Avatar director James Cameron is really campaigning heavily for his film to win the top prize at next month's Oscar ceremonies, going to so far, I'm being told by industry insiders, to say "Sure, go ahead and give my ex-wife (The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow) the Oscar for best director, just give me the award for best picture." This on the heels of reports from those same insiders who are saying that if any film has a chance to pull a Shakespeare in Love-type upset of The Hurt Locker it will be Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, if for no other reason than voters are thinking Tarentino's time is due and he's got the Weinsteins going to bat for him. The other thing going for Basterds is it won the SAG ensemble award and actors make up the largest segment of the Academy's voting members. But there is no way of knowing the percentage Basterds had over Locker in that voting.
I'm still giving The Hurt Locker the edge. When was the last time a picture won the top award without a single nomination in any of the acting or writing categories? That would seem to eliminate Avatar. And there just seems, for some reason, to be a lot more love for Basterds now than there was when it was originally released, leaving me to believe that all this love is really manufactured.