"Hurt Locker" and Bigelow won Oscars over stiff competition from her ex-husband James Cameron, whose sci-fi adventure "Avatar" is the top-grossing movie ever with $2.5 billion at box offices and was seen as a favorite for best movie. Bigelow is the first woman in the 82-year history of the Oscars to earn Hollywood's top prize for filmmakers and what a tribute she got when she received the best director award on Women’s Day.
The Hurt Locker also won the second most prestigious award of the night by winning the best film award.
"Avatar" earned 3 Oscars, but in technical categories -- visual effects, cinematography and art direction. Veteran Jeff Bridges claimed best actor playing a drunken country singer in drama "Crazy Heart." The son of Hollywood star Lloyd Bridges, held his trophy high over his head, looking to the heavens and thanking his deceased parents.
Sandra Bullock was named best actress for "The Blind Side" in a first for the actress once dubbed "America's Sweetheart" because she won so many early fans in her romantic comedies. But for "The Blind Side," she took the part of a real-life, strong-willed mother who helps take a homeless youth off the street and makes him into a football success.
Christoph Waltz won best supporting actor for his turn as a menacing Nazi officer in revenge fantasy "Inglourious Basterds," which follows a band of American Jews killing their enemies behind lines during World War Two.
Dark drama "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" earned two Oscars including supporting actress for Mo'Nique and adapted screenplay for writer Geoffrey Fletcher, who became the first African American to claim that honor. "Up" was named best animated movie, and Argentina's "The Secret in Their Eyes" won best foreign language film.