The Hurt Locker was released in Canada on July 10, 2009. The cast consists of Jeremy Renner in the lead role, and several other relative unknowns led by Brian Geraghty, Anthony Mackie and Guy Pearce. Ralph Fiennes is a face you'll recognize briefly amid a field of fatigues. Evangeline Lilly of Lost fame makes an appearance in the lead's memories. The film is directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
The setting is Iraq, and the plot follows the exploits of an elite bomb squad. Renner is the new team leader when their old leader is killed mid-project. He presents as wildly oblivious to the chaos around him, and perhaps a tad crazy. But his passion, compassion and leadership are unmistakable as the plot thickens.
The Hurt Locker is an Oscar darling, with nine nominations. It ties Avatar in popularity with the Academy, but is clearly favored based on the categories in which it appears. The films share seven categories, but Hurt grabs nominations in screenplay and acting categories which its competitor failed to pull off. Renner is wonderful, but will not likely win in a competitive Best Actor field. Most of the effects categories will be stolen by the "A-flick." I absolutely loved the directing in this movie, and would love to see Bigelow steal the prize from her ex-husband. Ironically, with all of its nominations, it is not inconceivable that the outcome may be "close but no cigar."
The Hurt Locker is absolutely among the elite in this year's contenders. It is a brilliant all-around movie with a timely story, quality acting, and great effects. It's not the typical war movie and it's well worth the watch.