Kathryn Bigelow, who was the first woman in the DGA’s history, has won the Directors Guild of America’s top prize for “The Hurt Locker.” The win makes the film and its 58-year-old director the front-runners for the Academy Award.The five competitors for the 2010 Directors Guild Award are Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, James Cameron for Avatar, Lee Daniels for Precious, Jason Reitman for Up in the Air, and Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds.

Steve Montgomery (altfg) reported, following the Producers Guild Award going to The Hurt Locker (box-office gross: less than $13 million) instead of Avatar (box-office gross: more than $560 million), chances are that Kathryn Bigelow will beat former husband James Cameron at the DGA Awards. Although Cameron’s film is as much a director’s movie as Bigelow’s, she is the one who has been getting nearly all the best director awards to date. (The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe for Cameron was a glaring exception. And one should remember that Golden Globe voters idolize box-office hits.)Kathryn Bigelow called the honor, presented Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel, “the most incredible moment of my life.

”The DGA winner has gone on to win the Academy Award all but six times in the guild’s 60 year history. The directors union also honored achievements in television, documentary and commercial categories. A month into Hollywood’s awards season and the competition is still wide open. “The Hurt Locker” appears to be a front-runner, but “Avatar,” “Precious,” “Inglourious Basterds” and “Up in the Air” have won their share of awards, too. The directors of these films — Kathryn Bigelow, James Cameron, Lee Daniels, Quentin Tarantino and Jason Reitman — compete Saturday for the top prize from the Directors Guild of America, an award that almost always predicts the Oscar winner for best director. Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” has already won directing and best-picture honors from the National Society of Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and at the Critics’ Choice Awards, where both competed against the same four DGA nominees.

“The Hurt Locker” was also the Producers Guild’s best picture winner. Cameron, who is Bigelow’s ex-husband, was best director and “Avatar” best picture at the Golden Globes. “Precious” has won half a dozen awards for supporting actress Mo’Nique. “Basterds” won acting ensemble honors from Critics’ Choice and the Screen Actors Guild. “Up in the Air” was the National Board of Review’s pick for best picture. The DGA Web site boasts that its winner has gone on to win the Academy Award for directing all but six times since 1948, and typically, the film that wins the Oscar for best director goes on to win for best picture. The guild will also present awards in documentary, television and commercial categories. Norman Jewison will receive the guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Motion Picture Direction at the ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel.

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