MANHATTAN — Actress Mo'Nique and screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher each took home an Academy Award on Sunday night for their work on the movie "Precious" based on the struggles of a Harlem girl.
Mo'Nique made a clean sweep of the awards season when she grabbed Oscar gold in the Best Supporting Actress category.
"Sometimes," said Mo’Nique, who took the stage to a standing ovation, "you have to forego doing what's popular in order to do what's right."
Mo'Nique, who also won SAG and Golden Globe awards, became just the fifth black actress to win an Oscar. She wowed audiences and critics for her portrayal of an abusive, yet vulnerable Harlem mother to a resilient teenage daughter.
Fletcher appeared to be in shock when he took the stage after winning an Oscar in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for his work adapting Sapphire's wild-popular Harlem novel.
"This is for everybody who works on a dream everyday — precious boys and girls everywhere," a humble Fletcher said.
"Precious" lost in the Best Picture category to the Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker," which was the big winner of the night taking home five Oscars in all.
"Hurt Locker" director Kathryn Bigelow beat out "Avatar" director and ex-husband James Cameron to become the first woman to win in the Best Director category.
It was a night for first-time winners; Jeff Bridges held his Oscar above his head and thanked his deceased parents Lloyd and Dorothy Bridges after winning in the Best Actor category for his role as a down-and-out country singer. Bridges had been nominated five-times but this was his first Academy Awards win.
First-time nominee Sandra Bullock took home the Best Actress award for her work in "The Blind Side." Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor for his role as a Nazi in "Inglourious Basterds."
The night wasn't without it's missteps. Actresses Farah Fawcett and Bea Arthur, who died in June and April of 2009 respectively, were mistakenly left out of the In Memoriam tribute to those who had passed away during the past year.