Page last updated at 11:06 GMT, Monday, 8 March 2010

Oscars 2010: Few surprises, but a bit of history

By Tim Masters
Entertainment correspondent, BBC News, in Los Angeles

Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Bigelow has gone down in Oscars history

As Oscars go, this one stuck pretty much to the script.

There were no major upsets in the acting categories. Everyone who was expected to win, won.

Kathryn Bigelow's David toppled James Cameron's Goliath - and made history in the process.

Bigelow became the first female director to win an Oscar for Iraq bomb drama The Hurt Locker, while Cameron's sci-fi spectacular Avatar went away with three technical awards.

The wait for a sci-fi best picture winner continues.

Speaking after the ceremony, Bigelow said she hoped she would be the first of many female directors to win.

She said: "I'd love to just think of myself as a film-maker, and I long for the day when a modifier can be a moot point.

"But I'm ever grateful if I can inspire some young, intrepid, tenacious male or female film-maker and have them feel that the impossible is possible and never give up on your dream."

Inevitably there was much attention on what it meant to Bigelow to beat her former husband James Cameron. She defused any such questions as expertly as the hero of her film.

Unloved Brits

"I think he's an extraordinary film-maker," she said. "I have to say, all the nominees are phenomenal, powerful, talented film-makers. And for me, how humbling it was for me to be in that company."

If there were surprises at this year's Oscars, they came in the smaller categories.

Wallace and Gromit failed to win Nick Park his fifth Oscar in the short animation category, and Argentina's The Secret In Their Eyes won foreign language film over Cannes winner The White Ribbon and French prison drama A Prophet.

Meanwhile, in the winners' room, best supporting actress victor Mo'Nique caused a few surprises herself.

Mo'Nique
Winner Mo'Nique took charge in the press room

The Precious star took over the running of her own press conference by over-ruling the strict numbering system that had been imposed in the room.

And she dealt with the questions in her inimitable style, with lashings of "baby" and "sugar".

Reporter: "You are a very empowering woman. What do you think would happen to Hollywood actresses if they had more natural figures and didn't shave their legs?"

Mo'Nique: "They'd win Oscars." [The room erupts into laughter.]

Reporter: "So tell me, as awful as Mary Jones was, did you see any of yourself in her?"

Mo'Nique: "Yes, in that last scene. And I will ask you, have you ever had a dark moment when you were unlovable? I am asking you the question."

Reporter: "Yes."

Mo'Nique: "Didn't you want somebody to love you through it?"

Reporter: "Yes."

Mo'Nique: "That was that same for me. For as cruel as Mary Jones was, for the monster that she was, everybody - and I don't care who you are and what crime you've committed - everybody deserves to be loved, even when they are unlovable. Thank you, sugar."

The British proved to be largely unloved at this year's Oscars, but the costume design prize went to Sandy Powell for The Young Victoria.

Powell, who has now won three Oscars, said success in her field was rarely reported in the press.

"Normally they don't mention the costume design," she told the BBC.

"They just mention the actors.

"When it gets a ripple in the press and it's the British winners, it's usually the actors, directors and cinematographers. So let's see, I hope it will get reported."

Carey Mulligan congratulates Sandra Bullock

The audience figures for the three hour 37 minute Oscar show will be analysed closely to see if the expanded best picture section helped to boost viewers.

There's a certain irony that it was the smallest-grossing winner of all time that took best picture over the record-breaking juggernaut of Avatar.

And even before the red carpet is rolled up along Hollywood Boulevard, Tinseltown is already talking about who might be the contenders for 2011.

Industry paper The Hollywood Reporter is tipping Danny Boyle's rescue drama 127 Hours and the Coen brothers' remake of the John Wayne Western True Grit.

But for now Hollywood is partying hard, before it calls it a wrap on awards season for another year.



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