"The Hurt Locker" scored the top film award from the Producers Guild of America
, building new momentum for the Iraq war drama in the expanded Oscar race for best picture. The film about a risk-taking bomb disposal technician beat out such celebrated nominees as "Avatar," "Inglourious Basterds" and "Up in the Air."
"The Hurt Locker," starring Jeremy Renner and directed by Kathryn Bigelow, also bested the films "Star Trek," "District 9," "An Education," "Invictus," "Up" and "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire" at Sunday's Producers Guild Awards at the Hollywood Palladium, the latest kudofest in the run-up to the Academy Awards in March.
Assuming "The Hurt Locker" earns an Oscar best-picture nomination Feb. 2, it will have just as much competition as it did at the PGAs, which followed Oscar organizers lead and doubled the best-picture category to 10 nominees, aiming to bring a broader range of movies into the fold, which means a blockbuster could take the top category.
In other PGA film categories, "Up" won for animated feature and "The Cove" was lauded for documentary. The Harlem drama "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire" was honored with the Stanley Kramer Award, a prize named after the late director that recognizes work which explores and addresses provocative social issues.
Four television shows were repeat winners from last year: AMC's "Madmen" for drama TV; NBC's "30 Rock" for comedy TV; Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" for live entertainment and competition TV; and CBS' "60 Minutes"
for nonfiction TV. The HBO TV film "Grey Gardens" snagged the prize in the long-form TV category.
Career achievement awards were bestowed on Sony Pictures chairman Michael Lynton and co-chairman Amy Pascal; Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios chief creative officer John Lasseter; and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Dollhouse" mastermind Joss Whedon.