Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oscar Awards Nominations 2010

Scene from The Hurt Locker
the_hurt_locker39, originally uploaded by MyCine.

Science-fiction film Avatar and the war movie The Hurt Locker are top contenders in this year's Academy Awards with nine nominations each. Avatar's James Cameron will have to battle it out with his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow, who made The Hurt Locker, in the best director category. Incidentally, Kathryn Bigelow is only the fourth woman ever to be nominated for directing, and the first since Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2003, though no woman director has ever won the Oscars for direction. However, James Cameron had already won three Oscars in 1998 for Titanic, which included best picture, director and film editing.

The Hurt Locker is nominated for the Best Actor, Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing, Music (Original Score), Best Picture, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Writing (Original Screenplay). The film is expected to be the favorite to win the Oscar during the ceremony on 7 March. "This is a great honour and a wonderful compliment to everyone who worked on the film," said Bigelow about the film's nine nominations, adding, "To get recognized by the various branches of the Academy is truly heart-warming." It is one of the most acclaimed films of 2009, earning numerous awards and honors. The Hurt Locker, a tense war movie about an elite bomb disposal team, has won widespread critical acclaim and triumphed at the Directors Guild of America awards. The film was shot in the Middle East, specifically in Jordan, within miles of the Iraq border.

Avatar that broke several box office records and became the highest-grossing film of all time worldwide, surpassing Titanic, which had held the record for the previous 12 years, and that also became the first film to gross more than $2 billion, has already won two Golden Globes recently. It has won nominations in 9 categories: Art Direction, Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing, Music (Original Score), Best Picture, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects.

Inglourious Basterds, written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz and Mélanie Laurent, tells the story of two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany's political leadership. Tarantino spent more than ten years writing the script before going into production in October 2008. Inglourious Basterds was filmed in Germany. The film was successful at the box office and received multiple awards and nominations including the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz. Inglourious Basterds won 8 nominations for Best Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing, Best Picture, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Writing (Original Screenplay).

Six nominations each were won by Precious (for the Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Directing, Film Editing, Best Picture, and Writing - Adapted Screenplay), and Up in the Air (Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Directing, Best Picture, and Writing - Adapted Screenplay).

The film Up has won five nominations: Animated Feature Film, Music (Original Score), Best Picture, Sound Editing, and Writing (Original Screenplay), and Up's nomination for best film makes it only the second animated movie to feature in the main category after Disney's Beauty and the Beast in 1992. It is also nominated in the animated film shortlist alongside Coraline, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Princess and the Frog and The Secret of Kells.

District 9 (for Film Editing, Best Picture, Visual Effects, and Writing - Adapted Screenplay) and Star Trek (for Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects and Makeup) received 4 nominations each, while An Education bagged 3 nominations for Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Picture, and Best Actress. Crazy Heart also received 3 nominations for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Music (Original Song). The other films to receive 3 nominations each are The Princess and the Frog, The Young Victoria, and An Education.

This year, there are 10 films competing for the best picture, for the first time since 1944, instead of the usual five. The leading category-wise nominations are as follows.

Best Actor: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), George Clooney (Up in the Air), Colin Firth (A Single Man), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), and Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker).

Best Actress: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), Helen Mirren (The Last Station), Carey Mulligan (An Education), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), and Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia).

Best Supporting Actor: Matt Damon (Invictus), Woody Harrelson (The Messenger), Christopher Plummer (The Last Station), Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones) and 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), and Mo'Nique (Precious).

Best Director: James Cameron (Avatar), Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds), Lee Daniels (Precious), and Jason Reitman (Up in the Air). Lee Daniels (Precious) became only the second black filmmaker to be nominated for the best director, after John Singleton for 1991's Boyz N the Hood. Quentin Tarantino, whose Inglourious Basterds is nominated for eight awards, walked won a best screenplay award in 1995, but missed the best director Oscar.

Best Picture: Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, A Serious Man, Up, and Up in the Air.

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