Have Your Say: Oscar Nominations

Contributing Writer; Toronto, Canada (@triflic)
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Have Your Say:  Oscar Nominations
With the new 10 nominees for best picture development in this years Oscar derby, it puts a lot of different genres in the running.  Animated film up for best picture?  Check.  South African science fiction allegory?  Check.  Football feel-good film.  Check.  Alternate-History WWII fantasia?  Check.  Blue Aliens?  Check. 

There was no love for Michael Stuhlbarg or Mélanie Laurent, but In The Loop gets a justly deserved screenplay nod.  Interesting that The Secret of Kells snuck into the animated film category (which has five nominations instead of the usual three due to the significant burst of animated pictures in 2009.)  And maybe it is wishful thinking on my part, but with The Hurt Locker and Avatar being the oddsmaker front-runners, are not A Serious Man or Inglourious Basterds more deserving films to be branded with AMPAS' golden man?  Passion for The White Ribbon?  Lastly, with more horses in the race this year, will you be watching the broadcast?

Here are your plethora of BEST PICTURE nominees:

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

The White Ribbon
A Prophet
The Milk of Sorrow
The Secret of Her Eyes


Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Secret of Kells
The Princess and the Frog

And the rest...


Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
James Cameron (Avatar)
Jason Reitman (Up in the Air)
Lee Daniels (Precious)

Jeff Bridges Crazy Heart
George Clooney Up in the Air
Colin Firth A Single Man
Morgan Freeman Invictus
Jeremy Renner The Hurt Locker

Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones)
Woody Harrelson (The Messenger)
Christopher Plummer (The Last Station)
Matt Damon (Invictus)

Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)
Carey Mulligan (An Education)
Gabourey Sibide (Precious)
Helen Mirren (The Last Station)

Mo'Nique (Precious)
Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air)
Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air)
Penelope Cruz (Nine)
Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart)

Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
The Young Victoria
Sherlock Holmes

The Hurt Locker
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Inglourious Basterds
The White Ribbon

The Young Victoria
Bright Star
Coco avant Chanel
Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

The Cove
Food Inc.
The Most Dangerous Man in America
Burma Vj
Which Way Home

The Last Truck: The Closing of GM Plant
The Last Campaign of Gvernor Booth GardnerSendak
Rabbit a la Berlin
Music by Prudence
China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province

The Hurt Locker
District 9
Inglourious Basterds

The Young Victoria
Il Divo
Star Trek

Michael Giacchino (Up)
James Horner (Avatar)
Marco Beltrami & Buck Sanders (The Hurt Locker)
Hans Zimmer (Sherlock Holmes)
Alexandre Desplat (Fantastic Mr. Fox)

"Take it All" (Nine)
"The Weary Kind" (Crazy Heart)
"Almost There" (The Princess & the Frog)
"Down in New Orleans" (The Princess & the Frog)
"Loin de Paname" (Paris 36)

The Hurt Locker
Star Trek
Inglourious Basterds

The Hurt Locker
Star Trek
Transformers 2
Inglourious Basterds

Star Trek
District 9

Up in the Air
An Education
District 9
In the Loop

The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
The Messenger

The Door
Miracle Fish
The New Tenants
Instead of Abracadabra

Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty
French Roast
The Lady and the Reaper
A Matter of Loaf and Death

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wisekwaiFebruary 2, 2010 10:25 AM

I was surprised by District 9's nod for best picture. While I'm glad to see it get recognition, I wonder if there had been five slots, would District 9 have made the cut?

fornovFebruary 2, 2010 10:33 AM

overall a bit disappointed however very pleased to see Brendan and the Secret of Kells nominated for best animated feature coz it is just amazing :-)

Rhythm-XFebruary 2, 2010 10:34 AM

- TRANSFORMERS 2 getting shut out of visual effects made me feel warm on the inside like a hot cup of cocoa. Polygon count is meaningless if the designs suck.
- Would have been perfectly content seeing Patton Oswalt nominated for best actor for BIG FAN over Morgan Freeman for INVICTUS.
- Hayao Miyazaki is probably not losing any sleep over PONYO getting bumped from Best Animated Feature by SECRET OF KELLS. Nor should he - Best Animated Feature is one hell of an interesting category this year. Glad to see KELLS get the love, if only so I might one day actually get to see it.

