Academy Award nominations

The Oscar nominations have been released. Here are the major nominees:

1. Best Picture: “Avatar,” “The Blind Side,” “District 9,” “An Education,” “The Hurt Locker,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “Precious,” “A Serious Man,” “Up,” “Up in the Air.”

2. Actor: Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”; George Clooney, “Up in the Air”; Colin Firth, “A Single Man”; Morgan Freeman, “Invictus”; Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker.”

3. Actress: 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.”

4. Supporting Actor: Matt Damon, “Invictus”; Woody Harrelson, “The Messenger”; Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station”; Stanley Tucci, “The Lovely Bones”; Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds.”

5. Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, “Nine”; Vera Farmiga, “Up in the Air”; Maggie Gyllenhaal, “Crazy Heart”; Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”; Mo’Nique, “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.”

6. Directing: 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.”

via List of 82nd annual Academy Award nominations (AP) – The 82nd Annual Academy Awards® – Yahoo! Movies.

I’m for “Hurt Locker”–that remarkable film about an army bomb disarmament squad in Iraq– in all categories for which it was nominated! Yes for “Hurt Locker,” no for “Avatar”!

Which do you think SHOULD win, and why? Which do you think WILL win, and why?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Matt H.

    Haven’t seen even one of those movies, don’t recognize most of the people’s names. Know what, I haven’t missed a thing.

  • Matt H.

    Haven’t seen even one of those movies, don’t recognize most of the people’s names. Know what, I haven’t missed a thing.

  • Kirk

    Hurt Locker all the way. It’s pretty much everything that a good war movie should be, even if it is a touch shallow in its end conclusion.

    Avatar was tons of fun, don’t get me wrong, but it was a summer blockbuster released during Oscar season. It deserves credit for what it is, an expensive, wildly successful, special effects clinic. But, it doesn’t deserve respect as being a higher form of art. I sincerely hope that the academy can look beyond tickets sales.

  • Kirk

    Hurt Locker all the way. It’s pretty much everything that a good war movie should be, even if it is a touch shallow in its end conclusion.

    Avatar was tons of fun, don’t get me wrong, but it was a summer blockbuster released during Oscar season. It deserves credit for what it is, an expensive, wildly successful, special effects clinic. But, it doesn’t deserve respect as being a higher form of art. I sincerely hope that the academy can look beyond tickets sales.

  • Joe

    Matt – you should see Up. It is an animated movie marketed to kids that does something really rare. It develops characters and deals with real themes (like dealing with the death of a loved one) in a way that is accessible to kids without dumbing the issue down to “his wife died now he is sad.” I also really liked the fact that they did not try to develop a sub-dialog full of adult themes or humor as so many kids movies do.

  • Joe

    Matt – you should see Up. It is an animated movie marketed to kids that does something really rare. It develops characters and deals with real themes (like dealing with the death of a loved one) in a way that is accessible to kids without dumbing the issue down to “his wife died now he is sad.” I also really liked the fact that they did not try to develop a sub-dialog full of adult themes or humor as so many kids movies do.

  • kerner

    “Hurt Locker” was a good movie, if a little short on narative. People with little military connection need to see what military life is like these days, and this film gives us that perspective very well (within the limitations under which a movie can serve this purpose).

    Also, everybody should see “The Blind Side”, if for no other reason that it gives a voice and some positive media to the most reviled minority group in western civilization. I refer, of course, to wealthy caucasian Christians.

    When Sandra Bullock, wearing $500.00 sunglasses and a dress she was at least 10 years too old to wear warns a housing project crack dealer to leave her and her adopted son alone with this line:

    “I’m in a prayer group with the D.A. and I’m a proud member of the NRA and I’m ALWAYS packin’”.

    I actually forgave her for being blonde.

    OK so I was being a little childish, but I couldn’t help myself.

    More seriously, though, these people are portrayed as having acted on their beliefs when most of us would have just talked. And Hollywood gave them some credit for it. How rare is that?

  • kerner

    “Hurt Locker” was a good movie, if a little short on narative. People with little military connection need to see what military life is like these days, and this film gives us that perspective very well (within the limitations under which a movie can serve this purpose).

