ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — This could be the year New Mexico shines at the Academy Awards. If the Las Vegas oddsmakers are right, it looks like New Mexicoconnected films are paying pretty low odds, which is good news. The Oscars will air at 7 tonight on KOAT-TV, Channel 7.
The biggest star to come out of New Mexico in this year’s Academy Awards has to be Ryan Bingham, whose song “The Weary Kind” is nominated in the Original Song category.
It already won a Best Original Song Golden Globe award, and the oddsmakers at www.bwin.com have the song paying almost even money in a solid 1.09:1 bet.
I do have a beef with CMT, the network that claims to be all-things country music, when it says he’s from Texas in its online biography. Bingham is actually from Hobbs, and though he did play guitar in bars in nearby Stephenville, Texas, he learned rodeo and played guitar in Hobbs, as well.
“The Weary Kind” is from the film “Crazy Heart,” which was filmed in Santa Fe last year. The film follows Bad Blake, a washed-up, overweight country singer with bad breath and a drinking problem who, as a friend said, would in real life be one of Santa Fe’s most eligible bachelors, and not just because he’s is played by Jeff Bridges.
Bridges is up for a Best Actor award, and he, too, is seeing good odds, with Vegas paying 1.12-1.
For those keeping score, Sandra Bullock is paying 1.6:1 for her role in “The Blind Side,” which the Journal’s sports department said is one of the best football movies since “Rudy.”
Many in Santa Fe are hoping for “The Hurt Locker” to pull off an upset of the juggernaut “Avatar.” Though “The Hurt Locker” wasn’t filmed here, the movie’s producer Tony Mark has lived in Santa Fe for 25 years.
“The Hurt Locker” is one of 10 films nominated for the Best Picture award, and it’s up against some stiff competition, including “Avatar” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds.” But “The Hurt Locker,” which is an independent film made for only about $10 million, is so far in the lead, at least according to Las Vegas oddsmakers, and pays 1.75:1. “Avatar” is at 1.95:1. They’re the only two that look to have a serious shot at winning the Oscar. A betting man, though, might want to put some money on Peter Jackson’s “District 9,” which is paying 101:1.
A good determiner for winning the Best Picture award is the Best Director award, and “The Hurt Locker’s” Kathryn Bigelow is the clear favorite to win and to blow her ex-husband James Cameron out of his blue universe for “Locker.”
Several in New Mexico are also pulling for Colin Firth to win the Best Actor award because his film “A Single Man” was directed by Tom Ford, who grew up in Santa Fe and who still owns the Ford Ranch in town. Oddsmakers, however, have him listed at a long shot 15:1 bet.
And, that other little film partly made in New Mexico, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is nominated for an Oscar in the Best Sound Mixing category. The bigger news, though, is that “Transformers” was nominated for a record six Razzie awards, which recognize the worst in cinema.
Don’t sit at home munching popcorn and dissing the dresses on your own. Instead, come out to the Albuquerque Little Theatre tonight, starting at 5 p.m. An awards ceremony will honor several New Mexico pioneers of film with the first Luminaria Awards, including former Gov. David Cargo, producer Alton Walpole, actor Luce Rains, producer Elizabeth Gabel, set director Michael Flowers and actress Lora Cunningham.
But the show is more than just a giant TV screen to watch the Oscars. A big dance production, featuring 25 dancers, will perform a scene from the musical “Nine,” and drag troupe The Dolls will come costumed as their favorite movie stars.
Tickets to the party are $6 at the door. A cash bar and snacks will be available downstairs, and a cash bar and snacks will be available in the upstairs cantina, where a TV will also be set up for viewing the Oscars.
ALT is at 224 San Pasquale NW. For more information, visit AlbuquerqueLittleTheatre.org or call 242-4750. Oh, and it’s hosted by me.