Oscar Nominations 2010

February 2, 2010 was a big day for announcements.  We’d all been waiting for this special occasion… yes, groundhog day.  For us who live in the Calgary area, we welcomed the news as we began the day: our very own groundhog Balzac Billy did not see his own shadow.  A reward for us resilient folks: an early spring.

But even hours before Balzac Billy popped his head out of his burrow, another excitement stirred at 5:38 am PST.  At the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, CA, Academy President Tom Sherak and actress Anne Hathaway got up on the stage and announced this year’s Oscar Nominations to a house full of early risers.  What a way to start the day.   Click here to watch the announcement video.

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The major change this year of course is the expansion of the Best Picture category from 5 to 10 selections.  I’ve pondered the pros and cons about this move.  While more films can be included so not to snub deserving ones, it also begs the question of what’s so deserving if the number of contenders are increased.

For the full list of nominations, CLICK HERE.  I won’t repeat them here but I’ll just highlight some items that pique my interest.

The Golden Globes and the SAG Awards remain the best predictors of the Oscars.  So, there are no surprises, just delights, for the three films I’ve reviewed here on Ripple Effects have all been nominated for Best Picture.

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Up In The Air receives 6 noms.  Other than Best Picture,  Jason Reitman gets a nod for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.  Clooney, Kendrick, and Farmiga all nominated in their respective acting category.

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An Education gets a Best Picture nod with Nick Hornby nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, while Carey Mulligan, who plays 16 year-old Jenny, gets to compete with Meryl Streep, 16-time Oscar nominee, this time as Julia Child in Julie and Julia.

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I’m glad too that the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man gets a nod for a chance at the Best Picture Oscar Award as well as a nom for Best Original Screenplay.

Are these deserving smaller films getting the nods reaping the benefits of the expanded Best Picture category?  Or, is it just the other way round, that popular, big box office hits get a chance to be included because of their mass appeal?  It’s that same old art vs. popularity debate again… well, some other time.

Avatar and The Hurt Locker each receives 9 nominations. Both are contenders in the coveted Best Picture and Best Director categories.  Yes, James Cameron will be competing with his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow for these two coveted prizes.  In all of the Academy Awards’ 82 years history, there have only been three female directors nominated, and none has won. Kathryn Bigelow is the fourth.  Will she make Oscar history this year by being the first woman Director taking home the statuette?  After all, it’s a decade past the twenty-first century now.

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Inglorious Basterds is another major contender with 8 nods.  Quentin Tarantino’s altered-history fantasy is ingloriously riveting.  Christoph Waltz, who brilliantly plays the cold, callous, and calculating Nazi Colonel Hans Landa, is likely to continue his winning streak following the GG and SAG.

Christopher Plummer gets a nom for his role as Tolstoy in the film The Last Station, a biopic about the last years of the great Russian author.  So, why is he nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category?  Who is he supporting?  Mrs. Tolstoy? … whose star Helen Mirren gets to be nominated for Best Actress, not supporting.

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It’s interesting to see the animated feature Up get to compete with the other nine feature films, aiming for the highest prize in the Best Picture category.  I believe only Beauty And The Beast had that honor in the past.  Animated features have taken on a brand new versatility in recent years, with all sorts of technical innovations creating fresh new visual effects.  But it’s always the story that is the winning factor.  Up deserves the nom.

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So hopefully March 7 will not only bring star-studded excitement but the warm and gentle breeze of spring for me as well.

**All photos from the copyright-free picapp.com**

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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

7 thoughts on “Oscar Nominations 2010”

  1. Here in Hong Kong, a lot of the nominated films are yet to be shown. I look forward to seeing ‘A Single Man’ & ‘Up In The Air’.

    Carey Mulligan (An Education) is a pleasant surprise, her sensational performance is indeed impressive. I hope she’ll get the Best Actress Award. Will she?

    I’m counting the days to Oscar morning. Yes, the live broadcast will be shown bright and early on March 8.

    Molly Mavis,

    Yes, CM’s performance is natural and amiable. But I’m afraid it’s a battle between SB and MS. After all, the Oscars is an American show. But I’m glad two of my faves are there, other than CM, there’s CF.



  2. I laughed and laughed, Arti ~ I couldn’t believe you folks were so cultured as to have a weather-predicting rodent named after a French novelist! I’m educated now, and have a proper view of things.

    Even better, I have something new to add to my list of new things recently discovered: the Oscars are much more interesting if you’ve seen some of the movies! 🙂


    I must clarify that Groundhog Balzac Billy takes his name after his home hamlet Balzac, about 5 miles north of Calgary. So yeah, you can say we’re a cultured bunch. As for the Oscars, last year I saw all the Best Pictures noms, but this year with the expansion to 10, I just pick the ones I like to see and not feel obligated to watch them all. I’m glad you’re watching movies now. 🙂



  3. I’ve only watched Up in the Air and The Blind Side, and liked them both. So, so far, I’m rooting for George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, especially Sandra. Did you know the role was offered to Julia Roberts, and she passed? So did Sandra, but then she changed her mind.

    Do you think the Academy will give the best supporting actor award to Christopher Plummer because he’s 80 years old?

