The Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker dominated the Oscars Sunday evening. The film about a bomb disposal unit earned six Academy Awards, including for best picture. The Hurt Locker also brought the first Oscar for directing for a woman, filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow.
The singer and actress Barbra Streisand announced the Oscar for best director.
"And the winner is … Well, the time has come - Kathryn Bigelow," Streisand said.
Accepting the Oscar, Bigelow called it the moment of a lifetime. She thanked the cast and crew, and dedicated the award to the members of the military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Backstage, she said she hopes she is the first of many women directors to earn the honor, the highest in Hollywood.
"And of course, I'd love to just think of myself as a filmmaker," Bigelow said. "And I long for the day when that modifier can be a moot point, but I'm ever grateful if I can inspire some young intrepid tenacious male or female filmmaker, and have them feel that the impossible is possible. Never give up on your dream."
Bigelow's fast-paced war tale was also honored for original screenplay, sound editing, sound mixing and film editing.
The Hurt Locker triumphed over its leading competitor, the high-budget science fiction film Avatar. Avatar was directed by Bigelow's ex-husband, James Cameron, and both films started the evening with nine nominations. Avatar earned three Oscars - for its art direction, cinematography, and visual effects.
Jeff Bridges was named best actor for his role as an aging country musician in Crazy Heart. The film also earned an Oscar for its original theme song.
Sandra Bullock was named best actress for her starring role in The Blind Side, a story about a woman who helps a troubled high school athlete.
Bullock, speaking backstage, had advice for aspiring actors who hope to follow her example.
"Everyone is really good at telling everyone else how to live their life or how to be or do it," Bullock said. "Just don't listen. My mother beat it into our heads to be original. I didn't understand that until later on. And everyone's unique and that's what makes people exciting to watch."
The Oscar for best supporting actress went to Mo'Nique, who plays the abusive mother of a troubled teenaged girl in Precious. Better known as a stand-up comic, Mo'Nique has been widely praised for her role in the raw and gripping drama . She said backstage that the film has helped shape her as a person and an artist.
"This role has shaped my life to allow me not to judge and to love unconditionally," Mo'Nique said. "Now if that goes into my career, great. But if it doesn't and I'm just a dynamic person that I strive to be every day, I've won, baby."
Christoph Waltz earned the Oscar for best supporting actor for his role as a Nazi colonel in the World War Two film Inglourious Basterds. Accepting the Oscar statuette, he said director Quentin Tarantino had led the cast and crew on a voyage of discovery.
"And Quentin, with his unorthodox methods of navigation, this fearless explorer took this ship across and brought it in with flying colors, and that's why I'm here," Waltz said. "And this is your welcoming embrace. There is no way I can ever thank you enough. But I can start right now. Thank you."
Up was named best animated picture, and it also received an Oscar for its original score.
The Argentinean crime drama The Secret of Their Eyes was named best foreign-language film. The Oscar for best documentary went to The Cove, which looks at the killing of dolphins off the coast of Japan.
The Oscar for best short subject documentary went to Music by Prudence, the story of a disabled young singer in Zimbabwe.