the nominees for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards!
Well, it looks like turning the Oscar Best Picture category up to 10 worked out for the Academy, as the finalist seem evenly matched between audience favorites — Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, Inglourious Basterds and Up — and critical darlings — An Education, The Hurt Locker, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, A Serious Man and Up in the Air. Plus, nothing too embarrassing (The Hangover, Invictus, Nine) slipped in to big race, although it would have been nice to see such smaller gems as The Last Station, The Messenger or A Single Man get invited to the main event.
Nevertheless, those three Movie Dearest faves did factor into the acting races, which offered little surprises overall. In fact, save for an unexpected nod for Crazy Heart's Maggie Gyllenhaal for Supporting Actress, the list is nearly identical to the Screen Actors Guild's (Diane Kruger, thanks for playing). There was even more déjà vu in the Best Director category, which matched the Directors Guild of America's shortlist, including a nomination for Precious' out director Lee Daniels.
The real Oscar shockers of the year were found farther down the nomination list, such as The Secret of Kells sneaking into the Animated Feature race and Nine's "Take It All", not "Cinema Italiano", making the cut for Original Song, where two toonful tunes from The Princess and the Frog were also recognized. Speaking of which, just like last year, I will be covering this category for the "LAMBS Devour the Oscars" blogathon over at the Large Association of Movie Blogs, which kicks off later today.
And that is just the beginning of our coverage of Oscars '09 here at Movie Dearest. Beginning this Saturday, we'll be running our 3rd annual MD Poll asking you to vote for who you want to win the little gold man in the five main categories. Our Men on Film will also chime in with their own thoughts and predictions, plus other surprises, as we count down to the big night, Sunday March 7.
In the meantime, you can take a quick look at all the Oscar nominees in the comments section below while I take a nap ...