Kathryn Bigelow wins, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie attend DGA Awards

The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow won the Directors Guild of America award for feature film direction last night in Los Angeles, the first woman ever to receive the accolade. After taking the stage to a rousing ovation, a clearly overwhelmed Bigelow finished her short acceptance speech by saying, “This is the most incredible moment of my life.”

Much of the room took note that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie sat together at nominee Quentin Tarantino’s table all evening (so much for all those news reports about the über-couple’s imminent break-up). As per DGA tradition, all the feature nominees got a chance to speak, and Pitt used his time introducing his Inglourious Basterds director to talk about his many Tarantino-isms, like calling the perfect film take the “big sister” everyone wants to date, and the slightly imperfect take the “little sister” which, Pitt noted, is “not as pretty, but you’d still take her home — and she may prove more interesting.” Tarantino thanked Pitt for his introduction, meanwhile, by stating that “both my testicles were tingling during the whole thing.”

Indeed, it was a warm and lighthearted evening; all the nominated directors spent generous amounts of time singing the praises of their fellow nominees. Avatar director James Cameron also thanked his cast for embracing the mega-blockbuster film’s “experimental” process, explaining they were “friends for life in a way that’s never happened to me on a film before.” Jason Reitman playfully pointed out that his father, director Ivan Reitman (who also serves as a producer on his son’s film Up in the Air), had never received a DGA Award nomination, and then the younger Reitman earnestly dedicated his nomination plaque to his dad. And director Lee Daniels (Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ By Sapphire) had easily the best line of the night: Thanks to a luggage mishap, Daniels had to make due with a tux that was too small, so, he explained to waves of laughter, “I’m wearking a spank [sic], and I’m taking this f—er off as soon as I get off this stage.”

Other honorees included the director of feature documentary The Cove (Louie Psihoyos) and the HBO TV-movie Taking Chance (Ross Katz), as well as directors of episodes of Mad Men (Lesli Linka Glatter) and Modern Family (Jason Winer). Respective Walt Disney and Warner Bros. studio heads Robert Iger and Barry Meyer won honorary lifetime membership awards. And director Norman Jewison (In the Heat of the Night, Moonstruck) tearfully accepted the DGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

More on the Directors Guild Awards on Dave Karger’s OscarWatch:
DGA win gives “Hurt Locker” upper hand at Oscars

Comments (161 total) Add your comment
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  • JJ

    “My testicles were tingling” LOL. But good for Kathryn Bigelow, she deserves it.

    • dacky

      With 10 Best Picture spots expect a split between Picture n Director.
      I expect Hurt Locker 2 snag Picture n I’m hoping Inglorious Basterds 2 get Director, if not Orginal Sreenplay. Avartar will clean up technical awards and will get the most Oscars this way. Really like 2 c District Nine get a Best Picture nod!

  • Naviblue

    I am socked. Well I guess they don’t want to pass the chance to give it to a female director.
    Avatar fans hate the result at http://www.Naviblue.com

  • Alex

    Well done Katherine Bigelow! Hope she takes the Oscar!

    • goop

      go kat, go!!

  • anna

    Yay Kathryn!! Now onto the oscar!

  • purple poet

    Ofcourse watch the press will make it all about Brad and Angelina being together rather than Bigelow’s historic win, just watch.

    • Michael

      Totally agree. The media obviously wanted an Avatar vs. Inglorious Basterds (due to Brad Pitt) showdown. I read an article from E! that it made it seem that it was so shocking that IB won Best Cast at SAG in spite of over half of the experts predicting it. I love the fact that a little film like The Hurt Locker has prevailed without support from the media. Bigelow seems like a lock for Best Director and I’m hoping that THL can win BP and even “steal” some of the technical awards (esp. editing and cinematography) from Avatar.

  • maiv

    Here’s to hoping that Kathryn B. wins the Oscar over Cameron

  • Paul

    You f’d up, DGA. But it was entirely expected. The envy and haterade Hollywood people are gulping down by the gallon (never moreso that in the Time magazine roundtable with the actors who trashed Avatar) toward James Cameron is off-the-chain crazy. Who would have ever thought the freakin’ Golden Globes would be the voice of reason this awards campaign? But they are. Avatar’s chances for Picture and Director are dead. And that’s a bad thing. $12.7 million, people. That’s how much Hurt Locker bombed. And if the DGA were so hellbent on giving its top honor to a woman, maybe they should’ve done it with Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation. This reeks, people.

    • Brian

      Kathryn Bigelow is now on her way to become the first woman to win Best Director.