    I plan to go see An Education, but definitely not Avatar.

    As always, I enjoy reading your post, groundhog day and all 🙂


    SB has stiff competition. But if the GG and SAG are any indication, she’d probably get it. I myself like to see a fresh new talent getting it. Yes, I really like Carey Mulligan in An Education. But her chance is slim I’m afraid. After you’ve seen An Ed, you might root for CM.

    As for Best Supporting Actor, I think Christoph Waltz has the highest chance… after winning both the GG and SAG. And he’s really good in IB, very impressive and riveting performance.

    Oscar Nom announcement on Groundhog Day is such an interesting combination that I just can’t let it pass without mentioning. Glad you find it amusing.



  4. Arti – It IS a special day when the Oscars nominations pop up – I love it. I was riveted the other morning to see them, stopped in my tracks, half ready for work. I’d be late. who cares?

    my take on the expanded Best Picture was that it offered popular draw and might even pull more people in to watch the Oscars since a more mainstream movie made it this far. I dunno. I just love ’em all.

    Haven’t seen half of them this year, either, but will play catch up this month. My Mom along with one of my good friends auditioned to be in the “crowd” in the movie UP IN THE AIR since it was filmed here in STL. Nope, they didn’t get in but what fun they both had getting dressed and ready and the stories they came home with!

    Oh, dear, Meryl for Julie (terribly well deserved) but met head on with the young Miss Mulligan. how to choose? how to choose? Oh, I don’t have to! I get to watch and cheer.

    Wish you could come over for the Awards. Will likely write you just after, knowing that you are kindred movie-lover, to see what you think. But we have time. Meanwhile, I have at least four movies to catch up on!

    I am rooting for UP though. Just because. You’re right; its’ the first animated for nomination since B and the B. (I will likely change my vote for Best Picture several times between now and the Big Event.


    How cool is that to be an extra on the set of UITA. I heard though that it’s a lot of waiting really, and very long hours. I read somewhere that they were shooting 20 hours a day.

    Up against Avatar is like David and Goliath. And as you mention the expansion of 5 to 10 for Best Picture is to allow more mainstream movies to get a chance. Such is the argument in all areas dealing with art and popularity, isn’t it. The dilemma is, without the support of the masses, artistic achievement just might not survive. But if art is dependent upon popularity, then it could well alter the standard and quality of it. This debate certainly can make one interesting post that would stir some ripples.

    Meanwhile, let us just enjoy watching them all for that Special Day. I look forward to more of your comments as you play catch up!



  5. I loved An Education. Loved it!!! I so hope it wins something. And, I’m going to see Up In The Air tomorrow, so I’ll have to see how that film effects me. I’m not such a huge Grammy follower, they so often seem to pick something I’m in dismay over (Little Miss Sunshine, American Beauty). But, my husband and I watched Chocolat last night for the millionth time, and that certainly deserved each of the five Grammy’s it won.


    Yes, I hope An Education will win something. I’d enjoyed it very much too. Carey Mulligan is one highly amiable and fresh talent. You’re welcome to share your view on my movie review posts. Just click on the movie poster on my sidebar.

    I’d loved Little Miss Sunshine and American Beauty too. I think they deserved their awards. Chocolat is one fine film as well. I suppose you meant it was nominated for 5 Oscars and 4 Golden Globes, not the Grammy’s. Unfortunately it didn’t win any of those, but it did win some other ones. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0241303/awards

    Definitely lots more movies to watch this year!



  6. Arti,

    Sorry for being late, I did promise a friend I will come by and say hello. Oscar movies are not out in our side of the world, not most of them until later this month. “An Education” is ok, with particularly strong performance in Carey Mulligan. (and maybe I’m just too big of a fan for Nick Hornby !) Meryl Streep’s rendition of Julia Child is funny and well done, even for a foodie who reads the domestic goddess’ books deliciously into the night bearing hunger but was too lazy to conjure up anything, Meryl’s efforts paid off as she is one fantastic Julia indeed. I was hoping to see Penelope Cruz for Broken Embraces instead of Helen Mirren too! I have a feeling that there is a fair chance we’ll have a Crash-Brokeback Mountain split this year between Avatar and Hurt Locker.. What do you think on that?



    I’d rather not guess… that’s the Oscar appeal. It’s intriguing and suspenseful even, as we watch the presenters open the envelope. It’s Carey Mulligan’s first time, and Meryl Streep’s 16th, simply interesting to watch. And with the comedic duo of Martin and Baldwin, I’m sure we’re in for some good laughs too.

    And BTW, now that you’re a full-fledge entertainment journalist/writer, have you thought of starting another blog?
    Anyway, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment… knowing how busy your line of work is.



  7. Ah Arti,

    You’re flattering me (I promised to mail the mags but didn’t get a chance to mail them yet) I’m not really an “entertainment” reporter because I don’t do most of the movies, or celebrities. Most of the things I do are local entertainment – mostly art and theatre, and then there is FOOD! My editor has made it clear that anything (info and pics) taken during the course of work can’t be used as blog material…so it’s going to be a little hard to start a new one, plus the best things will already be on the mag!

    I’ll mail them over promptly, that I can promise you.


    I look forward to receiving them… thanks!



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