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But there's hurt for James Cameron as Avatar is blown away by Locker

The Hurt Locker took the Oscars by storm, winning six of the major film honours, including best movie and director for Kathryn Bigelow who became the first woman to win that accolade.

Twelve years ago, her ex-husband James Cameron declared he was "king of the world" when Titanic won the Oscar for best picture. But last night his hopes for a repeat with Avatar were blown up by Bigelow's Iraq war movie.

The drama about a squad of bomb-defusing specialists and the emotional toll war takes on them also secured writer Mark Boal the Academy Award for best original screenplay, and claimed honours for film editing, sound editing and mixing. "This really is, there's no other way to describe it, it's the moment of a lifetime," Bigelow said.

Avatar earned three Oscars, in technical categories of visual effects, cinematography and art direction.

Veteran Jeff Bridges claimed best actor playing a drunken country singer in drama Crazy Heart. The son of Hollywood star Lloyd Bridges, held his trophy high over his head, looking to the heavens and thanking his deceased parents. "Mom and Dad, yeah," he shouted. "Thank you Mom and Dad for turning me on to such a groovy profession." Sandra Bullock was named best actress for The Blind Side in a first for the actress once dubbed 'America's Sweetheart' because she won so many early fans in her romantic comedies.

But for The Blind Side she took the part of a real-life, strong-willed mother who helps take a homeless youth off the street and makes him into a football success. "Did I really earn this or did I just wear you all down?" she joked.

Precious earned two Oscars including supporting actress for Mo'Nique and adapted screenplay for writer Geoffrey Fletcher, who became the first African American to claim that honour. Christoph Waltz won best supporting actor for his menacing Nazi officer in Inglourious Basterds. Up was best animated movie, and Argentina's The Secret in Their Eyes best foreign language film.