March 7, 2010

The 82nd Annual Oscar Nominations - ‘Avatar’ and ‘Hurt Locker’ lead the field


Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker” narrowly led the Oscar nominees, with nine nominations each, including best picture and best director, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences scattered its honors among an unusually wide field of contenders on Tuesday.

The anti-Nazi romp “Inglourious Basterds” followed close behind with eight nominations, including best director for Quentin Tarantino and best supporting actor for Christoph Waltz.

The urban drama “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” had six nominations, including best picture, best director for Lee Daniels, best actress for Gabourey Sidibe, best supporting actress for Mo’Nique, and best adapted screenplay for Geoffrey Fletcher. Mr. Daniels made instant Oscar history as the first black director of a best picture nominee.

Up in the Air” also had a strong showing with six nominations, including best picture, best director for Jason Reitman, best adapted script, best actor for George Clooney and two supporting actress nominations, for Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick.

One surprise was a best picture nomination for “The Blind Side,” a popular drama about a white woman who helps a homeless young black man become a football star. Sandra Bullock was nominated as best actress for her role in the film, which had not been widely seen as a best picture prospect as the awards season took shape.

Other best picture nominees in a field that was doubled to 10 from five this year were “District 9,” “An Education,” “A Serious Man,” and “Up.”

“District 9,” a guerrilla-style look inside a detention camp full of space aliens, stood out as the sort of crowd-pleaser the academy’s governors had hoped would surface in the wider field of nominees. It may have edged aside “Star Trek,” a more conventional sci-fi hit that had been singled out by many as an Oscar prospect earlier in the season.

“Invictus,” directed by Clint Eastwood, received two nominations, for its star, Morgan Freeman, and its supporting actor, Matt Damon, though the movie — about sports and healing in South Africa — had been widely cited for months as a candidate for more nominations.

Joining Mr. Daniels, Mr. Reitman and Mr. Tarantino in the best director category are the former spouses James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow — for “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker,” respectively.

The nominations were announced shortly after 5:30 a.m., Pacific time, at the Beverly Hills headquarters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars. The early-morning ceremony is calculated to grab viewers on morning news shows across the United States. The Oscar ceremony is set for broadcast on March 7 on ABC.

Besides Mr. Clooney and Mr. Freeman, nominees for best actor also included Jeff Bridges, for his performance as a broken-down country singer in “Crazy Heart”; Colin Firth, who played a gay college professor in “A Single Man”; and Jeremy Renner, who played a danger-addicted bomb disposal expert in the war drama “The Hurt Locker.”

Mr. Bridges — four times nominated in the past but never a winner — has been considered a favorite since winning both the Golden Globe for best dramatic performance and an award from the Screen Actors Guild.

The best actress nominees, in addition to Ms. Bullock and Ms. Sidibe, included Helen Mirren, who played Tolstoy’s wife in “The Last Station”; Carey Mulligan, who played a young girl seduced by an older man in “An Education”; and Meryl Streep, who picked up her 16th Oscar nomination — extending her own record for most acting nominations — for portraying the irrepressible cook Julia Child in “Julie & Julia.”

Supporting actress nominations also went to Maggie Gyllenhaal for her appearance in “Crazy Heart” and to Penélope Cruz for her performance in “Nine.”

Ms. Cruz’s was the only nomination in the major categories for “Nine,” a film that once appeared poised to put the financially troubled Weinstein Company back into the thick of the Oscar race. In fact, the company and its co-founders, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Oscar perennials, are in the thick of the awards with “Inglourious Basterds,” which was distributed in partnership with Universal Pictures.

The supporting actor nominees included Woody Harrelson, for “The Messenger”; Christopher Plummer, for “The Last Station”; and Stanley Tucci, for “The Lovely Bones.”

Mr. Tucci stretched about as far as an actor can go last year, playing both a loathsome serial killer in “The Lovely Bones” and Ms. Child’s adoring husband in “Julie & Julia.”

In expanding the best picture category — something that hasn’t been done since awards for the 1943 films — the academy’s governors were hoping to spark new audience interest in a ceremony that recently has leaned toward independent-style fare like “No Country for Old Men,” “There Will Be Blood,” “Milk” and “The Reader.”

