82nd Annual Academy Award Nominations Announced

The nominations for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards have been released, and there are a few small and pleasant surprises in the list. The list of ten films nominated for Best Picture is causing some sensation, as District 9 is among the group. Lest that make you too hopeful, The Blind Side also got a Best Picture nod, though after the success of that film in the past two months that isn't much of a surprise. Audible cheers went up among the media audience when that and Sandra Bullock's Best Actress nomination were announced.

There are some good small surprises: Woody Harrelson got a Best Supporting Actor nod for his excellent work in The Messenger; Joel and Ethan Coen got a Best Original Screenplay nod for A Serious Man and their film is up for Best Picture; and Jeremy Renner got a Best Actor nod for The Hurt Locker. As expected, James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow both have Best Director Nominations, and their films Avatar and The Hurt Locker are competing for Best Picture. The full list of noms is after the break.

For Best Picture, we've got Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, A Serious Man, Up and Up in the Air.

The Best Director nods mirror the Best Picture category, as James Cameron, Kathryn Bigelow, Lee Daniels, Jason Reitman and Quentin Tarantino all received nominations. Consider their movies the core Best Picture contenders; everything else is riding the wave of the field being expanded from five to ten. If you want to narrow the Best Picture field further, look at the Editing and Cinematography nods — Avatar, The Hurt Locker and Inglourious Basterds placed there, too. Those are probably the three films truly in contention.

After announcing in 2008 that he'd be at Cannes 2009 with Inglourious Basterds, an achievement many doubted he'd follow through on, Tarantino has had a hell of a year with the film. Loving the Best Picture surprises (An Education, A Serious Man, District 9), even though the category probably comes down to Avatar and The Hurt LockerPrecious was a lock (while I think Daniels doesn't deserve to be near the Best Director slot given some of the non-nominated competition) and most of the rest of the list was as close to predetermined as they come.

Most will be happy to see Jeff Bridges get a nomination for Crazy Heart, and I love seeing Jeremy Renner in the Best Actor list. The fact that Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon got Best Actor and Supporting Actor nods for Invictus isn't a huge shock — this is the Academy after all. Be glad the movie isn't hogging other slots. Good also to see Carey Mulligan take a Best Actress nom for An Eduction. And In the Loop, An Education and District 9 all with Adapted Screenplay nods? Fantastic.

Here's the full list of nominations:



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


Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker

James Cameron – Avatar

Lee Daniels – Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire

Jason Reitman – Up in the Air

Quentin Tarantino – Inglourious Basterds


Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart

George Clooney – Up in the Air

Colin Firth – A Single Man

Morgan Freeman – Invictus

Jeremy Renner – The Hurt Locker


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


Matt Damon – Invictus

Woody Harrelson – The Messenger

Christopher Plummer – The Last Station

Stanley Tucci – The Lovely Bones

Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds


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


Neill Blomkamp and – District 9

Nick Hornby – An Education

Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche – In the Loop

Geoffrey Fletcher – Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire

Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner – Up in the Air


Mark Boal – The Hurt Locker

Quentin Tarantino – Inglourious Basterds

Oren Moverman and – The Messenger

Joel and Ethan Coen – A Serious Man

Pete Docter and Bob Peterson – Up


Ajami  – Israel

El Secreto de sus Ojos – Argentina

The Milk of Sorrow

Une Prophéte  – France

The White Ribbon – Germany



Fantastic Mr. Fox

The Princess and the Frog

The Secret of the Kells



Maurio Fiore – Avatar

Bruno Delbonnel – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Barry Ackroyd – The Hurt Locker

Robert Richardson – Inglourious Basterds

Christian Berger – The White Ribbon


Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron – Avatar

Julian Clarke – District 9

Bob Murawski and Chris Innis – The Hurt Locker

Sally Menke – Inglourious Basterds

Joe Klotz – Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire