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'Avatar,' 'Hurt Locker' Lead Oscar Nominations

'Avatar,' 'Hurt Locker' Lead Oscar Nominations
With nine nominations each, "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker" led the pack as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences opened up its best picture Oscar race to 10 nominees for the first time since 1943.

Nominated for best picture are: The blockbuster "Avatar," the morally uplifting "The Blind Side," the femme-centric coming-of-age-tale "An Education," the Iraq War-set "The Hurt Locker," the South African sci-fi tale "District 9," the revisionist World War II story "Inglourious Basterds," the dysfunctional family drama "Precious," the modern-day Job story "A Serious Man," the animated "Up" and the high-flying look at a downsizing America, "Up in the Air."

With the unveiling of nominations for the 82nd annual Academy Awards on Tuesday morning, Meryl Streep earned her 16th Oscar nomination for whipping up a mean omelet in "Julie & Julia," while Sandra Bullock captured her first nom for playing a suburban mom who takes a homeless teen into her home in "Blind Side."

Also nominated for best actress are Helen Mirren, who fights for control of her husband Leo Tolstoy's legacy in "The Last Station"; Carey Mulligan, who plays a British schoolgirl eager to taste life in "An Education"; and Gabourey Sidibe, who is seen as an abused inner-city teen in "Precious."

Among the best actor contenders, Jeff Bridges received his fifth Oscar nom for "Crazy Heart," in which he plays an alcoholic country singer. He'll be competing against George Clooney, as a corporate road warrior in "Up in the Air"; Colin Firth, as a suicidal gay man in "A Single Man"; Morgan Freeman, stepping into the shoes of Nelson Mandela in "Invictus"; and Jeremy Renner, who goes about disposing bombs with an existential resignation in "Hurt Locker."

Austria-born actor Christoph Waltz, who has been picking up just about every award in sight for his turn as a multilingual Nazi in "Basterds," was nominated in the best supporting actor category. He is surrounded by Matt Damon ("Invictus"), Woody Harrelson ("The Messenger"), Christopher Plummer ("Station") and Stanley Tucci ("The Lovely Bones").

Mo'Nique, who has also been much-lauded for her performance as an abusive mother in "Precious," will be invited to the Kodak Theater for the Oscar ceremony as she was nominated for best supporting actress. That category also includes both Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick from "Up in the Air"; Penelope Cruz ("Nine") and Maggie Gyllenhaal ("Crazy Heart").

Of the 10 best picture nominees, only five saw their directors go on to claim directing noms. They are Kathryn Bigelow ("Hurt Locker"), James Cameron ("Avatar"), Lee Daniels ("Precious"), Jason Reitman ("Up in the Air") and Quentin Tarantino ("Basterds").

While Pixar/Disney's "Up" became only the second animated film, after 1991's "Beauty and the Beast," to be nominated for best picture, it also nailed down a spot in the best animated feature race, where it will compete against two stop-motion movies, "Coraline" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox," as well as hand-drawn "The Princess and the Frog" and "The Secret of Kells."

The documentary lineup addresses a variety of social issues: Anders Ostergaard and Lise Lense-Moller's "Burma VJ" looks at the 2007 protests in Burma; "The Cove" shines a light on the exploitation of dolphins; Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein's "Food, Inc." takes a critical view of agribusiness; Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith's "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers," a portrait of the Vietnam; and Revecca Cammisa's "Which Way Home," which follows child migrants through a trek through Mexico.

This year's foreign-language film nominations hail from Israel ("Ajami"), Argentina ("El Secreto de Sus Ojos"), Peru ("The Milk of Sorrow"), France ("Un Prophete") and Germany ("The White Ribbon").

On the writing front, Tarantino earned an original screenplay nom to go along with his directing nom for "Basterds." The other nominees are Mark Boal for "The Hurt Locker," Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman for "The Messenger," Joel Coen & Ethan Coen for "A Serious Man" and Bob Peterson and Pete Docter, who wrote the "Up" screenplay from a story by Docter, Peterson and Tom McCarthy.

In the category of adapted screenplay, the nominees are Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell for "District 9," Nick Hornby for "An Education," Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche for "In the Loop," Geoffrey Fletcher for "Precious" and Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner for "Up in the Air."

Winners will be announced March 7 when Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin host the Oscar ceremony, which will be broadcast live by ABC from the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland.

A complete list of nominees is on the next page.

With nine nominations each, "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker" led the pack as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the noms Tuesday morning. A full list of nominees follows:

Best Picture
"The Blind Side"
"District 9"
"An Education"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"A Serious Man"
"Up in the Air"

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"
George Clooney, "Up in the Air"
Colin Firth, "A Single Man"
Morgan Freeman, "Invictus"
Jeremy Renner, "The Hurt Locker"

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock, "The Blind Side"
Helen Mirren, "The Last Station"
Carey Mulligan, "An Education"
Gabourey Sidibe, "Precious"
Meryl Streep, "Julie & Julia"

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, "Invictus"
Woody Harrelson, "The Messenger"
Christopher Plummer, "The Last Station"
Stanley Tucci, "The Lovely Bones"
Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds"

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, "Nine"
Vera Farmiga, "Up in the Air"
Maggie Gyllenhaal, "Crazy Heart"
Anna Kendrick, "Up in the Air"
Mo'Nique, "Precious "

Best Director
James Cameron, "Avatar"
Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker"
Quentin Tarantino, "Inglourious Basterds"
Lee Daniels, "Precious"
Jason Reitman, "Up in the Air"

Best Foreign-Language Film
"Ajami" Israel
"El Secreto de Sus Ojos" Argentina
"The Milk of Sorrow" Peru
"Un Prophete" France
"The White Ribbon" Germany

Best Adapted Screenplay
Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, "District 9"
Nick Hornby, "An Education"
Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche, "In the Loop"
Geoffrey Fletcher, "Precious"
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, "Up in the Air"

Best Original Screenplay
Mark Boal, "The Hurt Locker"
Quentin Tarantino, "Inglourious Basterds"
Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman, "The Messenger"
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "A Serious Man"
Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Tom McCarthy, "Up"

Best Animated Feature Film
"Fantastic Mr. Fox"
"The Princess and the Frog"
"The Secret of Kells"

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

Best Cinematography
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"The White Ribbon"

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

Best Sound Editing
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"Star Trek"

Best 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

Best Original Song
"Almost There" from "The Princess and the Frog," Randy Newman
"Down in New Orleans" from "The Princess and the Frog," Randy Newman
"Loin de Paname" from "Paris 36," Reinhardt Wagner and Frank Thomas
"Take It All" from "Nine," Maury Yeston
"The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)" from "Crazy Heart," Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Best Costume Design
"Bright Star"
"Coco Before Chanel"
"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus"
"The Young Victoria"

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

Best Documentary Short
"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 a la Berlin"

Best Film Editing
"District 9"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"

Best Makeup
"Il Divo"
"Star Trek"
"The Young Victoria"

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

Best Live-Action Short Film
"The Door"
"Instead of Abracadabra"
"Miracle Fish"
"The New Tenants"

Best Visual Effects
"District 9"
"Star Trek"

The Hollywood Reporter 

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