, just because a film’s episodic doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a “story.” Ease off that copy of Robert McKee for a second, ‘kay?

Maybe you didn’t like the movie because you didn’t understand it at all?

Jan Lisa Huttner

Thank you, Anne!!! I’ve also been raising the red flag this week about the screener problem. As a member of the Chicago Film Critics Assoc, I’ve been inundated every year, but this year–barely a trickle. Yes, yes, the economic woes are real, but I’ve been especially worried about how this might impact high profile films by women directors like THE HURT LOCKER as well as BRIGHT STAR and AN EDUCATION. Yes, ideally, these should all be seen on the big screen, but life is short & sometimes we all have to scramble to catch up, so please, please, keep pushing! All best, Jan


The academy members should see the film in theaters. There’s tons of screenings open for them, at good times, with great sound, free parking and open seats.

Better on the Big Screen

This is a tense and thrilling film that is best seen and heard in a movie theater for maximum impact. Academy members would be advised to try to get out of the house and catch a scheduled screening rather than to just wait for the DVD on this one. It’ll be worth their time!

Joey Berlin

Been wondering this myself. Thanks for the info.


Triumphant Return? I don’t know what film you were watching, but the scenes with our protagonist back in the US are maybe the most tense and painful in the entire film.


Ryan, if you think that’s all the film was, you didn’t get it at all.

Ryan Sartor

The Hurt Locker, while well-acted and based on an interesting concept, was a film without a story. It was just a series of bomb defusion sequences followed by (spoiler alert) the soldier’s triumphant return to battle with ABSURD heavy metal rock music on the soundtrack. I could see Anthony Mackie’s performance getting a nomination, but I don’t think the film itself is anything special, and I think that Ms. Bigelow’s attempt to take an apolitical stance just came across as pro-war by default.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *