"Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker" are tied for the most Oscar nominations (nine), which suggests what we pundits already knew: that the battle over best picture is between those two. Over the last 20 years, the movie with the most Academy Award nominations has won best picture 15 times.
It's a classic David versus Goliath fight, pitting the most successful movie in world history ($2 billion at the box office) against a little indie that, arguably, lost money. ("The Hurt Locker" cost $11 million to produce. It grossed $16 million worldwide, but how much of that was net? Now tack on marketing costs.) Both films received hosanna reviews from critics.
Oh, yeah: This smackdown also pits Goliath (director James Cameron) against former Mrs. Goliath (Kathryn Bigelow). A perfect made-in-Hollywood drama!