And The Nominees Are…

And thus, the Academy has spoken.  Every year around this time, when the nominees for the Academy Awards have been announced, moviegoers start placing bets, whining about films that have been ignored, and making sure they’ve checked every film off the list before the big show.  Well, start your engines because this morning, the nominees for the 82nd Academy Awards were announced.

The list is pretty inclusive, in our opinion – Jeff Bridges, who took home the Golden Globe, is nominated for Crazy Heart and finds himself up against George Clooney (Up In the Air), Colin Firth (A Single Man), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), and Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker).  On the ladies’ side, Golden Globe winner Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) has been nominated alongside Helen Mirren for The Last Station, Carey Mulligan for her impressive turn in An Education, Gabourey Sidibe in Precious, and the oft-lauded Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia.

Costume designers have had a similarly big year, ranking in nominations for Janet Patterson, who dressed James McAvoy and Abbie Cornish in Jane Campion’s Bright Star, Catherine Leterrier for her impossibly chic wares in Coco Avant Chanel, Monique Prudhomme for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Sandy Powell for The Young Victoria, and Colleen Atwood for her work on the star-studded, all-singing, all-dancing Nine.

Perhaps the category that is most rife with potential upsets this year is Best Director.  It is a list of impressively talented directors, each of whom made films that not only celebrate the art form, but take it to its full potential.  Kathryn Bigelow is nominated, rightly so, for The Hurt Locker and finds herself up against industry heavyweights like Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds, Jason Reitman and his Up in the Air, Lee Daniels for Precious, and lastly James Cameron for Avatar.  Everyone’s got a staunch favorite in this category – and he or she had better win.

Now, to get down to business, the Academy has nominated, for the first time in the history of the Oscars, ten films for best picture – five dramas and five from the comedy/musical realm.  They are: Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, A Serious Man, Up, and Up in the Air.  This newly fattened category can go one of two ways: it’s either a good and inclusive thing to have so many nominees, or certain films that would have been left out of the original five should also have been left out of the list of ten – if you know what we mean.