Oscar Watch: Nominations Analysis

by Anne Thompson
February 2, 2010 1:46 AM
8 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood
The big surprises on Oscar nominations morning: Clint Eastwood's Invictus (two noms) did not make it into the best picture top ten, while John Lee Hancock's The Blind Side did. The film's star, Sandra Bullock also scored her first Oscar nom, as best actress. Not unlike Million Dollar Baby, four-hankie drama The Blind Side wowed voters with its uplifting, emotional Good Samaritan message. District 9 (four noms) and A Serious Man (two) also made it into the ten, while Star Trek (four) did not.

In the acting categories, Penelope Cruz (Nine, four noms) and Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart, three noms) landed supporting actress slots, while Julianne Moore (A Single Man, one nom, for Colin Firth) did not make the cut. Otherwise there were few acting surprises. The most nominated actress in Oscar history, Meryl Streep landed her sixteenth nomination for Julie & Julia, but even though she hasn't won since Sophie's Choice in 1983, she will be in a fierce race for the Oscar with fresh face Bullock.

In the feature animation category, Up is the second animated film to be nominated for best picture, after Beauty and the Beast. And it's the only CG animated feature of the five. Annie-nominated The Secret of Kells grabbed a nomination, one of two 2-D titles (the other was The Princess and the Frog, with three total noms). Ponyo and Cloudy With Meatballs missed the cut. Two of five slots went to stop-motion films Coraline and Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Thompson on Hollywood
The Messenger landed not only the expected supporting actor nom for Woody Harrelson, but original screenplay for Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman. Two films from women writer-directors were snubbed in writing categories, Nora Ephron's Julie & Julia and Nancy Meyers' It's Complicated. Brit comedy In the Loop's adapted screenplay nom was a surprise. And sci-fi drama District 9 scored an adapted screenplay nom, while sci-fi sequel Star Trek did not.

My first estimate that Avatar would get nine nominations was correct. (Not twelve.) The movie did not score acting or writing noms, which could hurt its chances to win best picture. And with a fraction of Avatar's budget, The Hurt Locker tied Avatar with nine noms. Inglourious Basterds follows with eight, Up in the Air and Precious nabbed six (the first-ever best picture nominee directed by an African-American), Up five and The Young Victoria and The Princess and the Frog, three.

In the race for best picture, it will be Avatar vs. The Hurt Locker, and DGA-winner Kathryn Bigelow will contest her ex-husband James Cameron in the directing category. She's the fourth woman to be nominated for the best director Oscar. In many ways The Hurt Locker has the advantage: it's a serious drama with gravitas (and writer and actor support) going up against a blockbuster popcorn sci-fi visual-effects movie. The Academy is nothing if not high-minded.

And indies Weinstein Co. and Sony Pictures Classics are both very happy today, leading the field with thirteen nominations each. Weinstein Co. boasts Inglourious Basterds, Nine and A Single Man, while SPC's nom list includes three for An Education, two for The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, oringal song "Loin de Paname" for Paris 36, and three foreign films, A Prophet, The White Ribbon and El Secreto de Sus Ojos.

Best Picture
“Avatar”, James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
“The Blind Side”, Nominees to be determined
“District 9”, Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
“An Education”, Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
“The Hurt Locker”, Nominees to be determined
“Inglourious Basterds”, Lawrence Bender, Producer
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”, Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
“A Serious Man”, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
“Up”, Jonas Rivera, Producer
“Up in the Air”, Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

Actor in a Supporting Role
Matt Damon in “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

Actress in a Leading Role
Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Penelope Cruz in “Nine”
Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Animated Feature Film
“Coraline”, Henry Selick
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”, Wes Anderson
“The Princess and the Frog”, John Musker and Ron Clements
“The Secret of Kells”, Tomm Moore
“Up”, Pete Docter

Art Direction
“Avatar”, Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”, Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
“Nine”, Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
“Sherlock Holmes”, Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
“The Young Victoria”, Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

Cinematography
“Avatar”, Mauro Fiore
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, Bruno Delbonnel
“The Hurt Locker”, Barry Ackroyd
“Inglourious Basterds”, Robert Richardson
“The White Ribbon”, Christian Berger

Costume Design
“Bright Star”, Janet Patterson
“Coco before Chanel”, Catherine Leterrier
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”, Monique Prudhomme
“Nine”, Colleen Atwood
“The Young Victoria”, Sandy Powell

Directing
“Avatar”, James Cameron
“The Hurt Locker”, Kathryn Bigelow
“Inglourious Basterds”, Quentin Tarantino
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”, Lee Daniels
“Up in the Air”, Jason Reitman

Documentary (Feature)
“Burma VJ”, Anders Ostergaard and Lise Lense-Moller
“The Cove”, Nominees to be determined
“Food, Inc.”, Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers”, Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
“Which Way Home”, Rebecca Cammisa