Ard VijnFebruary 2, 2010 10:37 AM

Hmmmm.... thinking...
This Avatar thing looks like it's well received. Worth checking out?

Matthew LeeFebruary 2, 2010 10:37 AM

Couldn't agree more. I liked it, but it's not remotely top-flight stuff. Smacks of the Academy trying to placate the geek crowd.

I haven't seen enough of the entries to really be able to judge, but it'd be great to see Jeremy Renner and Christoph Waltz land their respective trophies - both those actors are certainly majorly deserving of some awards.

Kurt HalfyardFebruary 2, 2010 10:47 AM

Surprised to see nothing For The ROAD, The Weinsteins are not what they used to be at the Oscar game.

James MarshFebruary 2, 2010 11:05 AM

Sad to see CLOUDY not get a nom for Animated Feature, and nothing for MOON but very happy at the love for IN THE LOOP, A MATTER OF LOAF & DEATH and IL DIVO. Really would love A PROPHET to win in Best Foreign Film but think Haneke has got that sewn up for the admittedly excellent WHITE RIBBON.

Matthew LeeFebruary 2, 2010 11:40 AM

"TRANSFORMERS 2 getting shut out of visual effects made me feel warm on the inside like a hot cup of cocoa. Polygon count is meaningless if the designs suck."

Hasn't stopped Avatar. Oh, yes, I went there. ;-)

vengerFebruary 2, 2010 11:45 AM

i reckon you're right Rhythm-X on Miyazaki not loosing any sleep but PONYO loosing "his spot" to UP is stil a disgrace. Don't get me wrong i liked Up's first 10 minute prologue but the rest of the movie felt uninspired and autopilot-y.

AVATAR up for best picture seems a bit sad as well. I mean it blew me away when i saw it and the technological advances made by Cameron and his team are truly impressive but the plot negates any longlasting memories any 'best picture' should create.

I don't really get the hype surrounding THE HURT LOCKER. I thought it was an ok movie with more then decent acting but the melodramatic subplot of the little child at the end just ruined all sincerity for me.

I'm amazed that i get this worked up over the Oscars every year. I know i shouldn't expect them to pick the best movies of the year. I have to keep reminding me that the amount and sort of movies they chose from is widely smaller then what we get over on this side of the pond. Or that maybe my own views are significantly different from your average Oscar judge.

Kurt HalfyardFebruary 2, 2010 11:54 AM

@venger, "i reckon you're right Rhythm-X on Miyazaki not loosing any sleep but PONYO loosing "his spot" to UP is stil a disgrace. Don't get me wrong i liked Up's first 10 minute prologue but the rest of the movie felt uninspired and autopilot-y."

Amen. outside the opening silent part, Up is ridiculously overrated. (Talking Dogs and squeaky voices, people!)

I would have rather seen Ponyo, My Dog Tulip, or even Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (not because it is a particularly great film, but it is the closest animated film to Dr. Strangelove that i can think of in terms of tone and humour, and it has a fairly wild energy to the proceedings so as to almost squeak its over-consumption message by without anyone noticing.)

Peter van der LugtFebruary 2, 2010 12:20 PM

Congratulations for Tomm Moore and "Brendan and The Secret of Kells". Totally deserves it! For those who missed it, be sure to check out the interview I did with Tomm earlier: http://twitchfilm.net/interviews/2009/10/an-interview-with-director-tomm-moore.php

Too bad Ponyo did not grab a nomination...

Ard VijnFebruary 2, 2010 12:23 PM

The "Best Animated Feature" is exciting indeed, this year. It bears noticing that "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" is currently in the lead for the Audience Award (that other AA) at the IFFR.

It's a big lead too...

