Tuesday, February 2, 2010

82nd Academy Awards nominations

The nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards were announced this morning, and the following are the Oscar nominees in the major categories. Here's the full list of nominees.

Best Picture
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

Best Director
James Cameron, Avatar
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Lee Daniels, Precious
Jason Reitman, 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 Sidibe, 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 Original Screenplay
The Hurt Locker, Written by Mark Boal
Inglourious Basterds, Written by Quentin Tarantino
The Messenger, Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
A Serious Man, Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Up, Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

Best Adapted Screenplay
District 9, Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
An Education, Screenplay by Nick Hornby
In The Loop, Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
Precious, Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
Up in the Air, Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Best Animated Feature Film
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells

Best Original Score
James Horner, Avatar
Alexandre Desplat, Fantastic Mr. Fox
Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders, The Hurt Locker
Hans Zimmer, Sherlock Holmes
Michael Giacchino, Up

Best Original Song
"Almost There", The Princess and the Frog, Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
"Down in New Orleans", The Princess and the Frog, Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
"Loin de Paname", Paris 36, Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
"Take It All", Nine, Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
"The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)", Crazy Heart, Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone

Best Art Direction
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Sherlock Holmes
The Young Victoria

Best Cinematography
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The White Ribbon

Best Costume Design
Bright Star
Coco Before Chanel
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Young Victoria

Best Film Editing
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds

Best Makeup
Il Divo
Star Trek
The Young Victoria

Best Visual Effects
District 9
Star Trek

I am thrilled that "District 9" was nominated for Best Picture because it really is an amazing film, but since it has genre trappings, it's not the kind of film that would normally be considered for Best Picture. I'm also happy that it was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. I don't think it has a shot in hell of winning either category, but in this case, I'm glad for the nominations themselves.

But the Best Picture nomination to me comes bittersweet since this is the first year when the number of nominees has been expanded back to 10. There were 10 nominees for a long time, and then that number was shortened to 5, and then the decision was made this year to change it back to 10. Maybe it's just because I'm used to there being 5 nominees, but I can't help but wonder, if they had kept the same number of nominees, which 5 would actually be the Best Picture nominees? Which 5 films now sport the "Best Picture nominee" tag solely by virtue of the expanded list? I'm pretty sure "District 9" is one of them. Does it mean the same to know that if these nominations had been done last year, your film wouldn't have gotten a Best Picture nomination, but this year, it did? I expect being nominated for Best Picture is a pretty nifty thing in and of itself, but I can't help but think about the circumstances as well.

The nominees for Best Director are identical to the nominees for the DGA Awards, so there is a good chance that Kathryn Bigelow will win the Oscar over James Cameron. At this point, it would be an upset if she didn't win.

I'm a little surprised but pleased that both Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon were nominated for their roles in "Invictus". They both did a terrific job.

I'd been kind of interested in seeing "The Blind Side" because the real-life story sounded good, and the only thing really holding me back was Sandra Bullock, who I've come to not like as much as I used to. With the nominations, I might try to catch the film anyway.

"Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker" lead the nominations with 9 each. I'm interested in seeing "Avatar" again, but I have no interest in "The Hurt Locker". I don't do Tarantino, and Clooney doesn't really interest me, so those two films are out as well.

I'd not heard of "An Education", but the premise sounds interesting and appeals to the Anglophile in me, and the inclusion of Olivia Williams in the film just makes me that much more interested.

"Precious" isn't something that was on my radar other than that it had gotten confused at one point with "Push" because the original book that inspired the movie is called "Push", but when the film was making the film festival rounds, it was getting a lot of good buzz. It might be something I'll try to catch, but I haven't really decided yet.

Speaking of confusing, while I was listening to the nominations, I didn't realize that there was a film called "A Serious Man" but I did know about "A Single Man". I'm not interested in the former, but I do want to see the latter, especially because I'd heard for some time that Colin Firth is amazing in the film.

"Crazy Heart" wasn't something I was particularly interested in seeing, but I've been hearing a lot of good things about that as well. I do like Jeff Bridges, and I'm told that Colin Farrell does a good job with a song that he sings, so I'll probably go see the film.

"The Last Station" is not something I've heard of, and while the cast of Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren and Paul Giamatti is tempting, I'm not sure the subject matter is something I'm really interested in, so I may end up passing.

I'm happy that Meryl Streep was nominated for playing Julia Child because she did do a wonderful job, but I also thought she was terrific in "It's Complicated", and I would have been happy with if she'd been nominated for that instead.

I'm thrilled that "Coraline" was nominated for Best Animated Film since I really loved it. It's interesting that "Up" was nominated for Best Animated Film as well as Best Picture, especially since the push in the ads was only for Best Picture. It's the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture since "Beauty and the Beast" (which was the first animated film to be so honored), but I suspect that's also a function of the expanded number of Best Picture nominees. I know, everyone else loved the film whereas I had my issues with it. And I'm sorry, but I don't consider its Best Picture nomination on the same caliber as "Beauty and the Beast". "Beauty and the Beast" received the Best Picture nomination in a field of only 5. Only some in the Academy would know if "Up" would have made the cut if there were only 5 nominees. And I love "Beauty and the Beast" so much, so yeah, for me, that's the only animated film that's received a true Best Picture nomination.

The winners will be announced on Sunday, March 7, 2010.

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