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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sandra Bullock's Gettin' All Up in Avatar's Business

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 11:44 AM

It looks way more real in 3D.
  • It looks way more real in 3D.

Hollywood's biggest ad campaign launched this morning when the beautiful Anne Hathaway and some dude who is not the beautiful Anne Hathaway announced the nominees for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. It was a tasteful affair, wi—SURPRISE, EVERYBODY! SANDRA BULLOCK'S CRASHIN' THE PARTY!

(See what I did there? With crashing the party? Because Sandy took some time off from Miss Congeniality 14: Still Sassy or whatever to be in Crash, a film that's universally acknowledged as being fucking awful, but which somehow won Best Picture a few years ago? And now The Blind Side—which previously won the award for your mom's favorite movie of 2009!—has been nominated for Best Picture, too? Yeah. So... crashing! Ha! Sigh.)

The Best Picture nominees:

Avatar
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
A Serious Man
Up
Up in the Air

The Academy expanded the Best Picture category this year in a pretty shameless attempt to get people to care about the Oscars again; with crowd-pleasing contenders like The Blind Side, Avatar, Inglourious Basterds, and Up, I'd say they've succeeded. More people will probably watch this year, since a movie they've actually seen might win Best Picture. (Meanwhile, I'm still hoping The Hurt Locker will win, regardless of the fact that, bewilderingly and angeringly, only like 20 people bothered to see it.)

A complete list of the nominations, along with my unasked-for commentary, after the jump.

Best Picture
Avatar
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
A Serious Man
Up
Up in the Air

(The Hurt Locker better win. Though I wouldn't get too pissy if District 9 or A Serious Man won. And seeing Avatar win would be magical, if only because of the impotent rage it would inspire in everyone who loves to talk shit about that movie, despite the fact that, you know, pretty much everyone enjoyed it.)

Best Director
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
(Tarantino's probably my favorite director, so I feel weird not rooting for him here, but Basterds is, overall, the guy's weakest film to date. Plus, Bigelow just kicked everybody's ass this year.)

Best 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
(I wish I could split this award up into three pieces: Give a third of it to Up for that film's first half, give a third to Inglourious Basterds for all the scenes that actually featured the basterds, and give a third to the Coens for A Serious Man. But I guess I'll settle on just wanting A Serious Man to get this.)

Best Actor
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
(I love you, George Clooney.)

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon in Invictus
Woody Harrelson in Zombieland 2012 The Messenger
Christopher Plummer in The Last Station
Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds
(Waltz, as much as it might anger the Most Obvious Pedophile Ever.)

Best Actress
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
(Is it weird that I don't care about this one? I will say that Meryl Streep was a goddamn delight as Julia Child.)

Best Supporting Actress
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
(Kendrick. Though I didn't see Precious, and I suspect Mo'Nique would give an awesome acceptance speech, especially if she berates the Academy for not giving her an Oscar already for Phat Girlz.)

Best Animated Feature
Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
Up

(I suspect I'll be run out of Portland if I don't pull for Coraline, but it just wasn't as good as Fantastic Mr. Fox. I'm also disappointed to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs didn't get nominated. People will scoff at that, but those people probably didn't see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which, like Meryl Streep as Julia Child, was a goddamn delight. That said, Up will win this, 'cause it won't win Best Picture.)

Best Art Direction
Avatar
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Nine
Sherlock Holmes
The Young Victoria

(Avatar.)

Best Cinematography:
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
(The Hurt Locker—though I didn't see The White Ribbon, and I wouldn't be upset to see Avatar win this, either. Also, District 9 should've been nominated.)

Best Costume Design
Bright Star
Coco before Chanel
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Nine
The Young Victoria

(I just barely stared wearing shoes with laces a few months ago, so I turned to Mercury's resident fashionista, Marjorie Skinner, for her advice on this one. She says Coco. "But I'm not sure how much of a run for its money Parnassus and Nine will give it. They're more 'costumey,'" she says. "But I'm gonna stick with Coco. Fuck it. I love that movie.")

Best Documentary (Feature)
Burma VJ
The Cove
Food, Inc.
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
Which Way Home

(I haven't seen any of these but Food, Inc., but I bet The Cove wins.)

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

(Allow me to express my disappointment that Tell Them Anything You Want didn't get nominated. Okay, expressed. I didn't see any of these other ones.)

Best Editing
Avatar
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

(District 9.)

Best Foreign-Language Film

Ajami
El Secreto de Sus Ojos
The Milk of Sorrow
Un Prophète
The White Ribbon

(Haven't seen any of these yet, but both Ajami and A Prophet are screening at this year's Portland International Film Festival.)

Best Makeup
Il Divo
Star Trek
The Young Victoria

(Don't care. But Spock's ears did look super real.)

Best 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
(Giacchino's nominated for Up, when he should have been nominated for Star Trek. He deserves it regardless.)

Best 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
(Don't care.)

Best Short Film (Animated)
French Roast
Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty
The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)
Logorama
A Matter of Loaf and Death

(I have seen none of these, but Nick Park did A Matter of Loaf and Death, and I'll root for that dude given any opportunity.)

Best Short Film (Live Action)
The Door
Instead of Abracadabra
Kavi
Miracle Fish
The New Tenants

(Wait. What? I'm still writing this?)

Best Sound Editing
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Up

(Don't care.)

Best Sound Mixing
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

(OH MY GOD THIS BLOG POST IS TAKING LONGER THAN THE OSCARS THEMSELVES)

Best Visual Effects
Avatar
District 9
Star Trek

(Avatar should win, though I wouldn't be too surprised if District 9 pulled an upset here.)

Best 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
(District 9.)

Jesus. Done. The Oscars air on March 7, with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin hosting. Right now I'm considering live blogging them, but hopefully I'll come to my senses about that sometime between now and then.

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