Oscar liveblog: 'The Hurt Locker' does the improbable
8:59 pm: It may have been over in the blink of an eye, as Tom Hanks announced the best picture winner seemingly seconds after Kathryn Bigelow finished accepting her historic best director prize. But this is one of the longest odysseys for a best picture winner in the history of the Academy Awards.
First it was years before the film's production got off the ground. And even when it first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival back in 2008, the back-and-forth negotiations between Summit, producers and other distributors were almost an entangled as a Middle East diplomacy mission. (Summit offered close to $2 million, the filmmakers said no and tested the market, then came back and took a little over $1 million.)
It didn't exactly go into overdrive from there. The plan was first for a 2008 awards campaign, which was then scuttled in favor of a June '09 limited release. And even then it took months before critics, and then the guilds, came around. As it is, it's the lowest-grossing best-picture in the modern era (somewhat ironic given the Academy's expansion to ten slots to include more commercial films) but we have a feeling Summit and the filmmakers don't exactly care right now.
Speaking of the podium, Greg Shapiro gives the shout-out to Nicolas Chartier -- whose email, misguided as it was, proved prescient - watching somewhere in Malibu, as Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal and the actors all celebrate onstage. We'll have more from them and the winning lead actors backstage when they get here.
Photo: Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal and the cast of "The Hurt Locker." Credit: AP/Mark J. Terrill