'The Hurt Locker' Makes History, Upsets 'Avatar'

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The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow made history Sunday night when she became the first woman to win a Best Director Academy award. "The time has come," Best Director award presenter Barbra Streisand announced before reading Bigelow's name out loud.

The independent film about soldiers in Iraq also beat big-budget, high-grossing, James Cameron-directed Avatar, both in the number of awards it won—six to Avatar's three—and in their prestige—Avatar got its Oscars for cinematography, art direction, and visual effects.

Initial reactions to The Hurt Locker's upset ranged from ecstatic:


To enraged:


To (presumably) humorous:



The acting awards came out as expected, with Jeff Bridges winning Best Actor for Crazy Heart, Sandra Bullock winning Best Actress for The Blind Side, Mo'Nique winning Best Supporting Actress for Precious, and Christoph Waltz winning Best Supporting Actor for Inglourious Basterds.

For the full list of winners, click here.

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Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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