The Hurt Locker is the first Best Picture winner directed by a woman. The 2009 Academy Awards ceremony was dubbed the “Battle of the exes” between James Cameron and his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow. Although I was rooting for Avatar since I’d already seen it in theaters, I appreciated the milestone of Kathryn Bigelow winning Best Director. Bigelow won because she’s a great filmmaker who makes movies that speak to anyone regardless of gender. The Hurt Locker is the most masterfully crafted film about the Iraq War. The third major American war to win Best Picture.
Best Original Screenplay winner Mark Boal drew from his own experience as a journalist alongside a bomb disposal unit. The Hurt Locker doesn’t give a political slant to the controversial war, it just tells a gripping story with as much realism as possible. I was on edge every time a complex bomb was being defused or set off in the Middle Eastern terran. Bigelow got dangerously close to actual battlefields and makes you as anxious as the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit. It’s a dangerous job that can take a toll on a person since they’re not always able to save everyone.
Conflicting ideologies are seen when the EOD receives a new team leader. Jeremy Renner is the thrill seeking wild man First Class Sergeant William James and Anthony Mackie is the by the book war-weary Sergeant J. T. Sanborn. Specialist Owen Eldridge is caught in the middle of their feud that eventually finds common ground. The sad truth is that some men want to leave and others find civilian life to be the true struggle. The Hurt Locker is also unique for containing many future MCU actors. The first bomb disposal leader is Aldrich Killian, Hawkeye works with Falcon, and Hawkeye’s ex-wife ends up being the Wasp. The Hurt Locker left an impact on both the Iraq War and the entire film industry.