The nominations for “District 9” and “Up” certainly broadened the field. Previously, only one animated film had been nominated for best picture — Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” which was nominated as best picture in 1992 (and came before there was a separate category for best animated feature).

Still, no broad comedy made the cut, though “The Hangover” had won Golden Globes for best comedy and for original screenplay by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. And “Avatar,” with its vast popularity and critical success, would almost certainly have been included in a smaller field.

Notably, the nominations for “Avatar” were heavily concentrated in some of the more technical categories, like sound editing, visual effects and editing. It did not receive a screenplay nomination, though “The Hurt Locker,” which has scored well with critics and some Hollywood guilds in their pre-Oscar prize ceremonies, did.

Other nominations for best original screenplay went to Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman for “The Messenger”; Joel and Ethan Coen for “A Serious Man”; and Pete Docter, Bob Peterson and Thomas McCarthy for “Up.”

Nominees for best adapted screenplay included Nick Hornby for “An Education”; Mr. Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell for “District 9”; and Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche for “In the Loop.”

The animated category was deeper this year, with five nominees instead of the usual three, because enough animated films qualified to allow the expanded field. “Up” received a nomination for best animated film, raising the possibility that voters might split their ballots, some voting for it as an animated film, some as best picture — conceivably leaving it without a victory in either category — though it could receive votes for both under Oscar rules.

Other animated nominees were “Coraline,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “The Princess and the Frog” and “The Secret of the Kells.”

Best foreign-language film nominees were “Ajami,” from Israel; “A Prophet,” from France; “The Secret in Their Eyes,” from Argentina; “The White Ribbon,” from Germany; and “The Milk of Sorrow,” from Peru. None of those films have been seen widely by American audiences.

The 10 best picture nominations were spread among 10 different companies on Tuesday.

Complete List:

Below is the full list of the 82nd Annual Oscar Nominations, which were announced Tuesday morning:

Best Picture
“The Blind Side”
“District 9″
“An Education”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
“A Serious Man”
“Up in the Air”

Best Direction
“Avatar” — James Cameron
“The Hurt Locker” — Kathryn Bigelow
“Inglourious Basterds” — Quentin Tarantino
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” — Lee Daniels
“Up in the Air” — Jason Reitman

Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

Actress in a Leading Role
Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

Actor in a Supporting Role
Matt Damon in “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Penélope Cruz in “Nine”
Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Writing (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: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” — Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
“Up in the Air” — Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Writing (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

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

Art Direction
“Avatar” — Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” — Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
“Nine” — Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
“Sherlock Holmes” — Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
“The Young Victoria” — Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray


“Avatar” — Mauro Fiore
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” — Bruno Delbonnel
“The Hurt Locker” — Barry Ackroyd
“Inglourious Basterds” — Robert Richardson
“The White Ribbon” — Christian Berger

Costume Design
“Bright Star” — Janet Patterson
“Coco before Chanel” — Catherine Leterrier
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” — Monique Prudhomme
“Nine” — Colleen Atwood
“The Young Victoria” — Sandy Powell

Documentary (Feature)
“Burma VJ”
“The Cove”
“Food, Inc.”
“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers”
“Which Way Home”

Documentary (Short Subject)
“China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province”
“The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner”
“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant”
“Music by Prudence”
“Rabbit à la Berlin”

Film Editing
“Avatar” — Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
“District 9” — Julian Clarke
“The Hurt Locker” — Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
“Inglourious Basterds” — Sally Menke
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” — Joe Klotz

Foreign Language Film
“Ajami” — Israel
“El Secreto de Sus Ojos” — Argentina
“The Milk of Sorrow” — Peru
“Un Prophète” — France
“The White Ribbon” — Germany

“Il Divo” — Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
“Star Trek” — Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
“The Young Victoria” — Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

Music (Original Score)
“Avatar” — James Horner
“Fantastic Mr. Fox” — Alexandre Desplat
“The Hurt Locker” — Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
“Sherlock Holmes” — Hans Zimmer
“Up” — Michael Giacchino

