As my colleague Adam Vary has reported from the scene, The Hurt Locker‘s Kathryn Bigelow won the Directors Guild prize last night, over Avatar‘s James Cameron. For many people, the outcome is a surprise: Two of the smartest Oscar experts in my mind, like Tom O’Neil at Gold Derby and Kris Tapley at InContention, both were sure Cameron would prevail considering the DGA’s populist bent and no-screeners policy. Their thinking was that The Hurt Locker simply may not have been seen by enough DGA voters to eke out a win. I was one of the Oscar dorks who had predicted a Bigelow victory, though I certainly wasn’t confident in my guess.

Now that The Hurt Locker has won the PGA and DGA prizes, is an Oscar win next? Since Avatar doesn’t have a single guild-award win to its credit as of yet, Bigelow’s film certainly has the edge at the moment, particularly in the Best Director category, where she’d be the first woman ever to win (as she was at the DGA). But let’s also remember that just four years ago, Brokeback Mountain lost the Best Picture Oscar after picking up DGA and PGA honors. So nothing is a sure thing.

Image credit: Jordan Strauss/