Oscar nominations announced! Oh happy day!

At 5:30 this morning Anne Hathaway announced the nominations for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards! I was asleep when the announcements were made, naturally.

When I finally dragged my lazy ass out of bed the first thing I did was stagger over to my living room, flip my Mac open and eagerly check the list of nominees. Holy shit, I thought, “Avatar” is nominated for Best Picture, AND James Cameron is nominated for Best Director! Jeez James, you’ve created a monster!

I mean, sure, I liked “Avatar” as much as the next guy, but Best Picture? Come on! Didn’t people actually see the OTHER movies on the list? I know they were not in 3-D, but still, there were some great films this year that DIDN’T star blue aliens. Just sayin’.

First things first, the Academy in their infinite wisdom decided that it would be a wonderful idea to expand the list of Best Picture nominees from the usual 5 (how boring, right?), to 10 (boo yeah!). Is this a good idea……. Or is this a great idea?!? Am I right, folks?

Okay, okay, I get it, Academy. Viewership is down. You’ve got to spice things up a bit to keep our Twitter generation interested, right? You figure hey, everybody and their mother is talking about this “Avatar” movie, why not just nominate it for one of the highest honors in film making? Sound good? Sigh……

Oh well. It’s not all bad (“District 9” was nominated! Talk about a dark horse!)!

The best thing about the Academy Awards this year is the fact that they are being hosted by two people that I hold near and dear to my heart: Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. Yeah. You read that right. Baldwin AND Martin, a perfect comedy duo! Oh happy day!

This might turn out to be a night to remember after all!

Here are the list of nominees:

BEST PICTURE:

Avatar

The Blind Side

District 9

An Education

The Hurt Locker

Inglorious Basterds

Precious

A Serious Man

Pixar’s Up

Up in the Air

Experts pick: Avatar

Who I think should win: Inglorious Basterds. It was the perfect revenge-fantasty, delivered to us by the always outspoken Quentin Tarantino. This movie was a thing of beauty.

Dark (very dark) Horse: District 9

BEST DIRECTOR:

James Cameron- Avatar

Kathryn Bigelow- The Hurt Locker

Quentin Tarantino- Inglorious Basterds

Lee Daniels- Precious

Jason Reitman- Up in the Air

Experts pick: Kathryn Bigelow

Who I think should win: Kathryn Bigelow. She directed The Hurt Locker with such a great eye for precision. Every frame of that film had me on the edge of my seat. She deserves this. Plus it would piss off James Cameron (she’s his ex-wife).

BEST ACTOR:

Jeff Bridges for “Crazy Heart”

George Clooney for “Up In The Air”

Colin Firth for “A Single Man”

Morgan Freeman for “Invictus”

Jeremy Renner for “The Hurt Locker”

Experts pick: Jeff Bridges

Who I want to win: To be perfectly honest, the 3 performances that blew me out of the water this year didn’t make the list:

1) Sharlto Copley for “District 9”

2) Sam Rockwell for “Moon”

3) Patton Oswalt for “Big Fan”

All 3 performances were so full of life. Copley came out of nowhere and amazed me with his debut (!) performance! Sam Rockwell has always been an interesting actor to me, and there was never a film so better suited to feature his unique talent for conveying so much emotion through body language and that expressive face of his. As far as Patton Oswalt is concerned, I’m a huge fan of his stand-up comedy, but never really thought of him as a serious actor (he was in “Balls of Fury,” after all), until I watched “Big Fan.” His performance as a sports-obsessed fan, beaten within an inch of his life by his football hero haunts me to this day.

Though, if I had to pick a performance of the “actual” nominated actors, I would go with Colin Firth, who gets a chance to shed his “charming British guy” persona and shine as a grieving professor, morning the loss of his lover.

BEST ACTRESS:

Sandra Bolluck for “The Blind Side”

Helen Mirren for “The Last Station”

Carey Mulligan for “An Education”

Gabourey Sidebe for “Precious”

Meryl Streep for “Julie & Julia”

Experts pick: Sandra Bolluck

Who I want to win: Carey Mulligan (though if it were Meryl Streep, I think I would be okay with that)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

Matt Damon for “Invictus”

Woody Harrelson for “The Messenger”

Christopher Plummer for “The Last Station”

Stanley Tucci for “The Lovely Bones”

Christoph Waltz for “Inglorious Basterds”

Experts pick: Christoph Waltz

Who I want to win: Ha! “The experts” and I actually see eye to eye on this one! In “Inglorious Basterds,” Waltz delivered one of  the most buzzed about performance of the year. He deserves the Oscar! Plus he’s already won ever “other” major acting award for his performance, the Oscar would be the icing on the cake!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Penelope Cruz for “Nine”

Vera Farmiga for “Up In The Air”

Maggie Gyllenhaal for “Crazy Heart”

Anna Kendrick for “Up In The Air”

Mo’Nique for “Precious”

Experts pick: Mo’Nique

Who I want to win: Either of the “Up In The Air” ladies deserve this one. Both played their roles to perfection. It will be interesting to see who wins this one.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

The Hurt Locker

Inglorious Basterds

The Messenger

A Serious Man

Up

Experts pick: Inglorious Basterds

Me: A Serious Man.  Not only was this a great film, but the screen play was a darkly hilarious joy: a re-telling of Job from the Bible and they made it work perfectly.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

District 9

An Education

In The Loop

Precious

Up In The Air

Experts pick: Up In The Air.

Me: I have a feeling that this might be the only award that “Up In The Air” nabs on Oscar night. It seems to be Oscar tradition to give films that deserved higher honors the “Best Screenplay” awards as consolation prizes.

BEST ANIMATED FILM:

Coraline

Fantastic Mr. Fox

The Princess and the Frog

The Secret of Kells

Up

Experts pick: Up

Me: Fantastic Mr. Fox! This film was my favorite film of the year (see my previous blog on my Top 10 Films of 2009 for more juicy details on why). A kids movie where characters cry and have doubts and worry about their finances? Count me in!

Okay, okay, there are many other “technical awards,” such as Best Editing, and Makeup, but to be honest, I never really cared too much about them. Just being honest.

As far as who goes home with the ol’ Golden Boy, we’ll have to wait until March 7th (Sunday 8pm ET/5pm PT on ABC) to find out. Personaly, I can’t wait! The Oscars are like the Super Bowl, the World Series, and the Indy 500 all rolled into one for film freaks such as myself!

See you at the Oscars!

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2 comments on “Oscar nominations announced! Oh happy day!

  1. Anthony B. says:

    Good call on Patton Oswalt, sir. A movie I just recently watched and was just as blown away by his performance. I also definitely agree with you about A Serious Man (my favorite film of the year) deserving the screenplay award. The Coens’ scripts are always so full of nuance and brilliance, and this is probably there greatest accomplishment.

  2. I would have to agree with you on how fantastic it has been to watch the Coen’s scriptwriting skills mature as they do. A Serious Man was a triumph, to say the least.

    I’m glad you watched Big Fan, it’s one of the most underrated movies of 2009, in my opinion.

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