Still, giving it the "Best Picture" award is going to raise expectations a little too high among the many who have yet to see it. It's kind of like if an early Ramones album that had sold 10,000 copies had beaten out multi-platinum Stevie Wonder or Fleetwood Mac albums for a 1970s Grammy Award. "The Hurt Locker" is not exactly The Return of the King or The Departed in terms of satisfying a broad checklist of qualities that you would expect in a Best Picture. "The Hurt Locker" does a few things very well, but don't expect it to do more than that.
If The Big Lebowski had won Best Picture, would it seem as funny? Instead, it was considered a disappointment when it came out, and most people later stumbled upon it with low or no expectations. For people seeing it for the first time now, it has a hard time living up to the legend.