Home / Film / 2010 Oscar Nominations: Avatar and The Hurt Locker Lead the Pack

2010 Oscar Nominations: Avatar and The Hurt Locker Lead the Pack

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The nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards were announced this morning. This year the number of nominations for Best Picture was expanded from five to 10. To absolutely no one's surprise, the juggernaut that is Avatar is well-represented among the categories, picking up nods in the Best Picture and Best Direction categories as well as nominations for art direction, editing, original score, and several other technical categories for a total of nine. The Hurt Locker, a film about a bomb disposal squad in the Iraq war, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, has also garnered nine nominations, including those for Best Picture and Best Direction.

The Best Picture nominees include two animated features this year. While Avatar and Up are the big-budget blockbusters in this category, The Blind Side has been very profitable given its relatively modest production costs but its inclusion here probably comes as a surprise to a lot of people. An Education and Joel and Ethan Coen's A Serious Man have been critically well-received but seen by relatively few viewers.

The Oscars award ceremony will be televised on Sunday, March 7 at 8 pm EST on ABC. This year's show will be co-hosted by Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. Martin is one of my favorite people, simultaneously goofy and sophisticated, and Baldwin's certainly proven his comedic chops in recent years, so hopefully they'll be able to keep the boredom at bay. Below are the nominees in some of the major categories. For a complete list of nominees in all categories, visit the Oscars official website.

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

Best Direction

  • James Cameron – Avatar
  • Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
  • Quentin Tarantino – Inglourious Basterds
  • Lee Daniels – Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
  • Jason Reitman – Up in the Air

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

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

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

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
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About Lisa McKay

  • Great feature. Was surprised to see The Blind Side nominated for best picture. Star Trek and The Hangover were surprise misses. Avatar will win the most awards overall, though Zoe Saldana should have been nominated for her “virtual” performance for sure. Saldana was the biggest miss. Not Brad Pitt or Julia Roberts.

  • Oh my goodness, you would of thought we were in the political section based on some of the responses. It was just an opinion about movies that doesn’t mean “nothin.” Next time I will just leave the movie critic stuff to El, Glenn, Jordan and all you movie buffs.

  • I don’t think a picture should be excluded from consideration because it’s “too dark”. Consider some past winners. Schindler’s List. The Departed. The Unforgiven. No Country for Old Men. The Silence of the Lambs. I’m not saying that “dark” or “heavy”, or “sad” is a prerequisite – it should be craft of the story telling, not always the story itself.

  • “Heloise put Sandra Bullock on the Oscar map with her fab review of that performance.”


    Christine, you take issue with “Avatar” being predictable and then trumpet “The Blind Side”? That was based on a true story and we know the young man is playing in the NFL.

    Regardless of how familiar many elements of the story were, I would be fine with “Avatar” winning Best Picture to honor all the people behind the scenes. Glenn is right. This movie is a landmark in effects and according to IMDB “Each frame (1/24 of a second) of the CGI scenes took an average of 47 hours to complete”. The Academy has made worse choices.

    I am still catching up but “In The Loop” may make my Top Ten. Witty as hell

  • Jordan Richardson

    Ya, I’ve seen that. At least James Cameron wasn’t nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar.

  • zingzing

    jordan, have you seen that doc/meme that takes the plot of pocahontas and scratches out character and location names with the characters and locations in avatar? it’s so spot-on, it’s startling.

    the best picture nominations are terrifying. in the loop was obviously the best.

    and christine, rofl means “roll on the floor laughing.” hopefully, one day soon, it will be as anachronistic as “chill pill.”

  • Jordan, what does ROFL mean? And I meant it with much affection even if it is and old saying. Pocahontas is cool.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Take a “chill pill,” Jordan

    ROFL. People still say that?

    By the way, Avatar, like Dances With Wolves, was an adaptation of Pocahontas.

  • After winning at the DGA Awards, Locker‘s shot at Best Picture/Director are high. Check out my predictions if you’re interested.

  • PS: the worst part for me in Avatar was when one of the horse-type animals was burning and the best part was when the animals fought back and “kicked ass!”

  • Take a “chill pill,” Jordan, I DID say that I hadn’t seen the others. But thanks for the advice: I now know which movies to look forward to renting on DVD: the ones you mentioned and Glenn too.

    Glenn, as one that is FOR protecting our planet and our animals, the political undertones did not bother me at all, but it was like Dancing with Wolves on steroids (and I didn’t like that movie at all, nor Kevin Costner); however, I will agree with you; the special affects were awesome and the best part.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And in defense of Avatar…sure, the story was a rehash of Dancing With Wolves, and there were certainly a plethora of modern political undertones, but in the annals of filmdom there are movies that change the genre as a whole – like The Battleship Potemkin (montage), The Wizard of Oz (color), Star Wars (special effects), Jurassic Park (CGI animation)…and here’s Roger Ebert’s list of the 10 most influential films of the last century.

    Now Avatar should join the lists of most influential films ever, for making the first real step in the next generation of filmmaking by showing how to use 3-D graphics to enhance the film without sacrificing the movie on the altar of 3-D ‘wow’ factor. For that reason, it should considered for Best Picture.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Oscar goes to… The Blind Side [applause, speech, fade out, commercial break]!

    Oh dear, I hope you’re joking…

    Best Picture should go to The Hurt Locker or Up.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I’ll be rooting for The Hurt Locker and Precious.

    I took my 14 year-old son to The Hurt Locker to discourage him from joining the Army or the Marines – time will tell, but I think it helped discourage him. I’ve always told my sons that the Navy or the Air Force is fine, but the Army or Marines…no. I’ve since encouraged my nephews to see The Hurt Locker as well. I must admit that the movie resonated with me because I’ve seen many a career man love his career more than his family…and that was what the movie was about – a man who could not choose his family over his career, and as a result he would forever be in the hurt locker.

  • Well, in my humble opinion the Best Picture should NOT got to Avatar: it was too long and predictable. District 9 was way too dark. And Inglourious Basterds started off too dark and gruesome, however, because it had a good story-line, I liked it. I haven’t seen the others, so the Oscar goes to… The Blind Side [applause, speech, fade out, commercial break]!

  • My town only shows the wide releases. Thank goodness for the buzz and the few film fests we have here.

    Heloise put Sandra Bullock on the Oscar map with her fab review of that performance. It’s a good omen that this is her FIRST Oscar nod and she is also up for a razzie in All About Steve. Recall that Halle Berry won a razzie and an Oscar in the same year.

    I’ve got to get out my crystal ball.

  • So many of these I have not seen yet, I’m curious to see how Inglorious Basterds fares. Don’t know if I would vote for it, even though I like QT’s stuff. The Lovely Bones was very good, and Avatar was sort of in a class by itself. I’d really like to see Precious too.

  • It’s great to see District 9 actually get some vindication. Had it been any other year, it would’ve been snubbed, but this is a good example of why 10 nominees is a good idea (at least until we have a bad movie year). Boo urns on Sandra Bullock being nominated for The Blind Side…that seriously could have been anyone and would have been the same.