Bigelow wins best director Oscar for "Hurt Locker"

Mon Mar 8, 2010 12:32am EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman ever to win a best director Oscar on Sunday for her hard-nosed work on "The Hurt Locker," the Iraq war film about a team of U.S. soldiers who defuse bombs.

In a true Hollywood twist, Bigelow edged out her ex-husband, "Avatar" filmmaker James Cameron, and both were widely considered the front-runners for the honor.

Singer and filmmaker Barbra Streisand, who once saw her 1991 movie "The Prince of Tides" nominated for a best picture Academy Award, announced that Bigelow had won with the words, "Well, the time has come."

After accepting the Oscar, Bigelow called it "the moment of a lifetime."

"I'd just like to dedicate this to the women and men in the military who risk their lives on a daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world, and may they come home safe," Bigelow said.

Bigelow was only the fourth woman ever nominated for a best director Oscar in the Academy Awards' 82-year history.

The previous woman nominees were Sofia Coppola, Jane Campion and Lina Wertmuller. Directing has long been the domain of men in Hollywood, with women enjoying fewer opportunities.

Women directed only 7 percent of the 250 top-grossing films in the U.S. and Canada in 2009, a figure hardly changed in more than two decades, according to the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film at San Diego State University.

Bigelow won her nomination after earning a reputation for taking risks with bold film projects.   Continued...

<p>Kathryn Bigelow, director of "The Hurt Locker", speaks after winning best director during the 82nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, March 7, 2010. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn</p>