    • Jen

      Paul, you had me til you mentioned honoring Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation, lol.

      I’m not saying Avatar should sweep the awards or even win best pic. But there’s nothing wrong with honoring a film that audiences have actually seen (and enjoyed). Hopefully there’s a backlash to the backlash by the time the Oscars roll around.

      • Paul

        No chance of a backlash to the backlash. Avatar has struck out with the producers and directors guilds. The biggest branch of the Academy membership is the actors. Actors who wrongly believe Avatar is going to take away their jobs due to the performance capture technology Cameron invented. Actors who snubbed the movie in Best Ensemble at the SAG’s, even though Worthington, Weaver and especially Saldana acquitted themselves more than adequately. And the new voting procedure couldn’t have debuted at a worse time for Avatar, since there are enough spiteful folks out there willing to list it #10 instead of #1. A true shame.

      • Jennifer

        Glad you can be magnanimous towards the woman who, after decades of hard work, broke through a major barrier in the film industry. Your backing of Avatar is totally fine, but your dismissive tone towards Bigelow and The Hurt Locker is just nauseating. Well done, sir. Glad you can be so giving.

      • Dleer

        This was a really very good post. In thorey I’d like to write like this also getting time and actual effort to make a great piece of writing… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means appear to obtain something done.

    • geroge

      paul get a life!!!

      • Amell

        Probably Batman or Wolverine. Like Iron Man, Batman is just a mere human with no real powers. However, unilke Iron Man, Batman is really just a normal prodigy whose hard work and determination takes over where his other characteristics fail. Batman is pretty much the model of the self-improved man, having traveled the world studying various disciplines, schools of thought, etc, learning how to hold his own against super-powered being far beyond anything he’s capable of or individuals with absurd weapons. One of the coolest elements was the voluntarily creation of a second persona in case he might should ever shatter, which not only is a crazy idea but just reinforces the level of foresight and planning he puts into any situation.Wolverine is interesting solely because he’s practically immortal yet not all that powerful. Although he’s a formidable fighter, it’s mostly because he has over a century of experience doing it. Like Batman he’s a survivor, able to repeatedly stare down death and go it completely alone when need be.

    • Dennis

      You are so right! Let’s hope that KB just wins Best Director – Avatar may (and should) win Best Picture. If not, the Academy will lose all credibility in the whole world!!!

      • Jennifer

        Um. No it won’t, Dennis. But thanks for playing.

      • Gleefan

        That’s the way I see it going right now.

      • Todd Toronto

        How many times can the Oscars lose credibiltiy? Awards are always in the eye of the beholder, of course, but some recent examples:

        – “Gandhi” over “ET”
        – “Driving Miss Daisy” over the not nominated (!) “Do the Right Thing”
        – “Chocolat” nominated for Best Picture
        – “Crash” over “Brokeback Mountain”

      • Teri

        I’ll add to your list
        Out of Africa over The Color Purple
        Million Dollar Baby – Worst example of Oscar bait I’ve ever seen

      • Jeff

        Virtually every movie I saw last year was better than “Avatar.” Nobody but unwashed no-life fanboys who wish they could disappear into their videogames thinks that movie is anything more than a couple hours of good effects hung onto a framework of tired, rehashed story.

      • candi

        I thought “The Hurt Locker” was fantastic!!!!!!

    • i’m a lady

      Paul, you are much too invested in this.

    • Kim

      Cameron, don’t you have something better to do than comment on EW articles?

    • Mark

      The fact you think Crapatar is worthy of any kind of awards recognition completely negates any point you’re trying to make.

      • ani

        hehe, crapatar

    • barry

      You must be crazy! THL takes your breath away from the very first scene & doesn’t let up until 2 hours later. Avatar is garbage compared to it.

    • Mac

      I’m not big on The Hurt Locker either, but Avatar is the worst of the nominees (Cameron, that is). “Worst” is relative as all the nominees were worthy. I happen to like Reitman’s and Tarantino’s works the best. And let’s face – you sound like you’ve seen all of two of the nominees this year, Avatar and The Hurt Locker…

  • Celia

    I’m so happy Kathryn won!! I hope she gets the Oscar.

  • TJ W

    Paul, Hurt Locker may not have done well in theaters, but it’s been the #1 DVD in the country the past two weeks. I’ll let you get back to your giant smurfs now…

    • Nihilistic

      I wouldn’t brag about that, TJ. It’s only competition has been the abysmal Saw VI (Metacritic score 30), the Bruce Willis mega-bomb Surrogates (Metacritic score 45) and the totally uncalled-for Fame remake (Metacritic score 39). It was a cakewalk for The Hurt Locker.

