This year the Academy expanded the list of Best Picture Oscar nominees to ten films. But all eyes were on two: the much lauded labors of love from a pair of formerly married directors, Kathryn Bigelow and the ex Mr. Bigelow, James Cameron.
Avatar may have set a new bar for bank, but Bigelow's The Hurt Locker was the most critically respected film of the year. And the Academy agreed.
Written by embedded journalist Mark Boal, the film, of course, follows three central figures in an explosive ordnance disposal unit in Iraq. As Bigelow has said, the film doesn't make overt political gestures. It's a study of the psychology of people who do what has to be the most dangerous job in the world under the most inhospitable of conditions, and, in the end, is an expertly wrought, agonizingly suspenseful film.
Bigelow, whose film credits have included Near Dark, Strange Days and Point Break (don't pretend you don't love it) began working with Boal on the Hurt Locker script in 2005 and the devotion to the project has not gone unrewarded. Bigelow has won a pile of best director nods from film critic associations. She recently won the Directors Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement and Best Direction at BAFTAs (the first woman to win either). The film also won Best Picture at the BAFTAs.
Now, she's the first woman to win a best director Oscar.
See the rest of the 2010 Creativity 50 here.