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

Short Film (Animated)
“French Roast” Fabrice O. Joubert
“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell
“The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” Javier Recio Gracia
“Logorama” Nicolas Schmerkin
“A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park

Short Film (Live Action)

“The Door” — Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
“Instead of Abracadabra” — Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström
“Kavi” — Gregg Helvey
“Miracle Fish” — Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
“The New Tenants” — Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Sound Editing
“Avatar” — Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
“The Hurt Locker” — Paul N. J. Ottosson
“Inglourious Basterds” — Wylie Stateman
“Star Trek” — Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
“Up” — Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Sound Mixing
“Avatar” — Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
“The Hurt Locker” — Paul N. J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
“Inglourious Basterds” — Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
“Star Trek” — Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” — Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Visual Effects
“Avatar” — Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
“District 9” — Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
“Star Trek” — Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Read the rest HERE.


The Illusionist said...

Oscar Odds and Ends and Facts and Figures

Interesting oddities, facts, figures and trivia related to this year's Academy Awards nominees:

IN RARE AIR: ''Up'' is only the second animated feature film to receive an Oscar nomination for best picture. ''Beauty and the Beast'' was the first, nominated in 1991.

A BIG WIN BREWING?: Kathryn Bigelow (''The Hurt Locker,'') is just the fourth woman to be nominated for a best director Oscar and only the second American woman to receive the nod. The other, Sofia Coppola, was nominated in 2003. If Bigelow wins she would be the first woman to receive the award.

PROTECTING HER LEAD: Meryl Streep remains Oscar's most nominated performer, with this year's best-actress nod for portraying Julia Child in ''Julie & Julia'' bringing her total to 16. That's four ahead of Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson, who have 12 nominations apiece. But Hepburn, who died in 2003, still leads Oscar winners with four statuettes. Nicholson has three and Streep has two.

BACK IN BLACK (AND WHITE): ''The White Ribbon'' becomes only the ninth predominantly black-and-white movie to be nominated for a best cinematography Oscar since the Academy eliminated the separate black-and-white cinematography category in 1967. It joins ''The Man Who Wasn't There'' and ''Good Night, and Good Luck'' as the only ones since 2000.

Read more HERE.

The Illusionist said...

Box-Office Numbers for Oscar Best-Picture Nominees

North American box-office performance as of Sunday for Oscar best-picture nominees:

-- ''Avatar,'' 20th Century Fox, nine nominations, $596 million, released Dec. 18

-- ''The Blind Side,'' Warner Bros., two nominations, $238 million, released Nov. 20

-- ''District 9,'' Sony, four nominations, $116 million, released Aug. 14

-- ''An Education,'' Sony Pictures Classics, three nominations, $9 million, released Oct. 9

-- ''The Hurt Locker,'' Summit, nine nominations, $12.7 million, released June 26

-- ''Inglourious Basterds,'' The Weinstein Co., eight nominations, $121 million, released Aug. 21

-- ''Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire,'' Lionsgate, six nominations, $45 million, released Nov. 6

Read more HERE.

Caulfield said...

Predictable ones -

Best supporting Actor - Christopher Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Best Visual Effects - Avatar
Best Animated Film - Up

Avatar will get the Best cinematography award too most likely.

For best film, it will be a competition between Avatar and The Hurt Locker. Though I think it should be Inglourious Basterds or Avatar.

The best part of ACADEMY AWARDS this time is finally an animated film "UP" is competing in the best picture category. I always said before an animated film is an animated film, it is a film. So it should be nominated in the best film category too and win it if it deserves to win.

Caulfield said...

I think Kathryn Bigelow is going to win The Best Director Award. She got the award in almost every award shows. I don't see a twist in the tale happening for this category. But I really feel sad for Cameron. Avatar is an impossible film to make. :(

Minnie said...

I'm so rooting for Kathryn !! Comeon people...a shoestring budget of $11 million of Hurt Locker vs a mammoth $300 million budget of Avatar? It's a classic David vs Goliath story here.

We couldn't have the first female President in 2009...could we at least have the first female director ever to win an Oscar in 2010??

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