"The Hurt Locker" scored a crucial, and surprising, victory over "Avatar" at the Producers Guild of America Awards, often considered a reliable predictor of the Oscar for best picture.
While James Cameron’s blockbuster was considered a heavy favorite to win the top award from a guild that often rewards commercial success, the voters instead went for the lowest-grossing of the 10 nominees, adding to an impressive array of "Hurt Locker" wins that already included the Critics Choice Movie Awards and the top honors from numerous regional and national critics groups.
"I can’t believe I’m up here — I just thought it was going to be somebody else," said Kathryn Bigelow, the director and producer of the tense, gritty film about a bomb disposal unit in Iraq. In her thank-yous, she saluted the producers, saying "perhaps no other body understands the logistical challenges of making a film."
The Pixar film "Up" won the award for animated feature, while "The Cove" took home honors for documentary feature.
The PGA also handed television awards Sunday night at the Hollywood Palladium. "30 Rock" and "Mad Men" picked up the top prizes for episodic television comedy and drama, respectively.
"Grey Gardens" won for long-form TV, "60 Minutes" for non-fiction TV, and "The Colbert Report" for live entertainment/competition TV.
Several honorary and lifetime-achievement awards were also handed out. Sony Pictures’ Amy Pascal and Michael Lyton won the Milestone Award, Pixar’s John Lasseter the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures, "Survivor" producer Mark Burnett the Norman Lear Achievement Award for Television, Joss Whedon the Vanguard Award, and the producers of "Precious" the Stanley Kramer Award.
Presenters included Will Smith, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, Neil Patrick Harris and Mo’Nique.
The complete list of winners:
Theatrical Motion PIcture: "The Hurt Locker"
Animated Theatrical Motion Picture: "Up"
Documentary Theatrical Motion Picture: "The Cove"
Episodic Televison – Drama: "Mad Men"
Episodic Television – Comedy: "30 Rock"
Long-form Televison: "Grey Gardens"
Non-Fiction Televison: "60 minutes"
Live Entertainment & Competition Television: "The Colbert Report"
Milestone award: Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton
Norman Lear award: Mark Burnett
David O. Selznick award: John Lasseter
Stanley Kramer award: "Precious"
Vanguard award: Joss Whedon