Bigelow makes Oscar history as war drama triumphs

Mon Mar 8, 2010 5:00am EST
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood finally entrusted a female director with an Oscar on Sunday.

Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman in the 82-year history of the Academy Awards to take the prize as her gritty Iraq War movie "The Hurt Locker" outshone "Avatar" after a nail-biting campaign season.

"The Hurt Locker" also took home the top prize, best picture, and four awards in other categories. "Avatar," the 3D smash directed by Bigelow's ex-husband, James Cameron, ended up with three awards, all in technical categories.

The acting races finished as expected and all four honorees took home the first statuettes of their careers.

Jeff Bridges won for his lead role as a drunken country singer who gets a shot at redemption in "Crazy Heart." Sandra Bullock got the gold for playing a suburban mom who guides a homeless black teen to football stardom in "The Blind Side."

In the supporting field, the prizes went to Austrian actor Christoph Waltz for the Nazi revenge fantasy "Inglourious Basterds," and stand-up comic Mo'Nique for the dark urban drama "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire."

The biggest shocks were in the adapted screenplay and foreign-language film categories. Geoffrey Fletcher became the first African-American to win the writing prize, for his work on "Precious." The prize had been expected to go to "Up in the Air," a six-time nominee that was snubbed.

The Argentine crime drama "The Secret in their Eyes" (El secreto de sus ojos) beat Germany's "The White Ribbon" (Das weisse Band) and France's "A Prophet" (Un prophete) to claim the country's second prize in the field.   Continued...