'The Hurt Locker' swept the 82nd Annual Academy Awards ceremony here winning six out of nine trophies, becoming the lowest grossing movie ever to win the ultimate Hollywood award. Its maker Kathryn Bigelow is the first female director to win the Oscar.
Set in Iraq, it follows a bomb disposal unit and captures the tension and danger as they seek to defuse explosives in cars, under dirt and strapped on people.
Apart from best picture and direction, it won four more golden statuettes for sound editing, sound mixing, original screenplay as well as editing. It won an equal number of awards at the 2010 BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Awards earlier this year.
Bigelow over the challenge posed by ex-husband James Cameron's 3D sci-fi epic 'Avatar', which was the other leading contender for Oscar glory with nine nominations.
DPA reports that 'Avatar', the most successful film in history with more than $2 billion in ticket sales, won just three awards for visual effects, art direction and cinematography.
According to pundits, ticket sales for 'The Hurt Locker' was just $21 million, making it the lowest-grossing best-picture winner ever.
Another winner was the inspirational 'Precious', which racked up three wins, including a supporting actress award for Mo'Nique.
'Sometimes you have to forego doing what's popular in order to do what's right,' she said while accepting her prize.
Jeff Bridges won the best actor prize for his role as a washed up country singer in the film 'Crazy Heart'. He dedicated his prize to his parents.
'Thank you, mom and dad, for turning me on to such a groovy profession,' he said. 'They loved showbiz so much and I feel an extension of them.'
Sandra Bullock was named the best actress for 'The Blind Side', in which she plays a high society woman who takes in an impoverished black kid and turns him into a football star.
She dedicated her win to her mother who taught her that 'there's no race, no religion, no class system, no colour, nothing, no sexual orientation that makes us better than anyone else. We are all deserving of love'.
American director Gregg Helvey's India-themed 19-minute film 'Kavi', about a young Indian boy forced to work in a brick kiln, lost out the best short film award to 'The New Tenants' by Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson.
Pete Docter's 'Up' was adjudged the best animated feature film and 'Crazy Heart' won the Oscar for best original song.
Christopher Waltz won the best actor in a supporting role award for playing the scheming Col. Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino's 'Inglourious Basterds', a film based on World War II.
The award for the best animated short film went to 'Logorama' and 'The Cove' by Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens was judged the best documentary feature film.
'Music by Prudence' by Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett took away the Oscar for best documentary on a short subject.
Argentine film 'The Secret in Their Eyes', about a retired criminal prosecutor Benjamin Esposito's quest for writing a novel, won the best foreign language film at the star-studded gala.
According to DPA, the event started with all 10 nominees for best actor and best actress taking the stage, before hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were introduced in a spectacular comedic song-and-dance number.
The show's producers attempted to perk up Oscar ratings after years of falling ratings and featured young stars like Zac Efron and Miley Cyrus in the show.