In the words of Barbra Streisand, the time has come. After weeks of hope and pundit guesswork, Kathryn Bigelow became the first female to win the Best Director Oscar last night, just in time for International Women's Day. In fact, The Hurt Locker did a whole lot more than just grab that one award. It grabbed six.
As anyone following the Oscar race knows -- this wasn't a clear-cut win, no matter how well the experts guessed. Everything was stacked against this film. Not only was The Hurt Locker another attempt for Bigelow to break into the boy's club of testosterone-filled action drama, but it was also a low-budget, $11 million celebrity-free indie attempting to hold its own in the face of the "Iraq War Curse." It was released over the summer to little fanfare from the super-successful Summit, and its box office take came nowhere close to its critical acclaim; it's the lowest-grossing Best Picture winner of all time, in fact, and the yin to James Cameron's wildly successful, highest-grossing yang. On top of that, it recently weathered questions of authenticity, and the fact that one of the film's producers became the first to be banned from the ceremony.
Nevertheless, Kathryn Bigelow is the first woman to win a Best Director Oscar. It's hard to believe that she is only the fourth woman to even earn a nomination, following in the footsteps of Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties in 1975, Jane Campion for The Piano in 1993, and Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2003. It only took 82 years to get here.