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Academy Award Nominations: Oscar the Grouch

It’s Academy Award nomination day so let’s have a look at the line up. We have to warn you though; there are a couple of upsets.

First has to be that Zoe Saldana was not nominated in the Best Actress category. Guess computers and humans and acting and awards do not yet mix. Still, thanks to Saldana’s emotive performance in Avatar, surely now the debate has been properly opened?

Second upset is no Best Costume Design nomination for George Little (The Hurt Locker), Mayes C. Rubeo and Deborah Lynn Scott (Avatar) or Margot Wilson (The Road). Seems it is still the case that to be noticed by the Academy, in costume design anyway, period or period/fantasy is the way to go.

Do not get us wrong, the nominees are all worthy candidates. It would just be refreshing to see subtler, less immediately visible costuming get noticed too. Then again, Inglourious Basterds was not nominated either (as in the CDGs), so perhaps even exceptional period work is not enough any more; same for Jenny Beaven’s contribution on Sherlock Holmes.

There were ten nominations for Best Picture this year. No real surprises and we would put money (not much mind) on Avatar walking away with the trophy. Best Director on the other hand will probably go to James Cameron’s ex Kathryn Bigalow for The Hurt Locker. Or not. Who knows.

Best Actor would appear to be a shoe-in for George Clooney, although Jeff Bridges is getting rave notices for Crazy Heart. Jeremy Renner is supurb in The Hurt Locker, but he may end up getting lost among all those big names. Best Actress could be tougher to call. Our prediction? Gabourey Sidibe for Precious.

For Best Supporting Actor one would have to assume Christoph Waltz will take it for Inglourious Basterds. As for Best Supporting Actress, this year it is a relatively open field. Just to play the game we will say Vera Farmiga for Up in Air. Most likely, we will be wrong.

Check out the main contenders below and then follow the link to Empire for the ones we missed:

Costume design

Janet Patterson – Bright Star
Catherine Leterrier – Coco Before Chanel
Monique Prudhomme – The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Colleen Atwood – Nine
Sandy Powell – The Young Victoria

Best Picture

The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
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 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

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

Best Supporting Actress

Penelope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up In the Air
Anna Kendrick, Up In the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
Mo’nique, Precious

Best Supporting Actor

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

Best Adapted Screenplay

Neill Blomkamp, 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

Best Original Screenplay

Mark Boal, The Hurt locker
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Joel and Ethan Coen, A Serious Man
Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman, The Messenger
Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Up

Art Direction

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Sherlock Holmes
The Young Victoria


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

Documentary Feature

Burma VJ
The Cove
Food Inc.
The Most Dangerous Man In America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
Which Way Home

Film Editing

District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds

Foreign Language Film

El Secreto
Desus Ojos
The Milk of Sorrow
A Prophet
The White Ribbon


Il Divo
Star Trek
The Young Victoria

Original Score

Fantastic Mr Fox
The Hurt Locker
Sherlock Holmes

Visual Effects

District 9
Star Trek

Best Animated Feature

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

The 82nd Academy Awards take place in sunny Los Angeles on 7th March. Should be a fun night, unless you are in the audience, in which case it will be a long night.

Source: Empire

© 2010 – 2014, Lord Christopher Laverty.