It appears that the Oscar race has come down to a battle between Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) and James Cameron (Avatar). (Jason Reitman and Up in the Air are running a close third.) Many people have pointed out that Bigelow and Cameron were once married, for about two years, between 1989 and 1991, so it has become a battle of the sexes as well as a battle of the exes. It might be revealing, then, to revisit their one cinematic collaboration, Strange Days (1995). Cameron is credited as the writer of the original story and co-authored the screenplay with former film critic Jay Cocks, while Bigelow directed. It was an expensive film, with a budget of around $42 million, and a flop, with a U.S. gross of only about $7 million. The few people who praised the film found it to be technically and visually dazzling, though most complained that it was empty and/or conventional.