Critics name Katherine Bigelow as first female to win Best Director

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The Independent Culture

At the 15th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards last weekend, the Broadcast Film Critics Association choose Kathryn Bigelow as Best Director for The Hurt Locker. She is the first female director to win the honor. The film also won Best Picture as the event.

Avatar was the 90-member Hollywood Foreign Press Association's choice for Best Film in the drama category at the Golden Globes. The 240 members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association selected Avatar for six awards at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards for Best Action Movie, Visual Effects, Sound, Cinematography for Mauro Fiore, Best Art Direction, and Best Editing.

Most other awards aligned perfectly between the Foreign Press and American. Both press associations, foreign and US, voted for Jeff Bridges for Best Actor in Crazy Heart, while Meryl Streep ( Julie & Julia) and Sandra Bullock ( The Blind Side) tied in the lead actress category at the Critics' Choice event. At the Globes, Meryl won for comedy and Sandra won for drama.

Christoph Waltz was honored by both associations for Best Supporting Actor ( Inglourious Basterds), as was Best Supporting Actress went to Mo'Nique ( Precious).

Up won Best Animated Feature and The Hangover won Best Comedy in both competitions.

A difference could be seen the category of Best Foreign Language Film: The Golden Globe went to The White Ribbon by Michael Haneke and the Critics' Choice went with Broken Embraces by Pedro Almodavar.

The question remains whether these awards will have any impact on choices for Academy Awards nominations  for the upcoming Oscars. It will be the source of much speculation, as well as guessing if Avatar will sweep the show on March 7 like James Cameron's Titanic did in 1998. The Oscar nominations will be announced February 2.