Leading article: Just rewards

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The Independent Online

In James Cameron's Avatar and Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, this year's Bafta judges had a choice between two films that transport audiences to a different world. In Cameron's case it is to a fantasy land of spectacular computer-generated imagery. In Bigelow's film it is to the terrifying terrain of a bomb disposal team in Iraq. The Academy awarded the prize to Bigelow's film. And for all the technical accomplishment of Avatar, the judges made the right choice.

Unlike some war films, The Hurt Locker doesn't seek to make crude political points. Instead, it shows the stark reality of conflict from the soldier's perspective. Its exploration of the lethal addiction of combat breaks new ground. The Hurt Locker is also strikingly relevant, with troops dismantling Improvised Explosive Devices in Afghanistan today. Avatar might be the most commercially successful film of all time, but the judges recognised that The Hurt Locker is the movie of the moment.