'The Hurt Locker' sweeps Oscars
Iraq war film wins six Oscars, including best director for Kathryn Bigelow.
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2010 07:25 GMT
Bigelow, left, became the first woman in the history of Oscars to bag the best director award [AFP]

The Iraq war drama, "The Hurt Locker", has won Best Picture and five other prizes at the Academy Awards, its haul including best director for Kathryn Bigelow.

Bigelow became the first woman to win best director at Sunday's 82nd annual Academy Awards.

After thanking members of her cast and crew, she dedicated the Oscar to the members of the US military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It's the moment of a lifetime," Bigelow said - only the fifth woman to be nominated in Academy Awards history.

First-time winners took all four acting prizes: Sandra Bullock as best actress for "The Blind Side"; Jeff Bridges as best actor for "Crazy Heart", Mo'Nique as supporting actress for "Precious"; and Christoph Waltz as supporting actor for "Inglourious Basterds".

Words of praise

Bridges, playing a past-his-prime country singer, beat George Clooney, Morgan Freeman, Jeremy Renner and Britain's Colin Firth to win on his fifth Academy Award nomination.

"Thank you mum and dad for turning me on to such a groovy profession," Bridges said. "This is honouring them as much as it is me."

 Bridges had been nominated four times in the previous 38 years without winning [AFP]

Bullock picked up the coveted best actress award for her role as a tough-talking Southern belle, just a day after winning the Razzie for worst actress, for her role in "All About Steve".

"Did I really earn this, or did I wear you all down," she said.

The 45-year-old praised her fellow nominees - including Carey Mulligan, Dame Helen Mirren and the multiple nominee Meryl Streep - "who inspire me and who blaze trails for us all".

Waltz and Mo'Nique were both widely tipped to win the supporting acting awards.

Waltz won for his role as a diabolical SS officer, while Mo'Nique triumphed for her role in Precious.

'Lowest-grossing film'

"I would like to thank the Academy for showing that it can be about the performance and not the politics," said the 42-year-old comedian who beat Maggie Gyllenhaal, Anna Kendrick, Vera Farmiga and Penelope Cruz to the award.

Major Oscar winners

  Best actress:
Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
  Best actor:
Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
  Best supporting actress:
Mo'Nique (Precious)
  Best supporting actor:
Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
  Best animated feature:
  Best picture:
The Hurt Locker

Nominated for her debut film role in Lee Daniels' heartbreaking drama, Mo'Nique has dominated awards season with her performance as abusive mother Mary.

"Precious," the story of a downtrodden inner-city teenageralso won best adapted screenplay over perceived front-runner "Up in the Air".

"The Hurt Locker," which tied "Avatar" for the most Oscar nominations with nine, also won for best original screenplay.

Writer Mark Boal, who based the script on his reporting from Iraq, in his acceptance speech paid tribute to director Kathryn Bigelow, "all of the soldiers still over there and those who have died" and to his father, who passed away a month ago.

The low-budget film has made just $15m at the box office, becoming the lowest-grossing film to win the best picture Oscar.

"The Hurt Locker"later won Oscars for sound editing, mixing and editing.

Winners and losers

James Cameron's science-fiction blockbuster "Avatar" was left with just three technical awards - for art direction, best visual effects and cinematography.

Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner won the adapted-screenplay award for George Clooney's recession-era tale "Up in the Air," which Reitman also directed. It also won for sound mixing, sound editing, and film editing.

Bullock is the first Oscar winner to accept a  Razzie award for worst actress [AFP]

Best foreign language film went to "The Secret in Their Eyes," from Argentina.

"Up" won best animated feature, yet another victory for the Pixar studios, which has dominated the category since its introduction for the 2002 awards.

Pixar has now won three straight animated feature Oscars and five of the nine overall. Michael Giacchino's music for the film won best score.

"The Cove" won best documentary feature.

The awards got under way with some playful banter by hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.

Martin and Baldwin, the first dual emcees at the Oscars since 1987, made light fun of nominees including Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock, Woody Harrelson, James Cameron, Mo'Nique and Kathryn Bigelow.

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