In the end, as everyone must know by now, David defeated Goliath. The low-budget The Hurt Locker, which earned just $15 million at the box office -- 2 percent of the earnings of Avatar -- came away with the Oscar for best picture Sunday night. Its director, Kathryn Bigelow, took the best director Oscar -- the first woman ever to do so (and for a film with hardly a woman in sight). And writer-producer Mark Boal won for best screenplay, despite last-minute news reports that appeared to discredit The Hurt Locker 's authenticity. (Fellow producer Nicolas Chartier was barred from the Academy Awards ceremony for a coincident email campaign on behalf of the film in which he disparaged its top rival, Avatar .) The battle between Hurt Locker and Avatar for best film and best director marked the only suspenseful contests in an otherwise predictable competition. Indeed, about the only big surprise of the night came when the foreign-language film award went to the Argentinean thriller The Secret in Their Eyes ( El Secreto de Sus Ojos ), which beat out the two films regarded as the top contenders, Germany's The White Ribbon ( Das weisse Band ) and France's The Prophet ( Un Prophète ). All of the other awards followed the template set by most of the year's previous film competitions Sandra Bullock received the best actress award for The Blind Side, while Jeff Bridges took the actor award for Crazy Heart. The supporting actress/actor awards went respectively to Mo'nique for Precious and Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds . Disney/Pixar's Up (a best picture nominee) won for best animated film, while the documentary feature prize went to The Cove, a controversial expose about the slaughter of dolphins in the village of Taiji, Japan. (The mayor of Taiji wasted no time to decry the award, issuing an immediate statement saying, "It is important to respect and understand regional food cultures, which are based on traditions with long histories.")

08/03/2010