This year’s Oscars belonged to the military drama “The Hurt Locker,” racking up awards including Best Editing, Best Picture and making history with an award for Best Director to Kathryn Bigelow. It was a night of firsts, with the major awards going to first-time nominees.
- Oscar producers hit a home-run with co-hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, who kept the show moving at a consistent pace and were hysterical in poking fun at stars and themselves.
- Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz for “Inglourious Basterds.” Though Waltz gave a brilliant performance, this award should have gone to Stanley Tucci for his portrayal of a killer in “The Lovely Bones.”
- Best Animated Feature: Disney’s “Up” won over the favored-to-win “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”
- Best Original Song: The Weary Kind from “Crazy Heart.”
- A surprisingly moving tribute to filmmaker John Hughes by some of the actors he made famous, including Matthew Broderick, joined on stage by Molly Ringwald, McCauley Culkin, Judd Nelson, John Cryer and Ally Sheedy.
- Best Makeup: Somewhat of an upset with “Star Trek” winning over the favored “Avatar.” A traditionally lackluster category was given new life with presenter Ben Stiller in full “Avatar” makeup, including a tail, and speaking in Na’vi.
- Best Adapted Screenplay: No big surprise here, with a win for “Precious.”
- Best Supporting Actress: Mo’nique took the Oscar for her brilliant portrayal of monster Mary Jones in “Precious.” Mo’nigue paid tribute to Hattie Daniels, the first African-American woman to win an Oscar, wearing a blue dress similar to the one Ms. Daniels wore to the 1936 Oscars.
- Best Art Direction: “Avatar.”
- Best Cinematography: “Avatar.”
- The annual tradition of paying tribute to the deceased, took a weird turn when the audience realized Oscar had omitted both Farrah Fawcett and Bea Arthur from the tribute.
- Best Musical Score: “Up”
- Best Editing: “The Hurt Locker.” This was an early sign that this film was headed for a Best Picture award – only once in the last 10 years did the Best Picture award go to a movie that did not win this category.
- Best Visual Effects: “Avatar”
- Best Documentary Feature: “The Cove,” a very worthy film and a must see! The documentary graphically depicts the Japanese slaughter of dolphins. During the backstage press room, the film’s producers were openly challenged by Japanese reporters.
- Best Actor: Jeff Bridges for “Crazy Heart,” proving that the fifth time can be the charm, winning 40 years after his first nomination for “The Last Picture Show.”
- Best Actress: Sandra Bullock (our pick to win) upset the night with her win over the favored Gabourey Sidibe for “Precious.”
- Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker.” You could have seen this one coming with presenter Barbra Streisand, who was denied the historic honor by the Academy for “Yentl,” who said “the time has come.”
- Best Picture: “The Hurt Locker.”
An Oscar win as Best Picture for “The Hurt Locker,” showed that box office cash and innovation with films like “Avatar” doesn’t necessarily translate into a trophy. Sometimes it’s about quality over quantity.