What Do You Think? The Oscar Nominees

February 3, 2010
By | 5 Comments

And the nominees for Best Picture are …

All the President’s Men, Bound for Glory, Network, Rocky, and Taxi Driver.

Whhoooops. Seems the Lost premier had us skipping in time there back to 1977, with the nominees from 1976’s batch. But seriously, what did you think of this year’s crop?


Best PictureAvatar, The Blind Side (whuh?), District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, A Serious Man, Up, Up in the Air

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

Best Actress – Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side [whuh/]), Helen Mirren (The Last Station), Carey Mulligan (An Education), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia)

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 Supporting Actress – Penelope Cruz (Nine), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart), Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), Mo’Nique (Precious)

Best Supporting Actor — Matt Damon (Invictus), Woody Harrelson (The Messenger), Christopher Plummer (The Last Station), Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Christopher Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)

Best Original Screenplay – Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker), Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds), Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman (The Messenger), Joel & Ethan Coen (A Single Man), Pete Docter, Bob Peterson & Tom McCarthy (Up)

Best Adapted Screenplay – Neill Bomkamp & Terri Tatchell (District 9), Nick Hornby (An Education), Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, & Tony Roche (In the Loop), Geoffrey Fletcher (Precious), Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air)

and so on…

So, now that you see the list, what do you think of the idea of having ten nominations for Best Pic? Are you excited about Nick Hornby possibly winning an Oscar? Will Sandra Bullock seriously win against real actresses like Helen Mirren? Will James Cameron be King of All Worlds? And when they remake Lost in 2033, will anyone look back at these nominees and think as kindly of them as we might of All the President’s Men, Network, Rocky, and Taxi Driver?


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5 Responses to “ What Do You Think? The Oscar Nominees ”

  1. Myles McNutt on February 3, 2010 at 8:45 AM

    I wrote a big post about my conflicted response to the nominees, but to answer the questions you pose:

    1) While we now live in a world where The Blind Side is nominated for Best Picture, we also live in a world where District 9 was nominated for Best Picture, and I’ll take that tradeoff.

    2) That’s Reitman’s Oscar – they’re using the screenplay categories to get the other legitimate Best Pic contenders (Basterds, Up in the Air) some love that they won’t be seeing in Director/Picture.

    3) Yes, she will – Streep could take it, since despite a metric ton of nominations she’s only won twice, but Bullock is the story here.

    4) Nope – Bigelow takes Director, and Best Picture remains a fairly exciting standoff. Avatar is no Titanic – it missed out on a Screenplay nod, and even Best Original Song, so there’s every chance it cold get shut out other than Visual Effects (which is a lock, regardless of what some may think of the film).

    5) You think they’ll wait until 2033? I give it ten years, tops. It will also be a musical.

    • Jonathan Gray on February 3, 2010 at 9:21 AM

      1) Faustian bargain for sure
      2) Brits with Oscars has been done, certainly — let’s see more Canadians with them
      3) [shudders]
      5) with Freddie Prinze, Jr. as Locke, right?

  2. Andrew Bottomley on February 3, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    I know the stories here are “The Blind Side” (that is, WTF?), “District 9” getting recognized, “The Hangover” getting snubbed, and “Avatar” in general (including a showdown of exes Cameron and Bigelow).

    But what about Paramount bumping Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” from last fall to later this month, in effect taking it out of the Oscar running, obviously for this year’s awards but likely for next year’s too. Scorsese’s last feature, “The Departed” (2006), swept the Oscars of course, winning 4 awards including Scorsese’s first as director. It would seem to me that “Shutter Island” could go a long way this year riding on that success alone.

    Now, based on the trailers, the film doesn’t look all that good (a psychological thriller, really?)… but in my opinion this year’s crop of nominated movies is remarkably unimpressive, too. And let’s not forget that “The Departed” was hardly the man’s best work. Dare I say that a bad film from Scorsese is still better than most? Or is it just that mediocrity reigns at these awards shows? But I digress… Paired up against the competition, I could easily see “Shutter Island” at least garnering noms, if not winning, for best film, director (Scorsese), actor (DiCaprio), adapted screenplay (Dennis Lehane), film editing (Thelma Schoonmaker), possibly even supporting actor or actress (Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, and Michelle Williams are in the cast), art direction, or cinematography.

    I bring all of this up because it seems remarkable that an A-List Hollywood director would get so unceremoniously pushed around in this way, but more importantly it point outs how significant a role industry practices play in these awards. An interesting twist here is that Paramount reportedly moved “Shutter Island” in order to better market Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones” and Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air.” Of course, “Up in the Air” has received a handful of noms, and it’s likely to walk away with something (sadly, that something will probably be adapted screenplay, as much as I’d love to see Nick Hornby win that one). But where is “The Lovely Bones”? A single nom for Stanley Tucci as supporting actor? Oops. I think a marketing exec at Paramount just joined the unemployment line…

    • Myles McNutt on February 3, 2010 at 12:00 PM

      To be fair, Shutter Island was picked out of their three candidates to get dropped out of the Oscars period for two key reasons, at least to my knowledge: first that DiCaprio wouldn’t have been able to do much press due to ongoing work on (I believe) Inception, and second that it had the most commercial potential independent of the prestige season due to its more marketable psychological thriller trappings. While it also allowed them to focus on the other two films, it wasn’t cut because they thought The Lovely Bones had a better shot.

      I expect Shutter Island to do some very solid business at the box office, perhaps better than it would have opening in October, and with enough momentum and a weak enough year, I could see it performing well at the Oscars come 2011 (if not, as you point out, as well as it might have this year).

      • Andrew Bottomley on February 4, 2010 at 12:19 PM

        Myles, admittedly I don’t know all of the details behind Paramount’s decision to push back “Shutter Island,” though the reasons you present all sound plausible. Nevertheless, the film was originally slated for an October release, and a movie of its calibur would traditionally be released in the fall. So, it remains a very unusual move.

        And I don’t doubt that it’ll do alright at the box office this month, since it’s not going up against much competition and also because of its genre (horror). However, Scorsese films have never done exceptionally well at theaters – they’re probably not nearly as profitable as you seem to think. Moreover, “The Lovely Bones” is also a supernaural thriller, and Jackson certainly has done better box office than Scorsese in recent years. Also, though I’d have to look at the numbers to confirm this, Mark Wahlberg certainly does as well, if not better, than DiCaprio at the box office. So, following your logic, I would argue that “The Lovely Bones” has probably even more commercial potential than “Shutter Island” outside of awards season.

        Lastly, it’s rare for a film released in the first half of the year to garner Oscar noms. I’m sure Scorsese will get a director nod (he’s hard to overlook, not that his history with the Academy is rosey), and the film might get a couple others. But I’m sure it won’t be nearly as many as it would if it were released during awards season. It’s February placement will probably result in it getting shut out of “Best Picture” and many of the smaller technical categories (art direction, cinematography, etc), if not other big ones such as the acting categories.