Oscar triumph for Bigelow and The Hurt Locker
Iraq war film takes six awards including best picture: now will people go to see it?
She did it. Kathryn Bigelow is the first woman ever to win the Oscar for best director. Opening the envelope, Barbra Streisand said: "It's about time". And Bigelow's triumph didn't stop there: her $11m film The Hurt Locker went on to win best picture, making a total of six awards on the night, easily beating her ex-husband James Cameron's $300m blockbuster Avatar, which managed only three technical awards.
"It's the moment of a lifetime," said Bigelow, only the fifth woman director to be nominated in the history of the Academy Awards. She praised her fellow nominees "who have inspired me for decades", and paid tribute to those in the US army serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, where her film about a bomb disposal squad was set.
She and her fellow producers will be hoping their Oscar triumph gives the film a boost at the box office: it has taken only $15m so far, making it the lowest-grossing film ever to win best picture.
It became clear early in the evening's ceremony at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles that this was to be The Hurt Locker's night when it won best screenplay and best editing.
It also became clear that this would be an Oscars ceremony just as memorable for who didn't win as who did.
All the acting awards went to the favourites. Jeff Bridges took best actor for his depiction of an over-the-hill country singer in Crazy Heart and Sandra Bullock won best actress for her role as a Palin-esque football mom in The Blind Side.
Christoph Waltz won best supporting actor for his role as a diabolical SS officer in Inglourious Basterds, and Mo'Nique won best supporting actress for her role in Precious.
This meant there was nothing for Up in the Air, which before the awards season began was a heavy favourite. Instead director Jason Reitman and actors George Clooney, Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga came away empty-handed.
It was not a great for Brits, either. Colin Firth, who won the Bafta for his role in Tom Ford's debut A Single Man, didn't stand a chance against Jeff Bridges, while newcomer Carey Mulligan (An Education) and veteran Helen Mirren (The Last Station) both lost out to Bullock.
THE MAJOR AWARDS:
Best picture: The Hurt Locker
Best director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Best actor: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Best actress: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Best supporting actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Best supporting actress: Mo'Nique, Precious
Best original screenplay: The Hurt Locker
Best adapted screenplay: Precious
Best art direction: Avatar
Best cinematography: Avatar
Best costume design: The Young Victoria
Best film editing: The Hurt Locker
Best sound editing: The Hurt Locker
Best animated feature: Up
Best foreign film: El Secreto de Sus Ojos (The Secret In Their Eyes)
Best documentary Feature: The CoveA-Z OF THE AWARD-WINNING FILMS:(Click to see film details and trailer)
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