(In the photo: ‘Avatar' director James Cameron congratulates his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow, who won the Oscar for Best Director. courtesy: REUTERS )
Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director in the Academy Awards’ 58-year history. Her film, ‘The Hurt Locker’, stole the show at the 82nd Academy Awards on Sunday, March 7.
Beating ex-husband, James Cameron (‘Avatar’) , Lee Daniels (‘Precious’), Quentin Tarantino (‘Inglourious Basterds’), and Jason Reitman (‘Up In The Air’) to get the golden statuette, Bigelow, who won the award for Iraq War drama ‘The Hurt Locker’ said, “There’s no other way to describe it; this is the moment of a lifetime.”
Bigelow was handed her award by actress, Barbara Streisand, who co-wrote, produced, directed, and starred in 1983’s ‘Yentl!’. Before announcing the winner of the Best Director category, Streisand said, “It’s about time.”
Previous female nominees have been Lina Wertmuller in 1976 for ‘Seven Beauties’, Jane Campion in 1993 for ‘The Piano’ and most recently, Sofia Coppola in 2003 for ‘Lost in Translation’.
Making a total haul of six gongs on the award night, ‘The Hurt Locker’ also won for best picture, best original screenplay (by Mark Boal), best sound mixing, sound editing, and film editing. There was no ignoring the movie, despite the pre-awards drama that led to the ban of the film’s producer, Nicholas Chartrier, from the award ceremony. Chartrier was banned for sending e-mails to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in charge of selecting the winning films, asking them not to vote for ‘Avatar’.
‘The Hurt Locker’ trounced its closest rival James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ by three, with the 3D blockbuster winning for Art Direction, Cinematography and Visual Effects.
Sitting behind Bigelow at the event, Cameron burst into applause when his ex-wife was announced as Best Director for the $11 million movie, bringing an end to the PR ‘war’ that was already mounting before the awards.
Other success stories on the night included ‘Here Today, Gone Tomorrow’ actor Jeff Bridges, who won Best Actor for his role as a rundown country singer in ‘Crazy Heart’. He beat Colin Firth (‘A Single Man’), George Clooney (‘Up In The Air’), Jeremy Renner (‘The Hurt Locker’) and Morgan Freeman (‘Invictus’) to get the top award.
Sandra Bullock won Best Female Actor for her character as Leigh Anne Tuohy in ‘The Blind Side’, the film adaptation of the true life story of American football player, Michael Oher. Renowned for her tomboyish roles in romantic or action comedies, Bullock asked in her acceptance speech, “Did I really earn this or did I just wear you all down?” and to her fellow nominees in the category, she said “Gabby (Sidebe, ‘Precious’) I love you so much. You are exquisite. You are beyond words to me. Carey (Mulligan, ‘An Education’), your grace and your elegance and your beauty and your talent makes me sick. Helen (Mirren, ‘The Last Station’), I feel like we are family through family and I don’t have the words to express just what I think of you. And Meryl (Streep, ‘Julie & Julia’), you know what I think of you and you are such a good kisser.”
Mo’Nique received the Best Supporting Actress award for her role as an abusive parent in Lee Daniels’s ‘Precious’, based on the novel Push by Sapphire. She joins Hattie McDaniel (‘Gone With the Wind’, 1939), Whoopi Goldberg (‘Ghost’, 1990), and Jennifer Hudson (‘Dreamgirls’, 2006) as the only African-American winners in the category.Mo'Nique paid tribute to McDaniel in her acceptance speech, saying, "First, I would like to thank the Academy for showing that it can be about the performance and not the politics. I want to thank Miss Hattie McDaniel for enduring all that she had to so that I would not have to." ‘Precious’s screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher also won for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Hollywood officially opened its doors to Austrian actor, Christopher Waltz, who won Best Supporting Actor for his Nazi character in ‘Inglourious Basterds’. He dusted off the more popular Christopher Plummer (‘The Last Station’), Matt Damon (‘Invictus’), Stanley Tucci (‘The Lovely Bones’) and Woody Harrelson (‘The Messenger’) to claim his place in the American film industry.
The award for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Score went to ‘Up’. ‘Crazy Heart’ won for Original Song, The Weary Kind by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett.
Nicolas Scmerkin’s ‘Logorama’ won the Best Short Film (Animated), while Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson’s ‘The New Tenants’ won for Best Short Film (Live Action).
‘The Cove’ won for Best Documentary Feature and 'Music' by Prudence was winner in the Best Documentary Short category.
This year’s Foreign Language winning film was ‘The Secret in Their Eyes’ (El Secreto de Sus Ojos) by Argentine director, Juan Jose Campanella.
‘The Young Victoria’ won for Best Costume and ‘Star Trek’ was awarded Best for Make-up.
As the winners of Sunday’s event revel in their success, the race for next year’s awards has definitely begun.