updated 03/07/2010 AT 11:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/08/2010 AT 12:15 AM ET
There may have been few surprises on Oscar night Sunday, but there was plenty of heart.
Glowing in gold as she stood in the winners’ circle, Best Actress Sandra Bullock – who noted that George Clooney once threw her into a swimming pool years ago – acknowledged each of her sister nominees, including the “great kisser” Meryl Streep, then focused on the message of her movie, The Blind Side: that the mother figure is the one who brings light and love into a person’s life.
In a moment that is bound to be long remembered, Bullock tearfully thanked her mother “Helga B” – Helga D. Meyer, a German opera singer and voice teacher who died in 2000 – whose wise guidance included not letting her daughters ride in cars with boys until they were 18. The Oscar winner admitted that she would have done exactly what her mother feared she would.
She also thanked her mom, whom she called a trailblazer, “for reminding her daughters that there’s no race, no religion, no class system, no color, nothing, no sexual orientation that makes us better than anyone else. We are all deserving of love.”
The other big winners of the evening were The Hurt Locker, which took six Oscars in all, including the top prize, Best Picture, and Best Director for Kathryn Bigelow – the first women ever to win an Academy Award in that category, a fact that was not lost on presenter Barbra Streisand. Upon opening the envelope, the singer-actress-director said, “Well, the time has come.”