Arts Desk

And the It’s an Honor Just to Be Nominated-Sound Bite Opportunities Go To…

Be still, my horrified heart. We perhaps all knew it was coming, but now it's official: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences believes that Avatar was one of the best films of 2009. (Guess the "sciences" portion of the institution's name means more than the "arts" this year.)

Very, very few surprises among the rest of the major categories, which are below for your listing pleasure. I'll restrict my commentary to alarm, signified by "!"s:

BEST PICTURE

Avatar (!)
Up in the Air
The Hurt Locker
District 9
A Serious Man
The Blind Side
(!)
Up
An Education
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire


BEST DIRECTOR

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

BEST ACTOR

Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man"
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

BEST 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

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

Penélope 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

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Up
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells (?)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Burma VJ
The Cove
Food, Inc.
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
Which Way Home
(?)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Ajami
El Secreto de Sus Ojos
The Milk of Sorrow
Un Prophète
The White Ribbon

BEST SCREENPLAY, ORIGINAL

The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The Messenger*
A Serious Man
Up

BEST SCREENPLAY, ADAPTED

District 9
An Education
In the Loop
*
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Up in the Air

*Denotes the only no-one-saw-that-comings of the lot

For the full list, go to Oscar.com.

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