The Hurt Locker finally ended the long, difficult Oscar campaign trail winning six awards, while Avatar won only three technical categories, for visual effects, art direction and cinematography. "I hope I'm the first of many," Kathryn Bigelow said backstage, of being the first woman to win the best director Oscar for The Hurt Locker, which is also the first best picture winner to be directed by a woman. "I long for day when that modifier is a moot point. I am grateful if I can inspire some young intrepid tenacious male or female filmmaker, make them feel the impossible is possible."
Notably, Bigelow and producer Gregory Shapiro both thanked barred producer Nicolas Chartier who was celebrating in Malibu--Eugene Hernandez reports. Chartier raised the funding for the movie from foreign territories and advanced money to start production when a bank loan didn't come through in time. Boal, who does not get along with Chartier, said, "I think Nic Chartier is very happy tonight."
"I would say to never give up on your dream," said Bigelow to young filmmakers following in her footsteps. "I've been making film for a while, 30 years. Work on stories you truly believe in, because then no obstacle is too great."
Bigelow also thanked the "critical community" for giving the movie "wind in our sails." In answer to questions about beating her former husband James Cameron, she said: "All the nominees were phenomenal, powerful, talented filmmakers. It was humbling to be in that company, in that conversation. Jim is very inspiring, he inspires filmmakers around the world. I can speak for all of them: we are quite grateful."
Fair to say Cameron is a tad disappointed tonight. But as producer Jon Landau told me, going in, Avatar was never looking to win any awards. And The Hurt Locker, the little movie that could, will now get a much-needed DVD boost. Maybe Summit will actually make back the $5 million or so they spent on their awards campaign.
Here's Jeremy Renner on the red carpet:
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