The much-hyped Oscar fight between Kathryn Bigelow's [movie id="357580"]"The Hurt Locker"[/movie] and James Cameron's [movie id="301495"]"Avatar"[/movie] turned out to be a knockout Sunday night (March 7), as "Hurt Locker" won Best Picture and Bigelow became the first woman in Academy Award history to win for Best Directing.
Those wins were two of six "Hurt Locker" took home from its nine nominations during the live ceremony at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, including Film Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. Shut out of the major categories, "Avatar" nabbed a total of three wins — out of nine noms — in categories like Cinematography, Visual Effects and Art Direction.
Taking the stage to accept the win for Best Picture just moments after winning for Directing, Bigelow thanked men and women in uniform all over the world, in the military and other services. "They are there for us, and we are there for them," she said.
Minutes earlier, accepting the Directing award, Bigelow said, "I'd just like to dedicate this to the women and men of the military who risk their lives every day in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world. May they come home safe."
Jeff Bridges capped a remarkable run through awards season with a win for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role as a washed-up country singer in "Crazy Heart." Accepting the Oscar after four previous winless nominations, Bridges giggled and hooted as he expressed gratitude to his deceased parents. "Thank you, Mom and Dad, for turning me on to such a groovy profession," he said.
Sandra Bullock, star of "The Blind Side," the true story of a woman whose family adopts an impoverished teen, won Best Actress in a Leading Role over 16-time nominee Meryl Streep ("Julie & Julia"). It was her first nomination and her first win.
"Did I really earn this, or did I just wear y'all down?" she began her acceptance speech, adding that her award was dedicated to "moms that take care of their babies and their children no matter where they come from. Those moms and parents never get thanked."
Both the Best Actor and Best Actresses in a Supporting Role went to heavy favorites. Christoph Waltz, who played a calculatingly evil Nazi officer in "Inglourious Basterds" and won awards for the role at Cannes and the Globes, triumphed again Sunday. Mo'Nique, too, had essentially swept awards season based on her turn as an abusive mother in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" and nabbed the Oscar for Supporting Actress.
"First, I would like to thank the Academy for showing that it can be about the performance and not the politics," said Mo'Nique, who had been criticized at times for not publically campaigning for the award.
The evening kicked off with an elaborate song-and-dance routine from Emmy host Neil Patrick Harris, who announced with a smile, "I know, what am I doing here?" Oscar hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin then descended from the rafters in a silvery contraption to deliver an opening monologue that offered some serious clunkers in the midst of all the jokes at the expense of the night's nominees.
Later in the night, "Twilight" stars Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner came out together to fete the finest horror movies from decades past: "Jaws," "The Shining," "Halloween," "Nightmare on Elm Street," "Rosemary's Baby" and more.
To present the award for Makeup, Ben Stiller appeared with his face painted blue like a Na'vi alien from "Avatar," even though Cameron's film was not nominated in the category. Mimicking the Na'vi language in the film, Stiller then said, "That means, 'This sounded like a better idea in rehearsals.' " The category was won by "Star Trek," the only win out of four nominations for J.J. Abrams' rebooted version of the sci-fi franchise.
Molly Ringwald and Matthew Broderick presented a tribute to film legend John Hughes, who died in August at the age of 59, that included scenes from his classic comedies like "Mr. Mom," Broderick's "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," Ringwald's "Sixteen Candles," "Trains, Planes & Automobiles" and "Home Alone." Jon Cryer, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson and Macaulay Culkin — all stars of past Hughes films — came out onstage to pay their respects to Hughes.
"John always treated me with dignity, even the tiny, 9-year-old version of myself," "Home Alone" star Culkin said. "Because that's what he did — he treated people with respect."
Geoffrey Fletcher took the Writing (Adapted Screenplay) category for his "Precious" script, winning over presumed favorite "Up in the Air." In fact, Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air," nominated for six awards, was entirely shut out Sunday. Journalist Mark Boal won Writing (Original Screenplay) for "The Hurt Locker," beating out Quentin Tarantino ("Inglourious Basterds"), who triumphed in that category in 1995 for "Pulp Fiction."
"Up" scored wins for Animated Feature Film and Music (Original Score). Music (Original Song) went to T-Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham's "The Weary Kind" from "Crazy Heart." Documentary Feature went to Fisher Stevens' "The Cove," which tells the story of the mass slaughter of dolphins in Japan. Argentina's "El Secreto de Sus Ojos" prevailed in the Foreign Language Film category. A two-time past winner, Sandy Powell won Best Costume Design for "The Young Victoria." Short Film (Animated) went to French-originated "Logorama." Documentary Short went to "Music by Prudence," which follows a 21-year-old disabled Zimbabwean musician. ("Prudence" producer Elinor Burkett stormed the stage for her very own Kanye West moment during the film's win.) "The New Tenants," a 21-minute film about two men moving into an apartment, won Short Film (Live Action).
Relive all the best moments from the 2010 Academy Awards with photos, interviews, blogs, post-show analysis and more, right here at MTV News.