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Oscar nominations spread the wealth

Hurtlockrt

The mega-hit Avatar and the low-budget war drama scored nine Oscar nods apiece this morning, competing in practically every category they were nominated for, setting the stage for a David and Goliath showdown when the Academy Awards are handed out on Sunday. March 7th.

Quentin Tarantino's glorious Inglourious Basterds was no slouch either, racking up eight nominations.Up in the Air garnered the expected nods for writer/director Jason Reitman and actor George Clooney, but it was a pleasant surprise to see both of the film's female co-stars, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, snag Best Supporting Actress noms.

Precious

They'll both lose to the unstoppable Mo'Nique, whose film Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, made an expected than stronger showing, with nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress (for first timer Gabourey Sibide), Best Director (for Lee Daniels) and Best Adapted Screenplay.

A-serious-man1

I am thrilled that Joel and Ethan Coen's A Serious Man got a Best Picture nom to go along with the expected Best Original Screenplay nod, and that the utterly hilarious script for the scathing British comedy In the Loop got its due recognition from Oscar voters. The expansion of the Best Picture category from the traditional five nominees to ten made room for movies like the little-seen charmer An Education, the Pixar smash Up (only the second animated feature film after Beauty and the Beast to make the race) and the sci-fi thriller District 9.

The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow became the fourth woman ever to be nominated for Best Director. She'll be competing for the award with her ex-husband, Avatar's James Cameron. Both The Hurt Locker and Avatar are nominated in practically all the same categories. The fact that both happen to be war pictures - one in Iraq, the other in a far-flung planet - is also an interesting coincidence.

The%20Blind%20Side%20movie%20image%20Sandra%20Bullock1

Meryl Streep racked up her 16th Best Actress nomination for Julie & Julia, but she'll have to fend off the surging popularity of Sandra Bullock, whose surprise hit The Blind Side also made the Best Picture cut. Two of the Best Foreign Language nominees, The Secret in their Eyes and The Milk of Sorrow, will be screening at the Miami International Film Festival next month, although the front-runner for the award is Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon, which I have to run out to see right now.

Other surprises: Jeff Bridges landed the expected Best Actor nomination for his performance as a run-down country singer Crazy Heart, but his co-star Maggie Gyllenhaal also scored a Best Supporting Actress nod for her portrayal of a single mother who helps him right his life. The tiny drama The Messenger, about officers in the Army's Casualty Notification division, scored two major nominations, Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Woody Harrelson). 

The dolphin-slaughter expose The Cove made the Best Documentary short list. Director Clint Eastwood's South African rugby drama Invictus put everyone to sleep except, apparently, for Academy voters, who rewarded actors Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon with acting nominations.

 I'll be back later for more Oscar musings. Here's a mostly-complete list of all the nominees. Go to oscars.com for more

BEST PICTURE

Avatar

The Blind Side

District 9

An Education

The Hurt Locker

Inglourious Basterds

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

A Serious Man

Up

Up in the Air

BEST ACTOR

Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)

George Clooney (Up in the Air)

Colin Firth (A Single Man)

Morgan Freeman (Invictus)

Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)

BEST ACTRESS

Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)

Helen Mirren (The Last Station)

Carey Mulligan (An Education)

Gabourey Sibide (Precious)

Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Matt Damon (Invictus)

Woody Harrelson (The Messenger)

Christopher Plummer (The Last Station)

Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones)

Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Penelope Cruz (Nine)

Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air)

Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart)

Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air)

Mo'Nique (Precious)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

District 9

An Education

In the Loop

Precious

Up in the Air

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

The Hurt Locker

Inglourious Basterds

The Messenger

A Serious Man

Up

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Ajami (Israel)

The Secret in Their Eyes (Argentina)

The Milk of Sorrow (Peru)

A Prophet (France)

The White Ribbon (Germany)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Burma VJ

The Cove

Food, Inc.

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

Which Way Home

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Coraline

Fantastic Mr. Fox

The Princess and the Frog

The Secret of Kells

Up

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Avatar

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The Hurt Locker

Inglorious Basterds

The White Ribbon

ART DIRECTION

Avatar

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Nine

Sherlock Holmes

Young Victoria

COSTUME DESIGN

Bright Star

Coco Before Chanel

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Nine

Young Victoria

MAKEUP

Il Divo

Star Trek

The Young Victoria

EDITING

Avatar

District 9

The Hurt Locker

Inglourious Basterds

Precious

VISUAL EFFECTS

Avatar

District 9

Star Trek

SOUND EDITING

Avatar

The Hurt Locker

Inglourious Basterds

Star Trek

Up

SOUND MIXING

Avatar

The Hurt Locker

Inglorious Basterds

Star Trek

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

 


 


 

Comments

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miaminative

Did they snub The Road all together?

I saw the film and liked it, even though I understand why some others did not.

But, I expected them to get some nominations.

Best supporting for Duval? The boy?

Art direction?

Anything?

Are you surprised, Rene?

Capitan Justicia

I'm glad Star Trek received four nominations, although I would have loved for it to have received one for Best Picture as well. Btw, it's absurd that dreck like Transformers 2 received a nomination.

Rene Rodriguez

Lou, I'm not surprised about the lack of love for "The Road." The movie was good, but not great, and the Weinstein Co. did a piss-poor job of releasing that film (it never ever opened in a lot of cities).

I was more surprised by the total snubbing of (500) Days of Summer. I thought that would have gotten a screenplay nomination at least.

miguel

What's the reasoning behind extending the best pic list of nominees? Its usually a two-horse race and this year is no exception. Put me down for Hurt Locker by a nose!

Juan

I think Bigelow will win for Director and Avatar for best picture. Or vice versa. Either way, I think they will end up splitting it.

Mike

Whatever happened to Up in the Air and Carey Mulligan as front runners for this season? I don't understand how both won for the most part every critic awards and now they are being considered underdogs.

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