'The Hurt Locker' wins six Oscars, including history maker for director Kathryn Bigelow
The 82nd Academy Awards followed the script set down by pundits, as the front-runners for all of the major Oscars won Sunday night. "The Hurt Locker" led with six Oscars, including best picture and best director for Kathryn Bigelow, who became the first woman to win this award. The Iraq war drama also picked up prizes for original screenplay (Mark Boal), editing, sound mixing and sound editing.
"Avatar" went into the night tied with "The Hurt Locker" with a leading nine nominations but had to settle for three Oscars for art direction, cinematography and visual effects (and a $2.4-billion and counting box-office take). See a complete list of all Oscar winners here.
Lead actor went to Jeff Bridges, a four-time also-ran at the Oscars, who finally won for his performance as a down-and-out country singer in "Crazy Heart." The theme song for that film, "The Weary Kind," won best original song for Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett.
First-time nominee Sandra Bullock won lead actress for best picture nominee "The Blind Side," edging out, among others, Meryl Streep, who was contending for a record 13th time in this category. The lead acting nominees were introduced by performers with whom they have a connection before last year's winners, Sean Penn ("Milk") and Kate Winslet ("The Reader"), bestowed the Oscars. Last year, each of the four acting categories was handled by five past winners who each spoke about one of the nominees.
It was no surprise that the Academy Awards for supporting actor and actress went to Christoph Waltz ("Inglourious Basterds") and Mo'Nique ("Precious"). The pair had picked up all of the precursor awards going into the Oscars. Waltz's win represented the only Oscar for that best picture nominee, which had eight nominations in total while "Precious" -- which had six nominations, including a best picture bid -- also won adapted screenplay for Geoffrey Fletcher
The animated feature race was won by best picture nominee "Up," which edged out Gotham and L.A. critics choice "Fantastic Mr. Fox" among others. "Up" became the fifth Pixar picture -- after "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles," "Ratatouille" and "Wall-E" -- to win this category since it was introduced in 2001. "Up" also won best score.
"El Secreto de Sus Ojos" became the second feature from Argentina to win best foreign-language film, and "The Cove" won the documentary feature Oscar. For her costume design for "The Young Victoria," Sandy Powell took home her third Oscar, following wins for "Shakespeare in Love" and "The Aviator." "Star Trek" won for makeup.
The three short-film categories can be the deciding factors in Oscar office pools. "Logorama" took the animated short race, bringing to an end the winning streak of Nick Park, who has four Oscars for the misadventures of Wallace and Gromit. The live-action short Oscar was won by Danish filmmaker Joachim Back for "The New Tenants," while "Music by Prudence" prevailed in the documentary short category.
This year's Oscars -- hosted with aplomb by third-time emcee Steve Martin and rookie Alec Baldwin -- were put together by a pair of first-timers, producer Bill Mechanic and director Adam Shankman. Shankman handled double duty as he also choreographed the two musical productions that stopped the show, and not necessarily in a good way. For the second number -- a salute to the score nominees -- he used many of the toe-tappers he had judged in seasons past on TV's "So You Think You Can Dance."
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Photo: Kathryn Bigelow on the red carpet at the 82nd Academy Awards. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times