2010 Academy Awards for Best Picture

'Hurt Locker' is best picture, wins six Oscars

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  • "Hurt Locker" is best picture; Kathryn Bigelow wins best director
  • "Hurt Locker" wins six Oscars; "Avatar" has three, "Precious" two
  • Sandra Bullock wins best actress for "The Blind Side, " Jeff Bridges is best actor for "Crazy Heart"
  • "Precious" star Mo'Nique wins supporting actress; "Inglourious Basterds" Christoph Waltz is supporting actor

Los Angeles, California (CNN) - The final score: David 6, Goliath 3.

"The Hurt Locker" earned six Oscars at the 82nd annual Academy Awards Sunday night, taking home the biggest prize - best picture - as well as honors for its director, original screenplay, sound editing, sound mixing and film editing.

The small-budget movie, one of the lowest-grossing films to be nominated in the post-"Star Wars" blockbuster era, defeated its primary competition, James Cameron's "Avatar, " the big-budget, highest-grossing film of all time. The groundbreaking "Avatar, " with its dazzling effects and creative presentation, won three Oscars, for cinematography, visual effects and art direction.

Both films led the pack with nine nominations each.

"The Hurt Locker, " a film about a bomb disposal unit in the early part of the Iraq War, developed its momentum slowly, winning notice at festivals in the latter part of 2008 before earning a national release in the summer of 2009. Despite fading quickly at the box office - to date, it's earned just million worldwide, versus more than .6 billion for "Avatar" - it was remembered by critics and peers at the end of the year, winning several awards.

"Locker" director Kathryn Bigelow made history by becoming the first woman to win the directing prize. Presenter Barbra Streisand opened the envelope with, "Well, the time has come!" as a loud standing ovation and lots of shrieks greeted Bigelow's arrival on the stage.

Video: Troops react to 'Hurt Locker' Video: Jeff Bridges still 'the dude' Video: Bigelow 'never dared to hope' Video: Bullock 'in awe of this'

"There's no other way to describe it - it's the moment of a lifetime, " she said, accepting her directing prize. She dedicated her honor "to the women and men in the military who risk their lives on a daily basis... may they come home safe."

Earlier, writer and producer Mark Boal, who based the script on his reporting from Iraq, paid tribute to director Bigelow, "all of the soldiers still over there and those who have died" and to his father, who passed away a month ago, he said in his acceptance speech.

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