2010 Academy Award Nominations Announced

2/02/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

As with all awards seasons, this year's long and heated one must come to an end. The Academy Awards are right around the corner, and the nominations have finally been announced.


For anyone still unaware, the Academy decided to nominate 10 films for Best Picture this year instead of five. Their reasons vary, but whatever the case, there are definitely some nominations this year that are extremely unexpected and that we wouldn't see were there only five nominees.

First off, we've got the big five contenders: "Avatar," "Precious," "Up in the Air," "The Hurt Locker," and "Inglourious Basterds." Those were certain to be nominated, the rest were really--pardon the expression--up in the air. The other five nominees are "An Education," "A Serious Man" and the very surprising and relatively groundbreaking nominations "District 9" and "Up," the latter of which is the first animated film nominated for Best Picture since the Best Animated Film category was added in 2001. Also nominated is "The Blind Side." Don't ask me why. It's a charming film and all, but it's far from something I'd consider Best Picture-worthy.

At this point, it's really between "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker," both of which have been competing big time at the Guild awards.


Not too many surprises here. The nominations for Best Actor are Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart"), George Clooney ("Up in the Air"), Colin Firth ("A Single Man"), Morgan Freeman ("Invictus"), and Jeremy Renner ("The Hurt Locker"). Renner was probably the one I least expected to get a nomination, but it's nice to see him recognized. Though the award seems to be between Bridges and Firth, it'd be awesome to see Renner pull an upset.

Sandra Bullock ("The Blind Side"), Helen Mirren ("The Last Station"), Carey Mulligan ("An Education"), Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious"), and Meryl Streep ("Julie & Julia") got the nominations for Best Actress. Of those I've only seen Bullock and Sidibe, the latter of which would definitely be my choice for the winner. It's still a shame Charlotte Gainsbourg hasn't received any awards recognition for "Antichrist."


Christoph Waltz has secured his nomination for "Inglourious Basterds," and he's likely to go home with the prize, but nominated along with him are Matt Damon ("Invictus"), Woody Harrelson ("The Messenger"), Christopher Plummer ("The Last Station"), and Stanley Tucci ("The Lovely Bones"). Tucci's performance is really one of the best I've seen in a long time, but Waltz is pretty deserving. I'm kind of baffled by Damon's nomination, especially when he actually deserved a nomination for "The Informant" but got one for "Invictus" instead.

As with Best Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress is pretty much a lock as well, in this case with Mo'Nique for "Precious." Also nominated are Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, both for "Up in the Air," Penelope Cruz for "Nine," and Maggie Gyllenhaal for "Crazy Heart." Mo'Nique was terrifying and powerful, but I'd love to see the prize go to Kendrick, despite all signs pointing elsewhere. She really was great.


This is another pretty predictable category. Nominated are Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker"), James Cameron ("Avatar"), Lee Daniels ("Precious"), Jason Reitman ("Up in the Air") and Quentin Tarantino ("Inglourious Basterds"). I'm pretty split on this one. I really don't want Cameron to win--I feel as if he's been dominating all the awards ceremonies and he seemed pretty smug at the Golden Globes (not to mention I just don't find him the best here). I'd really like to see the Academy make up for their mistake of not giving Tarantino the prize for "Pulp Fiction" in '94 and give him the prize, but I don't see it happening. It's definitely between Bigelow and Cameron--former husband and wife--and between them, I'm with Bigelow.


Some very interesting nominations here. The nominations for Best Original Screenplay are "The Hurt Locker," "Inglourious Basterds," "The Messenger," "A Serious Man" and "Up." I'm so happy to see the Coens get recognized for "A Serious Man"--it's by far the most sophisticated and thematically dense writing of their careers. "Basterds" is great as well, but I'm all for the Coens winning this one, though they probably won't. I see it going to either "Basterds" or "The Hurt Locker."

The noms for Best Adapted Screenplay are "District 9," "An Education," "In the Loop," "Precious" and "Up in the Air." I'm both shocked and immensely satisfied at "In the Loop" getting a nomination. It's a brilliant film with a nearly flawless screenplay, and though "Up in the Air" will probably take the gold, "In the Loop" is definitely among the best writing this year.


A couple pleasant surprises here. "Avatar," "The White Ribbon," "The Hurt Locker," "Inglourious Basterds" and, really out of the blue, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" have been nominated for Best Cinematography. Hey, I can't deny that the sixth "Harry Potter" film is by far the most well-made of the series, and I really enjoyed it, but it's really surprising that it's being recognized instead of "A Serious Man." Still, pretty solid nominations, and I'd like to see "The White Ribbon," whose cinematography seems like a pretty gorgeous homage to Sven Nykvist (Bergman's regular DP), take home the Oscar.


Pretty good stuff here. "Up" has surprisingly received a nomination both here and for Best Picture. Also nominated are "Coraline," "Fantastic Mr. Fox," "The Princess and the Frog," and "The Secret of Kells." I'd love to see Wes Anderson win for "Mr. Fox." It's not his best film, but it's definitely the best animated film of the year and one well-deserving of the prize. I have a feeling Pixar will continue their streak, however.


As with most years, a lot of the nominations here still haven't been released in the United States. "The White Ribbon," easily one of the best films I've seen this year, has fortunately secured a nomination, as have "Ajami," "El Secreto de Sus Ojos," "The Milk of Sorrow," and "A Prophet." I've only seen "Ribbon," so it's obviously my pick, but I know "Prophet" is supposed to be pretty brilliant as well.

Those are all the major nominations, and as expected "Avatar" has received nominations in nearly all of the technical awards and will easily win Best Visual Effects, at the very least.

Overall, this is honestly one of the best years for the Oscars for the past decade. The awards last year suffered a great deal from mediocrity, I though, and most of the best films didn't receive much attention, but this year with "A Serious Man," "The White Ribbon" and "Up in the Air" all getting nominated, I'm pretty pleased. Can't wait to see how this turns out.

The Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 7, 2010 and will be hosted by Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.


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