First-time Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow was formerly married to “Avatar” director and fellow nominee James Cameron. “The Hurt Locker,” an independent film, beat its competitors with big production costs with the compelling story of a bomb technician for the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron in Iraq.
Sandra Bullock, Actress in a Leading Role, “The Blind Side”
“Ms. Congeniality” Sandra Bullock is no longer a fodder for romantic comedies after winning the best actress trophy at the Academy Awards. “The Blind Side” is based on the real story of All-American football player Michael Oher and the woman who believed in him.
Jeff Bridges, Actor in a Leading Role, “Crazy Heart”
Born to a family of actors, it was no surprise that Jeff Bridges joined Hollywood. He was always regarded as a brilliant actor but not until “Crazy Heart” did he receive the acclaim he rightfully deserved and an Academy Award along with it.
Mauro Fiore, Cinematography, “Avatar”
The world of Pandora in “Avatar” was inspired by the dense forests of New Zealand. “Avatar” was considered as a favorite to win the Academy Award for “Best Picture” but was beaten by “The Hurt Locker.”
Bob Murawski and Chris Innis, Film Editing, “The Hurt Locker”
Editing can make or break a film, and these two editors who collaborated on “The Hurt Locker” made it into an exciting thriller worthy of an Academy Award.
Argentina, Best Foreign Film, “The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)”
This film noir from Argentinean director Juan Jose Campanella is a beautifully woven story of vengeance, loose ends and a love denied for decades. Starring highly respected actor Ricardo Darin, this crime thriller follows his life years after he retired as a legal counselor and in his quest to find the truth behind an unsolved murder.
Geoffrey Fletcher, Writing (Adapted Screenplay), “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push” by Sapphire”
Deeply moving aptly describes this Academy Award-winning film adaptation of Sapphire’s novel. The main character is a poor and overweight African-American teenager named Precious who endures the daily verbal and physical abuse of her mother. Through the support and kindness of two people, a social worker and a teacher, Precious empowers herself to rise above her current condition.
Christoph Waltz, Actor in a Supporting Role, “Inglourious Basterds”
Mo’Nique, Actress in a Supporting Role, “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push” by Sapphire”
More famous for her stand up comedy shows bordering on the obnoxious than her acting chops, Mo’Nique silenced all critics with her villainous performance as Mary Lee Johnston, the mother of Precious.
Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens, Documentary Feature, “The Cove”
A heartbreaking Academy Award-winning documentary that is shot more as a crime thriller than cinema verite, “The Cove” follows activists, filmmakers and divers as they embark to a cove in Taiji, Japan to expose the slaughter of dolphins. The sound coming from the baby dolphins before they are killed will hunt you for a long time.