Greg ChristieFebruary 2, 2010 12:26 PM

Am I the only one who thinks it's odd that half the best picture nominees are films about or that pry on white guilt. Precious is a probably the funniest unintentional comedy of the year. People seem afraid to say anything bad about it. Last five minutes are powerful, the rest of the film is a freakshow of high camp horrors. As far as I'm concerned, Lee Daniels is a black John Waters which is kind of awesome. But Precious is not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination. Then you have Sandra Bullock, the southern housewife with a heart of gold helping the poor, mentally challenged, obese minority find his self esteem and of course there's Avatar... District may be the most over-rated (I haven't actually met anyone who thought Avatar was great) but at least D9 is the most interesting of the bunch, District 9. Yeah, the 3rd act blows, but it's the only film with an interesting, multi-layered protagonist. Damn shame Hurt Locker doesn't stand a chance.

MetrogenicFebruary 2, 2010 1:00 PM

It's not surprising that Moon didn't get any nominations since Sony essentially gave the film the shaft, refusing to send out any screeners due to the "cost." Because they're so short on cash they can't press a few watermarked DVDs.

IzikavazoFebruary 2, 2010 4:51 PM

I'm so excited about The Secret of the Kells nomination. They totally deserve it way more than a lot of the American submissions. Although at the same time I still want Fantastic Mr. Fox to win. I think this will draw a lot of people to The Secret of the Kells. Since the nominations were announced I've had a huge amount of people looking at my blog for the trailer for it.

Todd BrownFebruary 2, 2010 5:22 PM

I hate to say it, because I LOVE Nick Park, but I'm actually surprised to see Loaf And Death in here and really think it has more to do with reputation than the actual film. The technical stuff is as strong as ever but I found the scripting pretty lacklustre on this one ...

Golgo 13February 2, 2010 5:28 PM

(500) Days of Summer should have gotten a Best Pic nom.

CashBaileyFebruary 2, 2010 5:31 PM

Three points:

1) Thank God that over-rated pile of crap THE HANGOVER didn't get a 'Best Picture' nomination.

2) Worst omission - RED CLIFF from 'Foreign Film' category.

3) Where was ORPHAN's nomination for 'Best Make-Up'?

Ben UmsteadFebruary 2, 2010 6:10 PM

I'll join in on all the love Secret of Kells is getting. It is the one genuine surprise on here. Just getting a nomination will help it in release astronomically.
Other than that, feels pretty standard even though we do have a lot of genre entries. In a bigger playing field they are the obvious ones to pick. I'll watch if I'm free that night. Who knows... I was completely unaware that today was the nom announcements.

SwarezFebruary 2, 2010 6:17 PM

While I have only seen the trailer for Secret of Kells, that and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs are the only ones that seem to embrace animation specifically. Too bad Cloudy didn't get a nod cause it's great fun and astonishing to look at.

SteveFebruary 2, 2010 7:06 PM

One word, Moon.
Enough said.
If not Best Picture then Best Actor for sure and Original Score? Is there anything more deserving?

TushkaFebruary 2, 2010 7:20 PM

I'm looking forward to Oscar (as I do every year). While I really enjoyed Avatar, it is not best pic worthy. Well, neither is Blind Side. Nor is District 9 (a movie that I really enjoyed.) They should have stuck to five movies.

Agent WaxFebruary 3, 2010 1:24 AM

Christoph Waltz has won pretty much every category in every awards he was nominated in for his role in Basterds. Good. The man deserves it. Here's hoping he picks up the Academy Award as well, though I see the Oscars as nothing more than overrated fluff.

Meanwhile, I STILL haven't had a chance to watch The Hurt Locker. Dammit!

ChevalierAguilaFebruary 3, 2010 1:25 AM

Where's "Big Wet Asses #5" on the nominated lists? Gianna Michael's first anal and it doesn't get a nomination? Pfft, screw this.

Ard VijnFebruary 3, 2010 4:07 AM

Isn't that what Gianna Michael said as well?

campbellgreenfieldFebruary 3, 2010 10:20 AM

As usual, the Academy totally screwed up. Maggie Gyllenhaal was totally miscast for the role of Jean Caddock and was the weakest link in the movie.

