Movieline Justice Dept.: Suggested Punishments For The Hurt Locker's Oscar Campaign Violations

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As the red-carpeted terminus of the Road to Oscar comes into view, the terrain becomes far more treacherous, the journey more fraught with mortal peril. At this critical time, voters must be on high alert for campaign treachery, lest they be unfairly swayed by the unscrupulous tricks of the desperate; while those friendly seeming, pan-handling Na'Vi warriors loitering in front of the Kodak Theater might draw Academy Members close with the promise of a cheap Polaroid memento, they'll instead deliver a whispered reminder that the "silly little Iraq movie" made only $12 million domestic, a withering insinuation that the film's steel-nerved heroes couldn't defuse a poopy diaper while wearing a full-body blast suit.

And so, in the heat of this jittery, pivotal moment in the Oscar season, The Hurt Locker producer's Nicolas Chartier's illegal campaign e-mail, in which he urged voters to support his Best Picture candidate at the expense of chief rival Avatar, is being regarded like a string of pipe bombs left on the Academy's doorstep, with the expected, competitor-fueled outcry demanding the head of the offender. Though the apologies have already been proffered to those who might've been swayed by the ill-advised missive (or missives, oops!), official punishment for doing in a clumsier, stupider way what everyone else with a horse in the race already does is still forthcoming. In the interest of putting this all behind us so that we can all get back to the important business of celebrating the underappreciated millionaires toiling in the obscurity of history's most glamorous industry, Movieline would like to suggest a range of possible penalties for The Hurt Locker team.

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Death By Jimbo

As Avatar was the competitor most directly harmed by Chartier's rules-flauting e-mail (Oh,how many tears were shed after not only seeing the inaccurate $500 million budget number co-opted as a campaign weapon, but sneered at as a sign of awards unworthniess!), the producer needs to make amends to the two-time box office King of the World himself. Chartier should submit to wearing one of James Cameron's head-mounted, proprietary emotion-capture cameras to the Oscar ceremony, so that in the event of a spiritually devastating loss to Team Pandora, Cameron can digitize his foe's agony, which he can then replay on a giant screen above his desk in an endless loop.

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Inglourious Penance

With Inglourious Basterds recently gaining estimable, completely Weinstein-generated momentum over the past couple of weeks, The Hurt Locker's verboten tactics may have scalped Quentin Tarantino's Best Picture chances, and so Chartier should be compelled to serve as Harvey Weinstein's campaign assistant for a day. After 24 hours of having angrily hurled Blackberrys ricocheting off his skull, enduring withering diatribes about the inadequacy of his manhood, and driving the getaway car following the brutal kneecapping of Oscar voters who are "too blinded by those blue dragon-diddlers to understand our modest little Holocaust drama," Chartier's debt to the Weinstein Company should be repaid in full.

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