  • sly

    not taking away from Kathryn Bigelow’s win but I found Hurt Locker really boring – I don’t mind “a day in the life”-type movies, but this one didn’t do it for me … I would have liked to see Jason Reitman or Lee Daniels win – their movies were better!

    • Michael

      The award was for directing, not best picture!! Sure, Up in the Air, Precious, and even Inglourious Basterds had better scripts. But Bigelow’s decisions about editing, cinematography, sound, and casting unknown actors transformed a good script into the best crafted film of 2009. I guarantee that film students will be looking at The Hurt Locker in order to understand how decisions about editing, camera work, and sound can create tension.

    • Mike

      BORING!? What movie were you watching? That’s one of the most suspenseful films ever made. Congrats, Kathryn!

    • Nihilistic

      I totally agree. It was highly overrated. But I disagree about Jason Reitman deserving it. Up In The Air was even more overrated that Hurt Locker. What is it with critics today? They seem to relish the mediocre more than ever before.

      • Sam

        That’s not true – they didn’t embrace Avatar and that medicore.

      • @Sam

        That’s not true. The top critics embraced Avatar and it IS not mediocre.

  • Pookie

    It’s official: Hollywood is jealous of James Cameron’s success. I have never seen Hollywood supporting the critic´s choices so much since, probably, 1993 when Schindler´s List won every single award. The Hurt Locker IS NOT Schindler´s List though. It’s a good movie, but far from revolutionary as Avatar is proving to be. If this thing wins the Best Pic oscar, it´s going to be the lowest grossing winner EVER. Since when is Hollywood into movies no one has ever seen??There lots of hypocrisy going on. The PGA picking up a $13 million grossing movie? C’mon! Let´s hope Academy members will honor the deserving, regardless of gender.

    • Paul

      “Since when is Hollywood into movies no one has ever seen??”

      Shakespeare in Love and Annie Hall say hi.

      • Michael

        Paul, Shakespeare in Love grossed 100 mil. You really need to check your facts before you make comments. You’re looking like a donkey.

      • DarkLayers

        Shakespeare in Love made more, but it was more like seventy million when it won

    • Lazlo


      Let´s hope Academy members will honor the deserving, regardless of amount of money made at the box office. Just because a movie makes a lot of money, doesn’t make it good.

      • Michael

        Comparing Avatar and The Hurt Locker’s grosses is a pointless exercise. If THL had debuted on 3,000 screens and made 12-13 mil, it could be labeled a failure. But it only had a limited release (playing on 550 screens at most). Think outside the box and ask yourself, did people have as much opportunity to see THL as they did to see Avatar or any other blockbuster out there? Awarding THL is the Academy’s opportunity to make a statement that has been needed to be made for awhile: Great movies can get lost in the shuffle in an industry dominated by the crappy-blockbuster-flavor-of-the-week. (And I think Avatar is one of the good blockbusters.) Film is collaborative art!!!

      • Dennis

        No it doesn’t but when the Hurt Locker doesn’t make any money at the Box Office is says something! Also, I love war movies but not boring, dreadful Hurt Locker!!! Avatar is the best movie since Star Wars 1977 which lost the best pic oscar to Annie Hall! Have you seen Annie lately???

      • Lazlo


        I still watch Annie Hall at least once a year. Star Wars was great when I was young, but as I grew up, the film was no longer as interesting to me, whereas I had zero interest in Annie Hall when in 1977, but that film stood the test of time better, and not just because Woody Allen didn’t make crappy prequels or “special editions” of his classic.

      • Pookie

        Check IMDB. The Hurt Locker hasn´t even made into the Top 250. Perhaps the few people that have seen it are not liking it that much either?

      • Waiting

        I live in a town of 40,000 ppl and The Hurt Locker didn’t make it to our one movie theater here so I never got the chance to see it even if I’d wanted to (which I did). I just got it from netflix and will be watching it this week. Curiosity from folks like me in towns where it didn’t ever screen might partly explain its popularity on DVD right now.

    • Sam

      Avatar is revolutionary, yes. But that doesn’t make it good. It was a cliched, predictable story with medicore dialog and acting.

      • Lucas

        Alice in Chains’ Your Decision is largely rspnoseible for literally changing my life. Seriously! I had always loved the song, but I had been contemplating a very risky move by the time I saw them in concert. I was considering dropping my job and going into grad school no job, nothing. Straight-on!The song is basically about being the master (or mistress) of your own fate and what can happen if you don’t take control. I saw AIC live right when I was really stressing about the whole grad school thing. That song just hit me in the gut. I was going to rot if I stayed in the same position with my job and life in general. I had to make a decision , even if it were drastic.I’m in the process of packing up my apartment now, and I’ll be headed to the one I’ve already secured early next week!(That’s why I’ve been MIA for so long. Handling a demanding job while in the grad school application process leaves no time for ANYTHING else!)

