By Gina Carbone
From now on, “The Blind Side” is my Alamo.
Whenever anyone tries to justify the new 10-film best picture Oscar system, I’m going to remember “The Blind Side.”
I never liked “A Serious Man” but I can understand why others did, and it made the awards circuit rounds before the Oscar nominations were announced today.
“The Blind Side,” on the other hand, is clearly a “filler” nominee. Someone probably flipped a coin and there it landed. Wonder if “Star Trek” or “Bright Star” or even “Invictus” was on the other side.
If you feel compelled to support a saccharine feel-good movie, why not “Invictus”? Or go for the full romantic comedy effect and pick “(500) Days of Summer,” one of the most overrated films of the year, but at least it has been recognized for other awards this year.
Up to this point, only Sandra Bullock had been recognized — and how — for “The Blind Side,” despite Quinton Aaron being the actual main character.
Anyway, other than “The Blind Side,” the only other real eyebrow raiser was Maggie Gyllenhaal as best supporting actress over Diane Kruger for “Inglourious Basterds.”
I like Maggie, but Diane had a larger, stronger role in her film. She should’ve been a lock for a nod, if not the win, which is already going to Mo’Nique (real name Monique Imes).
Read below for all of the top nominations and my thoughts/rants.
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Avatar — No. DO NOT LET THIS WIN!
The Blind Side — I don’t know whether to laugh that this is here or sob; I’ll go with laugh.
District 9 — I loved this film, so I’m glad to see it recognized.
An Education — Good film.
The Hurt Locker — MUST MUST MUST MUST WIN! Fantastic film
Inglourious Basterds — Good film with some truly great moments; Christoph Waltz is a rock star.
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire — “Important” film and like so many of its kind, it’s hard to watch.
A Serious Man — Seriously lame; Coen Brothers’ naked emperor.
Up — Beautiful, touching, funny. Belongs here.
Up in the Air — To me, this is “The Hurt Locker’s” closest competition. I refuse to recognize “Avatar” as a serious threat.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart — Will win; love him, always will.
George Clooney for Up in the Air — Too close to his “Michael Clayton” performance. I like Clooney, but he’s not exactly Daniel Day-Lewis.
Colin Firth for A Single Man — Great performance in a good film.
Morgan Freeman for Invictus — Good performance in a good film.
Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker — Great performance in a great film; I want him to win, but I doubt it will happen.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side — Likely to win, sadly.
Helen Mirren for The Last Station — So glad she was nominated for this; did you see it? She’s magic.
Carey Mulligan for An Education — This will not be Carey’s only nomination, mark my words.
Gabourey Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire — I feel bad that she’s been looked over while Mo’Nique has had all of the awards glory.
Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia — Seriously, she’s just here because she’s Meryl Streep.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Matt Damon for Invictus — No. Come on. Matt Damon is a good actor, but as a South African rugby player? No. Must’ve been a slow year for supporting actors.
Woody Harrelson for The Messenger — Subtle acting in a quiet film.
Christopher Plummer for The Last Station — This was more of a lead role, but he and Helen Mirren were fantastic together.
Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones — I guess this means I have to see “The Lovely Bones.” Dang it.
Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds — Will win. If he doesn’t, I may pitch a fit.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Penélope Cruz for Nine — Out of everyone in “Nine” (which was pretty lame), I would’ve chosen Marion Cotillard for a nod. Penny just gets nominations for showing up now. She’s the young Meryl.
Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air — Love her in this. The best one in her film.
Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart — Strange to see her here.
Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air — Overrated, but I’m happy for the Maine girl.
Mo’Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire — Will win. I’m tired of hearing her speeches. She, Christoph Waltz, Sandra Bullock and Jeff Bridges are going to give their umpteenth acceptance speeches and I have no real interest in hearing them again.
Best Achievement in Directing
Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker — PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE make her the first woman to ever win best director. She directed the best film of the year and that is still the only thing that matters.
James Cameron for Avatar — No
Lee Daniels for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire — No
Jason Reitman for Up in the Air — No, but I can see it
Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds — No, but I can sort of see it
Details on Oscar stuff
From an ABC press release:
Academy members from each of the branches vote to determine the nominees in their respective categories – actors nominate actors, film editors nominate film editors, etc. In the Animated Feature Film and Foreign Language Film categories, nominations are selected by vote of multi-branch screening committees. All voting members are eligible to select the Best Picture nominees; this year that category features 10 nominees instead of 5, as had been the case since 1943.
Nominations ballots were mailed to the 5,777 voting members in late December and were returned directly to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the international accounting firm, for tabulation.
Official screenings of all motion pictures with one or more nominations will begin for members this weekend at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Screenings also will be held at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood and in London, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area.
All active and life members of the Academy are eligible to select the winners in all categories, although in five of them – Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject and Foreign Language Film – members can vote only if they have seen all of the nominated films in those categories.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2009 will be presented on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5:00 p.m., PT / 8:00 p.m., ET.