6 Mar ; James Cameron’s sci-fi blockbuster ‘Avatar’ and his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow’s Iraq war drama ‘Hurt Locker’ will fight it out for top honours at this year’s Academy Awards after receiving 9 nominations each.
Both the films have been nominated in the ‘Best Picture’ category with Cameron and Bigelow being pitted against each other in the Best Director category.
Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds’ came second notching up 7 nominations including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor.
The ‘Best Film’ category has been expanded this time with 10 nominees, instead of the usual five.
Also nominated for best-picture are sci-fi thriller ‘District 9’, the animated comedy ‘Up’; the World War II saga ‘Inglourious Basterds’; the American football drama ‘The Blind Side’; the recession tale ‘Up in The Air’; the 1960s drama ‘A Serious Man’; the growing up drama ‘An Education’ and gritty Harlem tale ‘Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire’.
The Best Director category has shaped up as a showdown between the ex-spouses James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow.
Bigelow is only the fourth woman nominated for a directing Oscar and no woman has ever won the Oscar in the coveted category.
Other nominees in the category include Lee Daniels for ‘Precious’, Jason Reitman for ‘Up in the Air’ and Quentin Tarantino for ‘Inglourious Basterds’.
Meryl Streep’s performance in ”Julie & Julia” resulted in her 16th Oscar nomination, including a 13th for lead actress.
She passed Katharine Hepburn with 12 to become the most-nominated lead actress in Oscar history.
Joining Streep, who played chef Julia Child in ”Julie & Julia” and Bullock as a wealthy woman who helps a homeless boy become a sports star, on the list of best actress nominees were Helen Mirren in ”The Last Station,” Carey Mulligan for ”An Education” and newcomer Gabourey Sidibe in ”Precious.”
A best actor nod went to Jeff Bridges as a drunk country singer in ”Crazy Heart,” and like Bullock, he won the recent Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for the same role.
He will compete against George Clooney as a corporate hatchet man in ”Up in the Air,” Jeremy Renner as a bomb specialist in ”The Hurt Locker,” Colin Firth for ”A Single Man” and Morgan Freeman for ”Invictus.”
A R Rahman’s song “Na Na” fail to win a nomination.
Master musician A R Rahman’s chance to win back-to-back Oscars ended on Tuesday as he failed to win a nomination in the ‘Best Original Song’ category thus dashing India’s only hope at the Academy’s this year.
The 44-year-old singer-composer was long-listed in the category for his score ‘Na na’ in his Hollywood debut venture “Couple’s Retreat”.
‘Na na’ lost the race to ‘Almost there’ (“The Princess and the Frog” by Randy Newman); ‘Down in New Orleans’ (“The Princess and the Frog” by Newman); ‘Loin de Paname’ (“Paris 36” by Reinhardt Wagner and Frank Thomas); ‘Take it all’ (“Nine” by Maury Yeston) and ‘The weary kind’ (“Crazy Heart” by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett).
The disappointment comes a day after Rahman’s golden run on Monday at the 52nd Grammy Awards, where he bagged two gramophones for his music in the Danny Boyle film “Slumdog Millionaire”.
‘Na na’, which marks the debut of Rahman’s eight-year- old son A R Ameen, also features Rahman, Blaaze, Chaix, Clinton and Dominic. It is penned by Rahman, Blaaze and Vivian Chaix.
Marathi movie “Harishchandrachi Factory”, India’s official entry at the Oscars, had already been voted out of the race last month in the Foreign Language Film category.
The ‘Mozart of Madras’ created history last year when he won two Oscars for his composition in “Slumdog Millionaire”, a first for an Indian.
The nominees for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards were announced by actress Anne Hathaway in a ceremony in Beverly Hills. The awards will be announced on 7th March.
Following is a list of the main Oscar contenders. The awards will be handed out in Hollywood on 7th March.
The Blind Side
The Hurt Locker
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
A Serious Man
Up in the Air
Jeff Bridges – “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney – “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth – “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman – “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner – “The Hurt Locker”
Sandra Bullock – “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren – “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan – “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe – “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
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 in “Crazy Heart”
Anna Kendrick – “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique – “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
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”