    Also, everybody should see “The Blind Side”, if for no other reason that it gives a voice and some positive media to the most reviled minority group in western civilization. I refer, of course, to wealthy caucasian Christians.

    When Sandra Bullock, wearing $500.00 sunglasses and a dress she was at least 10 years too old to wear warns a housing project crack dealer to leave her and her adopted son alone with this line:

    “I’m in a prayer group with the D.A. and I’m a proud member of the NRA and I’m ALWAYS packin’”.

    I actually forgave her for being blonde.

    OK so I was being a little childish, but I couldn’t help myself.

    More seriously, though, these people are portrayed as having acted on their beliefs when most of us would have just talked. And Hollywood gave them some credit for it. How rare is that?

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    More meta-entertainment.
    Ho, hum….

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    More meta-entertainment.
    Ho, hum….

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I would like to see UP win the award for best picture. Mostly because it is a good movie. It is a good story well told. Marriage is the great adventure. And partly, I want to see an animated movie take best picture. Sadly, I think Avatar is going to win because Hollywood loves James Cameron.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I would like to see UP win the award for best picture. Mostly because it is a good movie. It is a good story well told. Marriage is the great adventure. And partly, I want to see an animated movie take best picture. Sadly, I think Avatar is going to win because Hollywood loves James Cameron.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    It didn’t register with me at first that “Blind Side” has so many nominations, including best picture and best actress. That is really notable, as Kerner says, such a positive depiction of Christians living out their faith. I haven’t seen it, but I need to. I’ll pull for Sandra Bullock, there not being many actresses in “Hurt Locker.”

    I still think “Hurt Locker” as a work of art–for its acting, editing, directing, etc.–has to be hard to beat. I have to think that Academy members would pick up on those things as exemplary models of their craft. “Avatar” is a blockbuster, which the movie industry appreciates right now. Give it awards for special effects and innovative technology. But please, Academy, honor your craft.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    It didn’t register with me at first that “Blind Side” has so many nominations, including best picture and best actress. That is really notable, as Kerner says, such a positive depiction of Christians living out their faith. I haven’t seen it, but I need to. I’ll pull for Sandra Bullock, there not being many actresses in “Hurt Locker.”

    I still think “Hurt Locker” as a work of art–for its acting, editing, directing, etc.–has to be hard to beat. I have to think that Academy members would pick up on those things as exemplary models of their craft. “Avatar” is a blockbuster, which the movie industry appreciates right now. Give it awards for special effects and innovative technology. But please, Academy, honor your craft.

  • CRB

    I’ve heard that “Hurt Locker” is anti-war. Can anyone substantiate
    that charge? Thanks!

  • CRB

    I’ve heard that “Hurt Locker” is anti-war. Can anyone substantiate
    that charge? Thanks!

  • Dan Kempin

    All this talk about the craft of filmmaking makes me want to get out The Seven Samurai and watch it again.

  • Dan Kempin

    All this talk about the craft of filmmaking makes me want to get out The Seven Samurai and watch it again.

  • kerner

    CRB:

    “Hurt Locker” is a fairly realistic protrayal of soldiers in Iraq during the phase when the insurgency was much more virulent than it is now. It isn’t cheer leading, but I didn’t find it to be “anti-war” or anti-military either. My sons, both marines and one of whom has been to Iraq 3 times, thought it was a really good movie. However, being realistic, there is death and pain and the traumatic stress of guerilla war abundantly portrayed in this film.

    Also, the film’s point of view is that of enlisted men, which means the greater questions, such as whether this war was good policy or just, are not really asked, much less answered. Like most enlisted men in combat, they are pretty much preoccupied with completing their mission and surviving. On the other hand, I seem to recall the enemy being portrayed as unequivocally pretty bad.

    I can see how some might see this film as “anti-war”, but the military people I know didn’t see it that way.

