Nominations For The 82nd Academy Awards

HOLLYWOOD —Nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards were announced on Tuesday morning at the academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, in great anticipation of the biggest awards night for movie and film stars and the most anticipated nominations in a decade. There were regular favorites nominated but also new additions this year to the process and even some behind the scenes drama that led up to the current nominated stars, behind the scenes technicians and a total of ten films nominated up from the normal five. The biggest race is between “Avatar” and “Hurt Locker.” which share nine nominations apiece. The two films are favorites of many, but James Cameron’s “Avatar” cost a whopping $300 million to make.

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The films nominated this year in the Best Picture category include, “Avatar,” “Up in the Air,” “The Blind Side,” “An Education,” “The Hurt Locker,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “Precious” and “Up.” Other films include some not well-known big epics, but this year it’s a toss up by most Oscar watchers between James Cameron’s “Avatar” and “Up in the Air.” However, don’t count out some of the lesser known pictures, the Academy is often taken by the obscure, as they were last year with “Slumdog Millionaire,” which took the top award home. This could be a good thing for “Hurt Locker,” which has received critical acclaim for it’s subject matter and the beautiful way it was presented and acted.

Other top categories include directors, James Cameron and his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow for her film “Hurt Locker.” These two seem to be getting the most buzz, and when Cameron won the Golden Globe just a couple weeks ago, he mentioned during his acceptance speech that he believed Bigelow would have won instead. She’s the first woman ever nominated in this category, so Hollywood made history as it loves to do. Quentin Tarantino, Lee Daniels and Jason Reitman round out the names of Oscar nominated directors.

The lead actress category is really a horse race. Nominees are Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side,” Helen Mirren in “The Last Station,” Cary Mulligan in “An Education,” Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious,” and the perennial nominated star Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia.” Bullock sent Streep a note warning her not to get in her way this time around, after they tied for lead actress for the Golden Globes. And in good humor Meryl Streep mailed Sandra Bullock dead orchids. These two ladies may have an upset as prevailing thought is Sidibe’s performance in “Precious” was so mesmerizing and such a difficult role that the young star may have surprised Academy voters.

Again nominated this year is Penelope Cruz in “Nine,” Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air,” Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart,” Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air” and Mo’Nique in “Precious.” This category is truly a tough one to call with no odds makers calling it this early.

The men are equally as worthy for nominations this year, with lead actor nods going to Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart,” George Clooney in “Up in the Air,” Colin Firth in “A Single Man,” Morgan Freeman in “Invictus” and Jeremy Renner in “Hurt Locker.” This tight race is also very close to call, but the early favorite is Jeff Bridges, with Morgan Freeman getting a lot of attention for his role as the South African leader Nelson Mandela.

Rounding out the acting categories is Matt Damon in “Invictus,” Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger,” Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station,” Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones” and Christoph Waltz in “Inglorious Basterds.”

Whoever fans and industry insiders are cheering for, this is a year filled with spectacular films nominated and great performances. The voting process is still ongoing, so anyone could win. For a full list of Oscar nominations go to the official site for the Academy Awards at Nominees for the 82nd Academy Awards | Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

The telecast will be featuring two hosts at this year’s Oscar ceremony: Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, who just starred together in “It’s Complicated.” The Oscars will be telecast live March 7 on ABC from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.