People Tell Me I Look Like Han Solo.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
  Oscar nominees
So the Oscar nominations were released this week (full list of the big categories below), and I find myself with not much to say one way or another. To me, there were no huge surprises, even with the expanded field of 10 best picture nominees to include some more crowd-pleasers like The Blind Side and District 9 (I appreciate the nod for District 9, the best movie I saw in 2009, but I think only the certifiably insane believe it’s got a prayer of winning).

The only significant snub I can think of – and to my mind it’s a serious one – is Mélanie Laurent not getting a nomination for Inglourious Basterds. She’s an integral part of one of the best movies of the year, but for some reason two actresses from the pretty good-but-overrated Up in the Air got nominations, and as far as I’m concerned one of them (probably Vera Farmiga, who’s great, but doesn’t come close to the work that Laurent does in Basterds) is in her spot.

A couple of less infuriating/more understandable oversights are Jackie Earle Haley in Watchmen (the movie tanked, and some people seemed to not really get it, so I can’t say I’m shocked) and Sam Rockwell in the underseen Moon; any time one actor’s performance constitutes pretty much the entire movie, especially one as good as Moon, I think that actor deserves some awards attention. But it’s a little thinker of a sci-fi movie, so again, I can’t feign surprise that he was overlooked.

Though I don’t really expect it to win anything beyond the technical awards, I’m never a fan of when movies like Avatar get tons of nominations as a reward for raking in money. I liked Avatar quite a bit, but by no stretch would I consider it even in the same conversation as Inglourious Basterds, District 9 or The Hurt Locker.

Speaking of The Hurt Locker, I never would have believed when it first blew me away last summer that it would have a chance in hell of winning Oscars, but here we are with Kathryn Bigelow considered the front-runner for best director. I’ve been praising her work in this space for about as long as I’ve written this blog, so I won’t bother doing it again now, but suffice it to say I’m very excited at the prospect of one of my favorite – and until now, one of the most under-appreciated – directors making movies today. If she doesn’t win, I’m sure something will be thrown across my apartment come March 7.

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

Best Director
James Cameron, Avatar
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Jason Reitman,
Up in the Air

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

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
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
Mo'Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

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