  • kerner

    CRB:

    “Hurt Locker” is a fairly realistic protrayal of soldiers in Iraq during the phase when the insurgency was much more virulent than it is now. It isn’t cheer leading, but I didn’t find it to be “anti-war” or anti-military either. My sons, both marines and one of whom has been to Iraq 3 times, thought it was a really good movie. However, being realistic, there is death and pain and the traumatic stress of guerilla war abundantly portrayed in this film.

    Also, the film’s point of view is that of enlisted men, which means the greater questions, such as whether this war was good policy or just, are not really asked, much less answered. Like most enlisted men in combat, they are pretty much preoccupied with completing their mission and surviving. On the other hand, I seem to recall the enemy being portrayed as unequivocally pretty bad.

    I can see how some might see this film as “anti-war”, but the military people I know didn’t see it that way.

  • DonS

    Of the nominated movies, I have seen only “The Blind Side” and “Up”. “Up” was, far and away, the most overrated movie I have seen in many years. Cute, yes, but it had no chance of living up to its billing. I vote for “The Blind Side”, and loved the scene Kerner referenced above.

  • DonS

    Of the nominated movies, I have seen only “The Blind Side” and “Up”. “Up” was, far and away, the most overrated movie I have seen in many years. Cute, yes, but it had no chance of living up to its billing. I vote for “The Blind Side”, and loved the scene Kerner referenced above.

  • Carl Vehse

    Matt H. (@1) has it. The only one I saw was “Up” – a nice cartoon, but not memorable.

  • Carl Vehse

    Matt H. (@1) has it. The only one I saw was “Up” – a nice cartoon, but not memorable.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    No, CRB, “Hurt Locker” is not anti-war, as such, as Kerner explains. It’s not pro-war either, as such. It is just a slice of life presentation of what our troops over there are doing. And although much of it is grim, I see these guys as heroic, facing unthinkable stress and danger with unthinkable courage. The show’s “objectivity”–which some people think is impossible–is part of what commends it. An anti-war person and a pro-war person could both watch this movie with satisfaction. Some may think, “this isn’t worth it!”; while others might think, “we can’t let people who make ‘body bombs’ get away with that!” Both will agree that the men are the ground are doing amazing work.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    No, CRB, “Hurt Locker” is not anti-war, as such, as Kerner explains. It’s not pro-war either, as such. It is just a slice of life presentation of what our troops over there are doing. And although much of it is grim, I see these guys as heroic, facing unthinkable stress and danger with unthinkable courage. The show’s “objectivity”–which some people think is impossible–is part of what commends it. An anti-war person and a pro-war person could both watch this movie with satisfaction. Some may think, “this isn’t worth it!”; while others might think, “we can’t let people who make ‘body bombs’ get away with that!” Both will agree that the men are the ground are doing amazing work.

  • CRB

    Thanks! I hope to see it if they play it in our area.

  • CRB

    Thanks! I hope to see it if they play it in our area.

  • The Jungle Cat

    The directors of the “Hurt Locker” and “Avatar”–Katherine Bigelow and James Cameron, respectively–were formerly married, and yet the former made a film with a Support our Troops message and the latter a flick of just the opposite sentiment. Here’s hoping that the “Hurt Locker” wins the award. I haven’t seen it, but from what I hear, it whole-heartedly deserves the recognition.
    Not that too many people watch the Academy Awards these days anyway. The problem with awards of any type–whether Emmy, Oscar or Pulitzer Prize–is that they recognize past achievements rather than present accomplishments. Actors and writers usually receive official recognition for their best work; they receive recognition for the next thing they do after their best work.

  • The Jungle Cat

    The directors of the “Hurt Locker” and “Avatar”–Katherine Bigelow and James Cameron, respectively–were formerly married, and yet the former made a film with a Support our Troops message and the latter a flick of just the opposite sentiment. Here’s hoping that the “Hurt Locker” wins the award. I haven’t seen it, but from what I hear, it whole-heartedly deserves the recognition.
    Not that too many people watch the Academy Awards these days anyway. The problem with awards of any type–whether Emmy, Oscar or Pulitzer Prize–is that they recognize past achievements rather than present accomplishments. Actors and writers usually receive official recognition for their best work; they receive recognition for the next thing they do after their best work.

