LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - If some old-time Hollywood hand were scripting this year’s Oscar race, he would probably turn it into a sparkling, Tracey/Hepburn-style battle of the sexes.
On one side: Kathryn Bigelow, who stepped into male terrain with “The Hurt Locker,” which not only grabbed nine nominations Tuesday but could also see her make Academy Awards history. Already, she’s just the fourth woman to be nominated for best director, and her recent DGA win makes Bigelow the favorite to also take home the directing Oscar. If that happens, she will become the first woman to ever claim that particular piece of hardware.
On the other side: James Cameron, her ex-husband. A previous best director Oscar winner for “Titanic,” his “Avatar” also powered its way to nine nominations. And he’s also a directing nominee.
But anyone looking for fireworks between the two should expect to be disappointed: They’ve been nothing but supportive of each other this awards season. Cameron was one of the first on his feet, applauding Bigelow’s win at the Critics’ Choice Awards. And she responded in kind two days later when he was called to the podium at the Golden Globes.
For other, more current couples, Tuesday’s Oscar noms were even more of a family affair.
Neill Blomkamp, who had been up till 3:30 a.m. the night before, awoke to a phone that was “going nuts.” Then his partner, Terri Tatchell — with whom he shares a brand-new Oscar nomination for writing the adapted screenplay for “District 9” — explained what was going on. Despite his own nomination, Blomkamp was much more excited for Tatchell.
“I already started a directing career,” he explained. “But she’s gone from writing her first film to getting an Oscar nomination.”
Vancouver-based Tatchell’s biggest concern was that she will be attending the Oscars and thus won’t be available to host her usual Oscar-viewing party. One of her girlfriends has agreed to handle that for her this year.
Husband-and-wife editing team Bob Murawski and Chis Innis also woke to the news that they’d earned a nomination for “The Hurt Locker.” Murawski couldn’t quite believe their good fortune to be “part of something so incredible as the Academy Awards.”
Now, if only the Academy could design his-and-her statuettes.