The 82 Annual Academy Awards nominees were announced Tuesday with Avatar and The Hurt Locker receiving the most nominations (nine each). I’ve taken a few days to wrap my head around the nominees. Read my opinions after the jump.
Best Picture – The Nominees
The Blind Side
The Hurt Locker
A Serious Man
UP in the Air
Being the cynic that I am, I was expecting the worst outcome in the Best Picture category, but I was pleasantly surprised by this year’s nominees. I’ve heard everything from 500 Days of Summer to Star Trek to The Hangover be mentioned as possible Best Picture contenders. Not that these are bad movies, but are they really Best Picture worthy? I suppose we should be asking ourselves that about The Blind Side‘s surprise nomination. The real shut out in this category is Invictus. The Oscars love a Clint Eastwood movie, but it didn’t find any love in the Best Picture race year.
Best Director – The Nominees
James Cameron, Avatar
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Lee Daniels, Precious
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
The Best Directing nominees are the most indicative of what films would have been shortlisted by the Academy voters. Kathryn Bigelow is only the fourth (FOURTH) female director nominated for Best Director. Her biggest competitor is James Cameron but my money is on Bigelow.
Best Actor – The Nominees
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
It’s great to see newcomer Jeremy Renner nominated as well as a first nomination for Colin Firth. This year’s nominations for Best Actor (and Best Actress for that matter) beg an important question though. Is Jeff Bridges the frontrunner because this is his best role or because the Hollywood community think that he is “due”? Not that I’m disagreeing
Best Actress – The Nominees
Sandra Bullock, Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Meryl Streep, Julie and Julia
Again, no surprises among the nominees. I’m still wrapping my head around the idea of Sandra Bullock as an Oscar nominated actress. I suppose it will be easier once I do see The Blind Side and can judge the hype for myself. People think Meryl is overdue for her third Oscar, which may be true, but not for Julie and Julia; I hope voters have a bit more patience than that. Also Gabourey Sidibe wants Justin Timberlake to be her Oscar date. Her performance is my favorite (Carey Mulligan is a close second); I hope it happens girl.
Best Supporting Actor – The Nominees
Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, ‘The Messenger’
Christopher Plummer, ‘The Last Station’
Stanley Tucci, ‘The Lovely Bones’
Christoph Waltz, ‘Inglourious Basterds’
It’s the nominations for Plummer, Tucci and Waltz. Although if you want to talk about someone who was due for a nomination, it would be Christopher Pummer. And Waltz? He should start writing his speech now and probably working with a speech writer. I can’t handle a Globes/SAG repeat acceptance speech dud.
Best Supporting Actress – The Nominees
Penelope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick, Up
More first time nominees – this time for Farmiga, (the better) Gyllenhaal, Kendrick, and Mo’nique. Hey, at least one actress from Nine was nominated, although I would have preferred Marion Cotillard.