BEVERLY HILLS, California (AFP) - Science-fiction blockbuster Avatar took top honours at the 67th Golden Globes here late Sunday, winning best picture and best director to cement its status as an Oscars front-runner. The ground-breaking epic from Titanic director James Cameron on course to become the highest-grossing film in history was the big winner on a night when honours were largely spread across several films. The movie has been hailed as a cinematic milestone for its use of state of the art 3-D cameras and motion capture technology, which Cameron was instrumental in helping to develop. This is the best job in the world, Cameron told a star-studded audience at the Beverly Hilton Hotel after accepting the best motion picture drama award. Since its release in December, Avatar has earned an astonishing 1.6 billion dollars worldwide and is rapidly closing in on the 1.8 billion dollar record of Camerons 1997 Oscar-winner Titanic. Accepting the best director award earlier, a delighted Cameron said he had been expecting to lose out to ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow, who had been nominated for her powerful Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker. Im unprepared. Frankly I thought Kathryn was going to get this, Cameron said. But make no mistake Im very grateful. Part of Camerons speech was also made in Navi the language spoken by the blue-skinned peace-loving alien heroes of Avatar, which was invented for the film by a University of Southern California linguistics expert. The Golden Globes are seen as a key staging post in the sprint towards the ultimate prize of the Oscars, which take place on March 7 this year, and often help shape the field of likely best picture contenders. However Hollywood awards shows rarely honour fantasy films, and Avatar was expected to face stiff competition from Big-elows The Hurt Loc-ker, Quentin Tara-ntinos Inglourious Basterds, Precious and Up In the Air. Avatars stellar showing at the Globes may now see it elevated to favourite for the Oscars, whose nominees are revealed on February 2. Up In the Air had started Sunday as one of the hot favourites with six nominations but in the event had to settle for one best screenplay. Another big loser on the night was musical Nine, which started the night with five nominations but finished empty-handed. Nine was pipped for best musical or comedy by the raucous The Hangover. The acting awards saw popular honours going to veterans Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock. Bridges, 60, won the best drama actor prize for his portrayal of a washed up country singer in Crazy Heart. Bridges, who had been nominated for a Golden Globe on three previous occasions but never won, received a standing ovation as he walked to the stage before thanking his late father Lloyd Bridges in his acceptance speech. I gotta thank my dad, Bridges said. You know, he loved show biz so damned much he encouraged all his kids to go into showbiz. Me being a young kid, you know, you dont want to do what your parents want you to do. ... So glad I listened to you, dad. I finally paid attention. Bullock took best drama actress prize for her portrayal of southern housewife Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side, the true story of how Tuohy took in a homeless black teen Michael Oher, who went on to become an American football star with the Baltimore Ravens. Thank you for putting me in this extraordinary category with these amazing women I get to share this night with, Bullock said. If I may steal from Michael Oher, he said 'I might not be the most talented, but Ive been given opportunity. And Ive been given so much opportunity. The 45-year-old veteran beat out fellow nominees Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria), Helen Mirren (The Last Station), Carey Mulligan, (An Education) and Gabourey Sidibe (Precious). Elsewhere, Hollywood icon Meryl Streep snared a record seventh Golden Globe win for her portrayal of television chef Julia Child in Julie & Julia. The 60-year-old won in the best comedy actress category, where she was also nominated for Its Complicated. The best comedy actor prize was taken by Robert Downey Jr for his performance in Sherlock Holmes as the legendary Victorian super-sleuth. The supporting acting awards went to Austrias Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds and MoNique for Precious.