2010 Oscar nominations: the rundown

Posted by Bel. The time is 10.22am here in Wellington, NZ.

What's not to love about this time of year? From the day Oscar nominations are announced to the evening (afternoon over here) of the ceremony itself, I love revelling in the awards season.

Yes, okay, the Academy is dominated by self-interested old white dudes and Hollywood is a creaking outdated system of narrow-minded films but... squeee! Fun!! The frocks, the gossip, the underdogs, the rivalries...

New Zealand's link to the Oscars is tenuous this year, with PJ's The Lovely Bones ignored on all fronts except Stanley Tucci's performance. The short film The Six Dollar Fifty Man just scooped a top honour at the Sundance Festival, but we won't have a repeat of seeing any of our local filmmakers on the red carpet at the Kodak Theater.

There is still a lot to like about the 82nd Academy Awards, particularly as, for only the 4th time ever, a woman has been nominated as Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker. And with her film up for an Avatar-equalling total of nine awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, there seems a real chance that a female could take out this award for the very first time.

Kathryn Bigelow has a good laugh at James Cameron
busting out that "King of the woooorrrld!" line for one last time.

The Women & Hollywood website has a very interesting piece on female writers responding to the nominations (including current girl crush and all round awesomenessest Manohla Dargis), whereas I am just going to go through the list and tell you my Unfounded Opinions.

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”
The Academy are gonna vote for the Cloonster. You know it, I know it.

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”
The Nazis were the only non-laughable thing in QT's mess of a movie (that and how pretty it was - see the Cinematography nom).

But, despite this and my secret crush on Woody, I don't wonder if they might go soft and give it to 80 y.o. Plummer who has never had a prize!

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”
I rolled my eyes and went 'Meryl Streep? Agaaain?' but have since read that it's been over 25 years since she's actually won an Oscar. And otherwise they might have to give it to a fat black girl.

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”
Two women from the same movie? Srsly? Were they like, 'Hmm. Crap. Ladies... ladies... Surely they did some movies around the place... Hmm dunno. Let's just stick in another one what that was in that Clooney movie.' Sigh.

Do we think Mo'Nique could actually take this one out? Her role is certainly the most hearty of any of these.

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
Gah. I really don't like that this is a different category - or maybe it's more that films from this category can be in Best Picture as well. Dumb! Surely this is a bad thing for Up??

If Fantastic Mr Fox wins, I am personally flying over to wherever animal-hater Wes Anderson lives and hiding outside his house until I can throw a bucket of red paint over him and yell out "FUR IS DEAD!" whilst shaking my fist manically.

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
Sherlock Holmes was bang-on in terms of look and feel (yes, I think you could almost use that term), recreating an amazing world. But I imagine that that mad ole bugger Gilliam went hard out too so who knows...


  • 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
Harry Potter?! LOLZ (Although it was one of my favourite trailers of 2009.)

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
Jane Campion's only toe in the door :( And she's up against Chanel!


  • 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
Please, please, pleeeeease Kathryn Bigelow. Or Lee Daniels, even. It's the first time there's been a black director of a Best Picture nom - even more history in the making!

Yes, that's political, but hey you can't tell me the whole damn thing's not political. They talk about 'campaigning' for an Oscar for pete's sake!

Documentary (Feature)

No one in New Zealand ever gets to see these so not relevant.

Documentary (Short Subject)

As above.

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
Always tough. Editing is something you're not supposed to notice in a film, and now that we've gotten over that boisterous 90s music video style, you can't even be self-consciously stylistic in a film without coming across like a prat...

Foreign Language Film

  • Ajami” Israel
  • El Secreto de Sus Ojos” Argentina
  • The Milk of Sorrow” Peru
  • Un Prophète” France
  • The White Ribbon” Germany
The White Ribbon is Michael Haneke, right? In the bag.


  • 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
Star Trek!! For all the awesome spocky ears!

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
I never notice this. Unless it is awful. The only name I recognise here is Zimmer's. Although I think I shall recall "Desplat" from now on... heh heh..

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 c and T Bone Burnett
Randy Newman! Twice! Dear me. I think he must have some kind of overarching contract wherein he is obligated to churn out music for the Oscars just to pad out this category and provide the ceremony with light entertainment.

I have spent time trying to find an embeddable video or even link to the DEFINITIVE Family Guy clip featuring Randy Newman but have failed and thus am very unhappy.

