Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I have a confession to make--I am a hardcore Oscar junkie. I love everything about the Oscars. In fact, I was up at 5:37 AM to watch the nominations. As I have done for years, I called my fellow Oscar junkie, Shawn and we watched the announcement together and discussed it afterwards. I know it sounds a little nutty but I've loved the show since I was a little boy.

I grew up in the mid-west, so the show didn't start until 9:00 PM and I remember having to beg and plead with my mother to allow me to stay up past my bed time to see the end of the show, which sometimes pushed close to midnight but I always managed to see the winner for Best Picture.

This is the first year where the Academy has revived ten nominees for Best Picture since the last time it was done in 1943. I was skeptical of the idea because I really didn't see the point. There was still only going to be one winner and all it was going to do was add five more films that walked away Oscar-less. I now see that it is a way to honor more films of excellence and bring attention to these movies. I thought the selections were well chosen and diverse although I not a big fan of a couple of the films.

There were really no surprises in any of the major categories as they virtually mirrored the nominations of the SAG, DGA and Golden Globes although I was happy to see Maggie Gyllenhaal receive a well deserved nomination for her great performance in "Crazy Heart". I was scratching my head over Penelope Cruz's nomination for "Nine" in the same category. No disrespect to Ms Cruz, who I love but I think Julianne Moore in "A Single Man" was much more deserving and was robbed. Speaking of "A Single Man", I was disappointed that it wasn't awarded any other nominations beyond Colin Firth's amazing performance.

The show is on March 7th. Here is the complete list of the 2010 Academy Award nominations:

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 Original Screenplay:

Mark Boal, "the Hurt Locker"
Quentin Tarantino, "Inglourious Basterds"
Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman, "The Messenger"
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, "A Serious Man"
Bob Peterson & Pete Docter, (Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson and Tom McCarthy), "Up"

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, "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"

Best Actress in a Leading Role:

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

Best Actor in a Leading Role:

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

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

Mo'Nique, "Precious"
Vera Farmiga, "Up in the Air"
Penélope Cruz, "Nine"
Anna Kendrick, "Up in the Air"
Maggie Gyllenhaal, :Crazy Heart"

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

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

Best Cinematography:

Mauro 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"

Best Film Editing:

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"

Best Animated Feature Film:

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

Best Animated Short Film:

“French Roast”
“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty”
“The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)”
“A Matter of Loaf and Death”

Best Foreign Language Film:

"Ajami" (Israel)
"A Prophet" (France)
"The Secret of Her Eyes" (Argentina)
"The White Ribbon" (Germany)
"The Milk of Sorrow" (Peru)

Best Documentary Feature:

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

Best Documentary Short Subject:

“China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province”
“The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner”
“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant”
“Music by Prudence”
“Rabbit à la Berlin”

Best Live Action Short Film:

“The Door”
“Instead of Abracadabra”
“Miracle Fish”
“The New Tenants”

Best Original Score:

James Horner, "Avatar"
Alexandre Desplat, "Fantastic Mr. Fox"
Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders, "the Hurt Locker"
Hans Zimmer, "Sherlock Holmes"
Michael Giacchino, "Up"

Best Original Song:

“Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog”, Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
“Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog”, Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
“Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36”, Music by Reinhardt Wagner, Lyric by Frank Thomas
“Take It All” from “Nine”, Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart”, Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Best Art Direction:

“Avatar” (Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair)
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” (Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith)
“Nine” (Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim)
“Sherlock Holmes” (Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer)
“The Young Victoria” (Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray)

Best 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 Makeup:

Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano, "Il Divo"
Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow, "Star Trek"
Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore, "The Young Victoria"

Best Sound Editing:

Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, "Avatar"
Paul N.J. Ottosson, "The Hurt Locker"
Wylie Stateman, "Inglourious Basterds"
Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin, "Star Trek"

Best Sound Mixing:

Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson, "Avatar"
Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett, "the Hurt Locker"
Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano, "Inglourious Basterds"
Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin, "Star Trek"
Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"

Best Visual Effects:

Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones, "Avatar"
Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken, "District 9"
“Star Trek” Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton, "Star Trek"
Michael Silvers and Tom Myers, "Up"