AVATAR And HURT LOCKER Square Off For Oscar Gold

Avatar and The Hurt Locker look to be the two titans slugging it out for Oscar gold next month with both films landing a total of 9 Academy Award nominations each this morning including nods for both Best Picture and Best Director. (Complete list of nominees below.)

Quentin Tarantino’s World War II film Inglourious Basterds picked up a total of 8 nominations including Best Director, Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz’s performance as a cold, calculating Nazi known as “the Jew Hunter.” The film also picked up nominations for Best Cinematography, Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.

Rounding out the Best Picture nominees are The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, Precious, A Serious Man, Up and Up In The Air. This is the first time since 1943 that the Academy has gone with ten Best Picture nominees.

Unsurprisingly, Avatar picked up a majority of their nominations in the technical categories including Best Cinematography, Film Editing, Music (Original Score), Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects. It was shut out of the writing and acting categories.

Having won the Director’s Guild award for The Hurt Locker over the weekend, Katherine Bigelow is now the frontrunner for the Best Director statue. Hurt Locker also landed a Best Actor nod for star Jeremy Renner as well as Best Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Film Editing, Music (Original Score), Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.

Pixar’s animated film Up pulled off a first by being nominated in both the Best Animated Feature and Best Feature Film category simultaneously. It also marks the first time that an animated feature has been nominated for Best Picture since 1992’s Beauty And The Beast. Up was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay, the only animated feature to be nominated for a writing award this year and Sound Editing.

Although the acting nominations seemed fairly spread across a number of films, director Jason Reitman’s Up In The Air pulled a Best Actor nomination for George Clooney and Best Supporting Actress nods for Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick. Up In The Air also won nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Meryl Streep picked up another nomination, this time for Best Actress in Julie & Julia, bringing her lifetime total to a record 16, with two wins.

Check back late this afternoon for some more analysis of the nominations.

The complete list of nominees are-

Actor in a Leading Role

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

Actor in a Supporting Role

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

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side
  • Helen Mirren in The Last Station
  • Carey Mulligan in An Education
  • Gabourey Sidibe in Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
  • Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Penélope Cruz in Nine
  • Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy Heart
  • Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air
  • Mo’Nique in Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire

Animated Feature Film

  • Coraline – Henry Selick
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox – Wes Anderson
  • The Princess and the Frog – John Musker and Ron Clements
  • The Secret of Kells – Tomm Moore
  • Up – Pete Docter

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


  • Avatar – Mauro Fiore
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – Bruno Delbonnel
  • The Hurt Locker – Barry Ackroyd
  • Inglourious Basterds – Robert Richardson
  • The White Ribbon – Christian Berger

Costume Design

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


  • Avatar – James Cameron
  • The Hurt Locker – Kathryn Bigelow
  • Inglourious Basterds – Quentin Tarantino
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire – Lee Daniels
  • Up in the Air – Jason Reitman

Documentary (Feature)

  • Burma VJ – Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller
  • The Cove – Nominees to be determined
  • Food, Inc. – Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
  • The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers – Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
  • Which Way Home -Rebecca Cammisa

Documentary (Short Subject)

  • China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province – Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
  • The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner – Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
  • The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant – Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
  • Music by Prudence – Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
  • Rabbit à la Berlin – Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

Film Editing

  • Avatar – Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
  • District 9 – Julian Clarke
  • The Hurt Locker – Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
  • Inglourious Basterds – Sally Menke
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire – Joe Klotz

Foreign Language Film

  • Ajami – Israel
  • El Secreto de Sus Ojos – Argentina
  • The Milk of Sorrow – Peru
  • Un Prophète – France
  • The White Ribbon – Germany


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

Music (Original Score)

  • Avatar – James Horner
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox – Alexandre Desplat
  • The Hurt Locker – Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
  • Sherlock Holmes – Hans Zimmer
  • Up – Michael Giacchino

Music (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 Picture

  • Avatar – James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
  • The Blind Side – Nominees to be determined
  • District 9 – Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
  • An Education – Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
  • The Hurt Locker – Nominees to be determined
  • Inglourious Basterds – Lawrence Bender, Producer
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire – Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
  • A Serious Man – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
  • Up – Jonas Rivera, Producer
  • Up in the Air – Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Short Film (Animated)

  • French Roast – Fabrice O. Joubert
  • Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty – Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell
  • The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte) – Javier Recio Gracia
  • Logorama – Nicolas Schmerkin
  • A Matter of Loaf and Death – Nick Park

Short Film (Live Action)

  • The Door – Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
  • Instead of Abracadabra – Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström
  • Kavi – Gregg Helvey
  • Miracle Fish – Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
  • The New Tenants – Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Sound Editing

  • Avatar – Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
  • The Hurt Locker – Paul N.J. Ottosson
  • Inglourious Basterds – Wylie Stateman
  • Star Trek – Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
  • Up – Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Sound Mixing

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

Visual Effects

  • Avatar – Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
  • District 9 – Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
  • Star Trek – Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • District 9 – Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
  • An Education – Screenplay by Nick Hornby
  • In the Loop – Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire – Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
  • Up in the Air – Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • The Hurt Locker – Written by Mark Boal
  • Inglourious Basterds – Written by Quentin Tarantino
  • The Messenger – Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
  • A Serious Man – Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
  • Up – Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy
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About Rich Drees 6950 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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