After losing out at the Golden Globes, Bigelow bested Cameron to take home the directing award from the Directors' Guild of America this weekend. The race is even as the directors head into the Oscars. Why it's significant? Bigelow is the first woman ever to win the DGA award, which has existed for over 60 years.
In the 80 plus years of Oscar history, she would be the first woman ever to win the directing award, and she would be one of four ever to be nominated (the other three were Linda Wertmueller for Seven Beauties in 1976, Jane Campion for The Piano in 1993, and Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2003).
Perhaps even more significantly, Bigelow is up for a movie that definitively falls outside of "women's film" categories. It's not a romantic comedy, or a period piece: The Hurt Locker is a gutpunch action film, an adrenaline-filled ride through desert explosions that will make you grit your teeth until they ache. Bigelow is a woman who's not only breaking the mold—she's blowing it up.