On Tuesday, "Avatar" by James Cameron and "The Hurt Locker" by Kathryn Bigelow were announced in the Oscar nominations on Tuesday Feb.2. The two movies were nominated with 9 awards including the Best Movie and Best Director.
The two masterpieces of James and his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow are now a study in extremes for ruling nine Oscar nominations each.
For the first time in history since 1943 the Oscars feature 10 best-picture contenders instead of the usual five.
"Avatar" is the film set in the year 2154, when humans are mining a precious mineral called unobtanium on the lush moon Pandora in the Alpha Centauri star system. The expansion of the mining colony threatens the continued existence of a local tribe of Na'vi-a sentient humanoid species which is indigenous to Pandora. The film was awarded with best drama and best director at the Golden Globes. Meanwhile, "The Hurt Locker" is one of the most acclaimed films of 2009, earning awards and honors from numerous organizations, festivals and groups. The film follows a United States Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team during the Iraq War.
Although the two movies are head-to-head awards, their directors who had been ex-spouses from 1989 to 1991 do not seem to show any feeling of animosity.
Besides "Avatar", the animated comedy "Up," the football drama "The Blind Side," the World War II saga "Inglourious Basterds" and the sci-fi tale "District 9" were also announced in best-picture nominations. "Up in the Air" and drama "Precious Based on the Novel ‘Push' By Sapphire" were nominees for moneymaker films.
According to actress Sandra Bullock, 10 best-picture contenders instead of the usual five means there will be more types of films in the awards spotlights. Though Bullock has never been nominated before, this year, she becomes the potential candidate to receive the golden statue with her acting in "The Blind Side". She will head with Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Carey Mulligan and Gabourey Sidibe for "Best Actress".
This year, 2010 Golden Globes winner Jeff Bridges, who had been nominated 4 times but not ever touched the Oscar statue, listed in the "Best Actor" Award with his role in "Crazy Heart". Bridges's "rivals" are celebrated actors George Clooney, Morgan Freeman, Colin Firth and Jeremy Renner.
Nominees for "Best Supporting Actress" this year are Mo'Nique, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Penelope Cruz và Maggie Gyllenhaal. Meanwhile, Christoph Waltz, Matt Damon, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Plummer, Stanley Tucci are nominees for "Best Supporting Actor".
The 82nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will honor the best films of 2009 and will take place March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. It will be televised in the United States on ABC. Actors Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin will host the show. Martin will host for the third time, after previously presiding over the 73rd and 75th ceremonies, while Baldwin will host the show for the first time.