However I'd like to put my money on the song from Crazy Heart. Why? Oh just because Ryan Bingham is going to make Alec Baldwin cry during the telecast, that's all.

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

I like the extended list format - sure, it was done just for the ratings but regardless it does open up the field and make things a bit more exciting.

I'm still banking for The Hurt Locker but would also love to see a thought-provoking and beautiful film that deals with people and relationships, like Lone Scherfig's An Education, take the top prize over something full of spectacle and melodrama like Avatar, District 9 (which I enjoyed on the big screen, but thought was a very transparent parable), or even The Blind Side.

Short Film (Animated)

No one in New Zealand ever gets to see these so not relevant.

Short Film (Live Action)

As above.

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
You guys! Controversy!! Up has been nominated for sound editing but not for sound mixing. And GET THIS: Transformers got the nod for sound mixing but not for sound editing!! Can you imagine the UPROAR!

(Someone once actually explained the difference between the editing and mixing of film sound to Lou and I and why it was so fundamentally different that it required separate Academy Awards but, lordy me, I have no recollection and quite possibly immediately tuned out at the time. Lou?)

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
Awh man it's gon be DRAMZ. Greg, Gary and Geoffrey ("Team G") are very upset re the overlooking of their editing skills right now.

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
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say Avatar. But I haven't actually seen it yet, so don't hold me to that.

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
What the feck is District 9 adapted from? The history books of South Africa??

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
Usually a good call is made in this category. We, of course, do not refer to the year Crash was chosen over both Syriana and Good Night And Good Luck. In general, we do not refer to Crash at all. Please note.

Oh and no, QT, no. Sit back down. You had no right, personally or politically, to write that revisionist piece of delusional claptrap and the Jews that run Hollywood do not take kindly to what you have done.

Well then. Much to be done before 7th March. I haven't even heard of this film The Messenger and I really do need to join the queue and go see Avatar in 3D.

I shall soon be downloading my official ballot form (ooOOoooh they've been redesigned this year!) and plotting my choices. Then, how to wrangle the afternoon off so I can fully indulge in the gratuitousness of the Western film industry apex?

9 thoughts on “2010 Oscar nominations: the rundown”

  1. 1. Oh my stars that song from 'Crazy Heart' is beautiful. Thank you for making me know about it.

    2. I haven't seen a single film nominated for ANYTHING. Once upon a time I used to know everything about movies. Now I just download TV shows.

    3. I normally read your site through bloglines so I haven't seen how pretty the design's become until now. Very lovely!

  2. The Jews that run Hollywood PRODUCED Inglourious Basterds!

    Our choices differ dramatically - excitement!

    PS didn't Meryl pick up an Oscar for Adaptation?... well blow me down, no she did not. Hmmm you might be right... I think that's going to be the most interesting category!

  3. Hi Jo! Glad you like our decor!
    Yes, apparently it won the Golden Globe already so unless Randy Newman really does have some kind of Masonic power, it's a sure thing... ;)

    Pro tip: another great thing about awards season are all the 'screeners' available on the interwebs, as opposed to crappy cams. Makes keeping up with the play much simpler!

    And Lou - yes, I agree, Best Actress is gonna be DRAMZ.
    I feel sorry for S.Bull, as she is really going to have to hustle to convince people that role is dramatic acting and not just a fluff piece!

  4. What's the deal with Wes? Not a fan myself especially and haven't seen Mr Fox but curious as to what he's done...

  5. He used real fur for all the puppets in Fantastic Mr Fox. This is gross and also made it very difficult for the animators as it's much harder to work with on film apparently.

    Great article here on the LA Times where the director of animation talks about how Wes made their lives miserable...

    I have really enjoyed his films, even tho they are all thematically the same & you get the impression he needs to sort out his daddy issues/women problems. ;)

  6. I think he means 'real fur' as opposed to claymation type stuff. VF says it was artificial fur, toy fur and goats hair (though I don't know if this means wool).


    I think why I'm not so keen on Anderson is the same reason I don't really like the beat poets - they always have annoying pretensious early twenties boys as fans!

  7. Ooooh. Okay. WHEW!! Man I feel so much better now. Hysterical greenie hatred is subsiding...

    (He still pretty much sounds like one of those egomanic arsehole directors though.)

  8. Meanwhile I thought we hated Wes purely coz he directed from a distance, which seems quite lazy to me but I guess could be seen as a utilisation of modern technology blah blah blah

    (Plus I just plain don't like his stuff, for a similar reason to Meg)