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Awards Season: Avatar Not Hurting for Oscar Nominations

February 2nd, 2010

Oscar nominations were announced at 5:38 this morning, continuing a tradition that have never been adequately explained to me. (Why so early in the morning? Does earning an Oscar nomination become sweeter if people have to wake you up to congratulate you?) Leading the way in nominations were Avatar and The Hurt Locker, both of which pick up nine nods each, many of them in the same categories.

The categories and nominations are...

BEST PICTURE

DIRECTING

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

BEST WRITING - ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

BEST WRITING - ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

BEST DOCUMENTARY - FEATURE LENGTH

BEST DOCUMENTARY - SHORT FILM

  • 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
SHORT FILM - LIVE ACTION

  • The Door
  • Instead of Abracadabra
  • Kavi
  • Miracle Fish
  • The New Tenants
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTING

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN EDITING

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC - ORIGINAL SCORE

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC - ORIGINAL SONG

Notes and Reactions...

  • Avatar led the way with nine nominations. Granted, The Hurt Locker also earned nine nominations, but something tells me Avatar will be dominating the news. This combined with the box office records it has been setting could generate $10 million to $20 million in additional free publicity.
  • Inglourious Basterds was also a major player with eight nominations, while Precious and Up in the Air both earned six.
  • I was happiest to see Up earn multiple nominations, five of them, including Best Picture. It will likely only win Best Animated Picture, but it deserves a clean sweep.
  • Looking for surprises... I'm not seeing many. The Blind Side for Best Picture is the most surprising inclusion in that list, while The Secret of Kells is a shock for Best Animated Picture, simply because it is such a small film compared the others on the list. I think when that nomination was announced most people watching the nominations said, "Never heard of it."
  • Meryl Streep earned a nomination for Julie & Julia, which was not exactly expected. However, she's earned more than a dozen Oscar nominations, so it is never a shock when she earns another.
  • The Cove earned yet another nomination and it has to be considered the favorite for Best Documentary.
  • Speaking of which, there are heavy favorites in a number of categories, including Best Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds, for instance). But there are a number of awards that are completely up in the air (both Adapted and Original Screenplay are a mystery to me).
  • We will have more detailed analysis of the big categories once our Oscar Prediction Contest gets underway.
  • Update: There has been a lot of talk about The Hangover being snubbed for Best Picture. However, I don't think this is the case. It earned 78% positive reviews, which is great for its genre, it is amazing for its genre, but it is not exactly Oscar worthy. ... It is better than The Blind Side, so there could be some legitimacy to these complaints, but Star Trek was better, Drag Me To Hell was better, even Zombieland was better. So to focus on The Hangover being snubbed doesn't make sense.

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Filed under: Awards Season, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Up, Star Trek, District 9, Inglourious Basterds, Julie & Julia, Coraline, The Hurt Locker, Food, Inc., In the Loop, Faubourg 36, The Cove, Il Divo, Bright Star, Burma VJ, The Last Station, The Young Victoria, An Education, Coco avant Chanel, Up in the Air, Das Weisse Band: Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte, Un Prophète, A Single Man, The Blind Side, Precious (Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire), Invictus, Nine, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Messenger, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Avatar, The Princess and the Frog, A Serious Man, The Lovely Bones, Sherlock Holmes, Crazy Heart