kathryn-bigelow Kathryn Bigelow and “The Hurt Locker” are putting the hurt on ex-James Cameron and “Avatar” in the race for Oscars. Bigelow won the top prize from the Directors Guild of America, making her an odds on favorite for an Academy Award.

Aside from the awards, the ceremony marked the re-emergence of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt after a series of tabloid reports that their relationship was crashing. The couple appeared almost giddy together.

The Guild award winner has gone on to win the Oscar in all but six of the last 60 years. Academy Award nominations will be announced Tuesday.

“This is the most incredible moment of my life,” Bigelow said backstage, calling the honor “kind of the pinnacle for the already wild ride ‘The Hurt Locker’ has put me on.”

Bigelow is also the first woman to win the award.

She was in contention with Quentin Tarantino for “Inglourious Basterds,” Jason Reitman for “Up in the Air,” Lee Daniels for “Precious” and ex-husband Cameron for “Avatar.”

“Hurt Locker” star Jeremy Renner called Bigelow “a warrior, my champion and the most fortunate actor’s director.”

Other directors had nothing but praise for her work. Tarantino called her “queen of directors.” Reitman said he grew up watching her films. Cameron praised everyone “truly excellent and brilliant filmmakers.”

“The Hurt Locker” is an intense character study set against the chaos and danger of the Iraq war.

Elite soldiers, who must deal with one of most dangerous jobs in the world disarming bombs, must contend with a new squad leader who seems to be indifferent to death and needlessly risk their lives. The men’s true characters are revealed in a way that will change each man forever.

Other winners include:

Jason Winer, “Modern Family” for television comedy.
Lesli Linka Glatter, “Mad Men,” for best drama.
Ross Katz for HBO movie “Taking Chance.”
Louie Psihoyos, “The Cove,” for best documentary.
Norman Jewison received the guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award
Roger Goodman, the guild’s lifetime achievement award in news direction.
• Disney’s Robert Iger and Warner Bros.’s Barry Meyer, honorary life memberships.
Craig Borders, “Hong Kong Bridge,” for reality programming.
Allison Liddi-Brown, “Princess Protection Program,” for Children’s programs.
Christopher Goutman, “As the World Turns: Once Upon a Time,” for daytime serials:
Tom Kuntz for commercials: