By: Erik Childress

Up In The Air
got off to a great launch this awards season, but today we have been given a new front runner. Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker has taken top honors from Boston and now the Los Angeles Film Critics. The only film on their list to win multiple awards - a whole two - the Iraq War thriller about bomb-defusing soldiers is now up 11 awards to Up In The Air's and the fast-approaching Inglourious Basterds' 8. Sure, Los Angeles' choice for Best Film hasn't won the Academy Award since 1993's Schindler's List, but we weren't exactly talking about THAT kind of front-runner.

The L.A. critics have a history of choosing a film with a lot of early awards chatter only to wind up being the second choice, if you will, come Oscar time. Recent selections include Sideways, Brokeback Mountain and There Will Be Blood. This still puts The Hurt Locker in the very respectable 70th percentile for a nomination, something the leader in total awards never seems to fail in.