Oscar Nominations = The Na’avi vs. Bomb Diffusers

Though it’s taken me a few days, I’ve finally found the time to write at least one of the new posts I promised earlier in the week.

As all of you know by now, the nominees for this year’s Academy Awards were announced this past Tuesday morning.  While there were a few surprises here and there in each category, none were more surprising than the list of Best Picture nominees.  Of course, this year, the Academy decided to expand the field to ten nominees in this category instead of five.  There haven’t been ten nominees for Best Picture since 1943 when Casablanca took home Best Picture.

The nominees for Best Picture are:

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

No surprise Avatar, the Hurt Locker, or Up in the Air made it onto this list considering these three films have scooped up the most prizes from the critics and guilds.  After its win at the SAG Awards, Inglourious Basterds also seems a natural choice to be on this list.  To me, the biggest surprises here are the inclusion of the super awesome and highly original District 9 and Sandra Bullock’s football weepie The Blind Side.  The whole point of the category expansion was to allow room for some more mainstream films to make it into the Best Picture race, and frankly, I think District 9 and Up‘s inclusion (only the second ever animated film to be nominated for Best Picture after Beauty and the Beast) is a welcome breath of fresh air.  Both films featured highly original, emotionally gripping stories.  I know there had been some talk The Hangover or Star Trek could have wound up in this category, but I think District 9 is the best choice here based on its sheer creativity.  Overall, I’m rather pleased with the nominees, although instead of The Blind Side, I would have chosen the quirky and sexy (500) Days of Summer.

Obviously, Best Picture really comes down to a battle between two films (directed, ironically, by James Cameron and his ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow…divorce battle?  haha.): Avatar and the Hurt Locker.

The biggest surprises to me were the inclusion of Penelope Cruz in the Best Supporting Actress category for the could-have-been-better Nine and no love for (500) Days of Summer in the one category it should have been nominated in: Best Original Screenplay.  I thought Penelope Cruz was great in Nine, don’t get me wrong, but after seeing Julianne Moore’s boozy, bitter performance in A Single Man, I wish she’d been given Ms. Cruz’s spot instead.

One last nomination that pleased me immensely was the inclusion of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in the Best Cinematography category.  Beautifully shot movie, truly, and not just because I love Harry Potter.

I promise my Lost season premiere post is on its way…

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