    • Gleefan

      So box office should decide award winners?

      Micheal Bay must be peeved.

      • dacky

        Lets get a reality check over Avartar. As printed 2 weeks ago in EW if you figure in inflation Avartar is only at about #30 NOT 1 or 2! Thats not even deducting the extra 3.50 for the 3d glasses! In other words More PEOPLE saw Jaws, ET, Gone w t Wind and even The SOUND OF MUSIC!!!!

    • Matt

      “Avatar” has revolutionary EFFECTS. That is not the same thing as being a revolutionary MOVIE. It’s a predictable, humdrum movie.

    • barry

      If that’s your argument re grosses of a movie, then Twilight & Alvin & The Chipmunks are sho ins for best picture nominations.

  • Paul

    And I’ll play the ‘which film will be more remembered in 20 or 30 years down the road’? It won’t be Hurt Locker.

    • Nihilistic

      I absolutely agree. That movie was decent but way overrated and a mere flash in the pan in terms of any kind of staying power. I expected so much more when I read how heralded it was by critics. If I went into it without hearing how “extraordinary” a film it was, I might have had a different perspective of it. But when a film is this insufficient in warranting such glowing reviews, it really gets my goat and makes me wonder what kind of ulterior motives may have been at play.

    • PJ

      Paul, seriously, let it go.

    • Dennis

      Paul you are right! Avatar will be remembered for a very long time (highest Grossing Picture of all time) and counting! Also, Avatar has revolutionized the movie industry in 2 ways – 1) bringing people back into the cinema and 2) the start of a 3D movie craze that will last for some time! The Hurt Locker maybe doing well in DVD rentals but people would not pay ticket prices to see that movie in the theater. Thanks to Avatar cinemia is not dead!!!

      • Nihilistic

        Here’s why Avatar did so well: Young people actually went to go see instead of settling on illegally downloading it from the internet torrent sites. They decided that it was a movie that had to be seen in the theater, unlike 99% of movies today that you might as well watch in the comfort of your own home on your big-screen HDTV (the only thing missing is the overpriced popcorn, awkwardness of sitting elbow to elbow with strangers and the distracting glow of people checking their cellphones all around you). Avatar was not a movie that people decided to simply wait on the DVD for. Part of it was due to it being a masterfully-made “event” movie, but more significantly, it was specifically made to be seen in 3-D. You simply cannot duplicate the experience of seeing an IMAX 3-D movie in your home (yet). And it seems film companies have taken note, hence the decision for the new Harry Potter movies to be released in 3-D. It was only after seeing the success of Avatar that the studio decided to hop on that bandwagon. 3-D movies are about to have their rennaisance and I absolutely believe that it is due in large part to movie piracy.

    • Teri

      I agree. The Academy embarasses themselves when no one can even remember the movie that won 5 years down the line.

    • DarkLayers

      When there are tons of 3D movies, Avatar will have to hinge on its story and acting. Oh so impressive! (sarcasm!)

    • Mike

      In 20 to 30 years, NOBODY will watch “Avatar.” That movie has absolutely zero going for it but its effects, and in that amount of time, the effects will be old-hat and outdated. The story has nothing to recommend it on its own. If you tried to show your kid “Avatar” in 20 years time, he would laugh at you for ever liking anything so hackneyed.

  • Fred

    Still a mans world in Hollywood….James Cameron over Kathryn Bigelow for OSCAR…things will not change for the Academy yet…..

    • SC

      You make it sound like the Academy has been actively ignoring lots of female directors; they haven’t. There just hasn’t been many female directors, historically. That’s starting to change now.

      The DGA prize is an almost unanimous predictor of who will win: 54 of 60 ceremonies have lined up.

    • Mike

      If the Academy can award Best Director to a fugitive child rapist, they should be “progressive” enough to give it to a woman.

  • SC

    I’d have voted for Reitman or Tarantino myself, but I’d have gone with Bigelow over Cameron, and that definitely seems to be what the race is. She managed quite an impressive depiction of combat.

  • Michael

    The “Avatards” are out in full force today!!!

    • Gleefan

      Both films are an achievement, but both films are very different as well.

      But as usual it seems that a person should only like one or the other – not both.

      Don’t really see why.

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