Oscar Nominations Announced!
Oscar Nomination day is kind of like Christmas morning for me. I can hardly stand the anticipation. This year was even tougher. The nominations were announced at 8:38 EST, almost the exact time I am collecting my lovely 8- and 9-year-olds to begin my day teaching third grade. So unless I could find a way to turn the nominations into some kind of educational experience, I couldn't watch them live. Since I wasn't seeing them live, I decided to wait until I was home with my wife to watch them on YouTube to simulate the live experience. It was tough, but I did it. Here are the nominations in the main categories, along with how my predictions went.
“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
How I did: 9/10. I only missed The Blind Side and put in Invictus instead.
All right. The big surprise here is definitely The Blind Side being included. It's also the only one of the nominations I haven't seen. Does this mean I have to see it?? It probably took the spot of Invictus, which I'm definitely not sad to have miss.
I am very excited to see A Serious Man and District 9 make the final cut. The big question is probably whether it was worth it to expand the field to 10. The reason they did it is, presumably, due to the snubs of The Dark Knight and Wall-E last year, in order to ensure that more "profitable" movies are included to draw a bigger audience to the broadcast.. I think it's safe to say the following movies would not have made the Top 5: The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, A Serious Man, and Up. With Avatar, The Blind Side, Inglorious Basterds and Up included, there are definitely some big hits in this year's race. So the producers of the awards show are probably happy today. As for film fans, , I think it is interesting to have a more diverse line-up (despite now having to live with The Blind Side being a Best Picture nominee).
“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
How I did: 5/5.
These would have been your 5 best picture nominees. All in all, not a bad bunch, and a little more diverse than usual. Let's hope Kathryn can go all the way to that winner's podium and place in history!
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”
How I did: 5/5.
Pretty easy to call category. It's a race between Sandra and Meryl. Based on the Best Picture nom for The Blind Side, it looks like Sandra pay have pulled ahead.
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”
How I did: 5/5
Another pretty easy category to call. I'm so happy Renner found his way to this group. For the win, it definitely looks like it's Bridges' to lose (and he probably won't).
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”
How I did: 3/5
A tough category, and I made the wrong calls. Penelope survived the Nine backlash and Maggie rode the Jeff Bridges gravy train. The race is now over. Your Oscar winner: Mo'Nique.
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”
How I did: 4/5. I picked Anthony Mackie and not Christopher Plummer (my first runner-up). As I said, it was probably wishful thinking.
This category is also now over. Your winner: Christoph Waltz.
“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
How I did: 4/5. I picked Crazy Heart instead of In the Loop.
I'm very excited about the nomination for In the Loop. A very funny 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
How I did: 4/5. I picked (500) Days of Summer instead of The Messenger.
Haven't seen The Messenger, but I'm sure glad (500) Days of Summer didn't get a nomination for its overrated screenplay.
How I did overall: 39/45. 87%. Not too bad, right? The only category where I predicted less than 4 was Supporting Actress.
My Favorite Category: Adapted Screenplay. I really really like all 5 movies (District 9, An Education, In the Loop, Precious, Up in the Air)
Things that were in question that made me happy:
-In the Loop for Best Adapted Screenplay
-District 9 and A Serious Man getting Best Picture nominations
-Invictus not getting a Best Picture nomination
Things that were in question that did not make me happy:
-The Blind Side for Best Picture. Granted, I haven't seen it. But I saw the preview and feel like I already have.
-Matt Damon for Supporting Actor. He was fine, but definitely not nomination-worthy.
If you'd like to see the whole list, go right here.