  • Orianna Laun

    I’m pulling for “Up in the Air” because it was filmed around my area, which is probably a silly reason. I think Avatar will take the top prize because of what it is.

  • Orianna Laun

    I’m pulling for “Up in the Air” because it was filmed around my area, which is probably a silly reason. I think Avatar will take the top prize because of what it is.

  • Richard

    What? No “Star Trek”? In the great words of Worf: “Assimilate this!”

  • Richard

    What? No “Star Trek”? In the great words of Worf: “Assimilate this!”

  • Sandi

    I am cheering for Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia. She was outstanding in this film…I hope she wins.

  • Sandi

    I am cheering for Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia. She was outstanding in this film…I hope she wins.

  • kerner

    I didn’t see “Julie and Julia”. My wife went with one of her friends. But from what I hear you are right about Meryl Streep.

    It is interesting to me that both Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock were portraying characters who were real people, and both actors made their characters seem real and human and loveable. It makes it a tough choice; too bad they are both up for the same award in the same year.

  • kerner

    I didn’t see “Julie and Julia”. My wife went with one of her friends. But from what I hear you are right about Meryl Streep.

    It is interesting to me that both Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock were portraying characters who were real people, and both actors made their characters seem real and human and loveable. It makes it a tough choice; too bad they are both up for the same award in the same year.

  • Bruce Gee

    Of the nominated movies I saw, I very thoroughly enjoyed AVATAR, story-telling weaknesses notwithstanding. But you have to see it with glasses on, so to speak, or it would fade to mediocrity. Eye candy, is what it is.

    I’d vote for The Hurt Locker. My favorite movie of the year, and a great relief from the steady drum beat of Iraq anti-war bombs that have made the rounds the last few years. I don’t ask for “pro-war”, just some objectivity. THL delivers. And entertains.

    I also thought District 9 was really well done. I doubt it has the chops to win.

    Inglorious Basterds was also great entertainment, particularly the three set pieces (Intro; fancy restaurant scene; German basement tavern scene). It suffered from being too much of a sort of silly Jewish fantasy.

  • Bruce Gee

    Of the nominated movies I saw, I very thoroughly enjoyed AVATAR, story-telling weaknesses notwithstanding. But you have to see it with glasses on, so to speak, or it would fade to mediocrity. Eye candy, is what it is.

    I’d vote for The Hurt Locker. My favorite movie of the year, and a great relief from the steady drum beat of Iraq anti-war bombs that have made the rounds the last few years. I don’t ask for “pro-war”, just some objectivity. THL delivers. And entertains.

    I also thought District 9 was really well done. I doubt it has the chops to win.

    Inglorious Basterds was also great entertainment, particularly the three set pieces (Intro; fancy restaurant scene; German basement tavern scene). It suffered from being too much of a sort of silly Jewish fantasy.

  • tickletext

    Anything except the orthographically offensive, Sardinian Laugh-inducing Inglourious Basterds, please.

  • tickletext

    Anything except the orthographically offensive, Sardinian Laugh-inducing Inglourious Basterds, please.

  • CRB

    Although not nominated in any category, has anyone seen “Moon”?

  • CRB

    Although not nominated in any category, has anyone seen “Moon”?

  • http://www.sdsmith.net SD Smith

    UP! UP for best picture.

    The Oscars are a joke, of course.

  • http://www.sdsmith.net SD Smith

    UP! UP for best picture.

    The Oscars are a joke, of course.

  • Tickletext

    Dr. Veith and others may be interested in going beyond the usual Oscar fare. If so, have a gander at the just-released 2010 Arts & Faith Top 100 Films list. As a member of Arts & Faith who voted in the Top 100 poll, I can vouch for the credibility of everyone involved except myself.

  • Tickletext

    Dr. Veith and others may be interested in going beyond the usual Oscar fare. If so, have a gander at the just-released 2010 Arts & Faith Top 100 Films list. As a member of Arts & Faith who voted in the Top 100 poll, I can vouch for the credibility of everyone involved except myself.


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