Diane Kruger or Melanie Laurent should have been nominated but (of course the Academies screwed up again). They didn’t make clear whether Diane Kruger was up for best actress or best supporting actress. Same thing with Melanie Laurent – it wasn’t clear whether she was up for best actress or best supporting actress. So fans of Inglorious Bastards got confused – some voters voted for Kruger in best and others in supporting. Same with Laurent, which resulted in diluting the votes for both.

And Julianne Moore was so much better than Maggie Gyllenhaal. M Gyllenhaal was sooo miscast for the role of Jean Caddock and worse created a character that didn’t mesh with the movie.

Maggie Gyllenhaal is notorious for being a difficult diva on set. She fought continuously with Laurie Collier for “creative control” over the character of Sherry. She refused to take direction from Laurie who incidentally wrote and created the character Sherry. Plus, the only reason that Maggie got hired for the role was because Naomi Forner (Maggie Gyllenhaal’s mom) mentored Laurie at the Sundance Lab, and Laurie hired Maggie out of gratitude. Maggie was so insufferable – every time she threw a tantrum, production came to a halt and she nearly derailed the entire movie. We were on a very tight budget/schedule. Everyone was working on scale. A few non-SAG actors were being paid far less. Some of us did it for the money. Others because they liked Laurie's script and believed in her vision. But because of Maggie's tantrums, there were so many times when we didn't we would finish shooting on time and on budget. As a PA, this was by far the most stressful shoot I've been on.

Same with Mona Lisa Smile – she fought with the other actresses and the director. Same with Agent Provacateur – she was such am insufferable diva during the shoot that Agent Provacateur fired immediately after the shoot. And of course, Maggie spun it like she quit because the ads were sexually exploitative.

Anyway – coming back to Crazy Heart. Maggie expressly stated in an interview that when she started shooting Crazy, she expected to fight with Scott Cooper but to her “surprise,” Scott Cooper let her do whatever she wanted. So she played Jean Craddock like every role she plays – vulnerable but tough, which was so wrong for this movie. Why would a young smart (albeit ugly) reporter fall instantly in love with a fat drunk has-been? Many critics have pointed out the odd chemistry between Bridges and Maggie. Many have said that this is the weakest link in the movie. If Maggie had played Jean as a vulnerable and needy woman (especially one needy for the love of a man), then the character and the romance would have made sense despite the age difference.

Agent WaxFebruary 3, 2010 9:15 PM

Wait, Gianna did her first on-screen anal?! GODDAMMITINEEDTHATDVDNOW!!

MoviesToGoFebruary 11, 2010 2:53 PM

Maggie Gyllenhaal's nomination was nepotism through and through. The Gylllenhaals are notorious for name dropping and consider themselves "Hollywood Royalty" Jake Gyllenhaal gave a ridiculous interview where he bragged about growing up surrounded by celebrities - Paul Newman taught him to drive and is their godfather, Jaime Lee Curtis is their godmother, Steven Speilberg is a good friend of the family, etc....

Maggie Gyllenhaal was invited to join the Academy in 2004. At that time, she had played only one notable role - the S&M movie Secretary in 2002. In 2003, she played two minor roles in two minor movies total. But the Academy invites her to join in 2004.

Meanwhile tons of Oscar nominated actors and actresses are never invited. Samantha Morton (unlike Maggie Gyllenhaal) has actually won a SAG, BAFTA, critics choice award, tons of other awards AND has been nominated for two Oscars - yet she's never been invited to join.

Same with Diane Kruger - won a SAG and has played far bigger roles in better movies than Maggie Gyllenhaal - yet she's never been invited to join the academy.

There are only a little over a thousand actors in the Academy. There are nearly 30 very established actors/actresses who have been nominated for an Oscar (sometimes two/three times) that have not been invited.

Talk about NEPOTISM - the only reason she got invited was because her mother, father and their friends pulled their connections. Which is also why Maggie was nominated for a mediocre performance and stole the nomination from Julianne Moore, Samantha Morton and Diane Kruger who should have been nominated.

Hollywood is a disgusting nepotism driven industry, but the Academy makes the rest of Hollywood seem like an intelligent, democratic meritocracy