Documentary (Short Subject)
“China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province”, Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
“The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner”, Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant”, Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
“Music by Prudence”, Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
“Rabbit a la Berlin”, Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

Film Editing
“Avatar”, Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
“District 9”, Julian Clarke
“The Hurt Locker”, Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
“Inglourious Basterds”, Sally Menke
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”, Joe Klotz

Foreign Language Film
“Ajami”, Israel
“El Secreto de Sus Ojos”, Argentina
“The Milk of Sorrow”, Peru
“Un Prophete”, France
“The White Ribbon”, Germany

Makeup
“Il Divo”, Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
“Star Trek”, Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
“The Young Victoria”, Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

Music (Original Score)
“Avatar”, James Horner
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”, Alexandre Desplat
“The Hurt Locker”, Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
“Sherlock Holmes”, Hans Zimmer
“Up”, Michael Giacchino

Music (Original Song)
“Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog”, Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
“Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog”, Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
“Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36”, Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
“Take It All” from “Nine”, Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart”, Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Short Film (Animated)
“French Roast”, Fabrice O. Joubert
“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty”, Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell
“The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)”, Javier Recio Gracia
“Logorama”, Nicolas Schmerkin
“A Matter of Loaf and Death”, Nick Park

Short Film (Live Action)
“The Door”, Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
“Instead of Abracadabra”, Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellstroem
“Kavi”, Gregg Helvey
“Miracle Fish”, Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
“The New Tenants”, Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Sound Editing
“Avatar”, Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
“The Hurt Locker”, Paul N.J. Ottosson
“Inglourious Basterds”, Wylie Stateman
“Star Trek”, Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
“Up”, Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Sound Mixing
“Avatar”, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
“The Hurt Locker”, Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
“Inglourious Basterds”, Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
“Star Trek”, Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”, Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Visual Effects
“Avatar”, Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
“District 9”, Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
“Star Trek”, Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“District 9”, Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
“An Education”, Screenplay by Nick Hornby
“In the Loop”, Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”, Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
“Up in the Air”, Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Writing (Original Screenplay)
“The Hurt Locker”, Written by Mark Boal
“Inglourious Basterds”, Written by Quentin Tarantino
“The Messenger”, Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
“A Serious Man”, Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Up”, Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy


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More: Awards, Headliners, Oscars, Jeff Bridges

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8 Comments

  • rebi | February 5, 2010 1:35 AMReply

    Meryl Streep will win. She is coy and humbled, because she wins not so often as you think. Indeed she is the most nominated actress in history, but she is also the biggest loser! I prefer actors/actresses, who are coy and humbled. I´m so tired of people like Sandra Bullock. It´s the MEDIA, which wants bullock to win. She is pushed. Just 6 weeks ago everyone said it will be Streep, who will win the Oscar. Now the same persons (Journalists, pundits) are for Bullock. The Oscars are, in my opinion, an hypocritical event.

  • Jake Yenor | February 2, 2010 9:17 AMReply

    Far too much for Nine, but this is the oscars so I am not shocked.


    - Jake Yenor

  • jl | February 2, 2010 8:19 AMReply

    Please no Meryl Streep award ... I cannot bear to hear her pretend to be coy and humbled if she wins the awards.

  • brian | February 2, 2010 5:09 AMReply

    wooo Anne - your predictions were so spot-on! Thanks so much to you and Kris for the great podcasts, the Academy should pay you guys!Personally hope that The Hurt Locker/Bigelow clean up on the big night, and if Magnificent Meryl doesn't win, i'm through with the Oscars - as Kris has mentioned a few times, she makes it looks so easy - really taken for granted. Her performance in Julia & Julia just wants to make you jump up and hug her - an absolute delight!

  • Brian | February 2, 2010 4:18 AMReply

    CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE wuz robbed, I tell ya, ROBBED!!!!

  • Bill | February 2, 2010 3:55 AMReply

    Oscar bloggers are weird. You spend seven months making sure there are no surprises on this day and then, when the big moment comes, yell "Hey, no surprises!"... as if the Academy members are actually fools for listening to you all this time.

  • mary | February 2, 2010 3:04 AMReply

    I'm also happy that "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" can get two Oscar nominations. (Terry Gilliam's films never had major Oscar shots, but his better-liked films could always get some Oscar nominations)

    I'm also glad that Music Box Films gets its first Oscar nomination with "Il Divo".

  • Rob Ross | February 2, 2010 2:53 AMReply

    IMO, Invictus was one of the worst movies of 2009. Bad acting, corny storylines, terribly shot, etc. Thank the heavens it wasn't one of the ten, but how the hell did Damon and Freeman get nominated?

    Also, I would have loved to have seen The Blind Side and District 9 replaced with A Single Man and Moon.

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