The Academy Award nominees were announced today.
Avatar and The Hurt Locker led with 9 nominations each. Invictus did not get a best picture nomination, though both Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon were nominated for the film. However, The Blind Side did somehow manage to snag a best picture nomination along with the expected nod for Sandra Bullock.
Today's nominations are going to figure into a lot of future editions of trivial pursuit. For instance:
1) Kathryn Bigelow, nominated for best director for The Hurt Locker, is only the 4th woman to be nominated for the award. The others were Lina Wertmuller for Seven Beauties, Jane Campion for The Piano, and Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation. If she wins (and it looks like she very well might), she'll be the 1st female winner in that category (though, really, Sofia Coppola should have won for Lost in Translation). Bigelow is the ex-wife of James Cameron, who was nominated for Avatar. They will be the 1st (formerly) married couple to compete against each other for best director. And while I wasn't a huge fan of The Hurt Locker, it would be nice to see Cameron defeated by his ex.
2) Also nominated for best director was Lee Daniels for another overrated movie, Precious. Daniels is not only the 2nd black man to be nominated for best director but, to my knowledge, the 1st openly gay man to be nominated for best director. (While everyone in Hollywood knew George Cukor was gay, the general public did not.)
3) It's rare enough for a science fiction film to win a best picture nomination. This year, however, saw two sci-fi films nominated for best picture -- Avatar and District 9.
4) Upis the 2nd animated film to be nominated for best picture and the first to come from Pixar Studios. (That said, Up is still no Wall-E.)
5) District 9is the 1st South African film to be nominated for best picture.
6) Despite nearly a 100 years in film, Christopher Plummer's supporting actor nomination for The Last Stationis his first ever. To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised to see Plummer win for just that fact (a bit like James Coburn in Affliction).
7) Meryl Streep received her 15th nomination, this time for playing Julia Childe. I wish I had bothered to see the film now just so I could make a joke about Dan Aykroyd doing it better on Saturday Night Live.
Obviously, I was happy to see a strong showing by Inglorious Basterds. I was also happy to see that both An Education and A Serious Manwere nominated for best picture, along with District 9. That doesn't quite make up for the bitter aftertaste of Avatar but it does help.