Showbiz Sandbox Special Episode: And The Oscar Nominations Go To….

Early Tuesday morning the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences handed out their nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards. This is the first year since 1943 (when Casablanca won) that the Academy is expanding the list of Best Picture nominees to 10, up from the traditional five. The Academy’s original goal in increasing the field of nominees was that more popular films would be nominated, rather than a handful of independent films few are familiar with. It’s safe to say, they got their wish.

Not only were predictable entries nominated, such as “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker”, but so were a few surprises that included crowd favorites such as “The Blind Side” and “District 9”. Even Pixar’s “Up” was nominated, making it the second film to ever be nominated for an Oscar. Of course, this year even if the list of Best Picture nominees hadn’t expanded, “Avatar”, the biggest box office winner of all time, was a lock for one of the slots.

If “Avatar” wins Best Picture it will be the first time in 12 years that a movie which wasn’t nominated for Best Screenplay takes home the top prize. The last time that happened was when another James Cameron film won in 1997, “Titanic”. You’d have to go all the way back to “The Sound of Music” to see such a win. Based on the complicated way votes will be counted for Best Picture, we could have a real surprise winner in the Best Picture category. In fact, a film that receives more second place votes may actually win.

On the other hand, Michael Giltz believes the acting nominees were lazy and filled with the usual suspects. He was hoping the Academy would take a few chances in selecting some performances which hadn’t been chosen by the Golden Globes or the SAG Awards. That happens to be the case for Jeremy Renner, who is nominated in the Best Actor category for his performance in “Hurt Locker”.

As well, despite a strong crop of animated releases this year, “Up” will probably take home the Best Animated Feature trophy. That film was also nominated for Best Original Score and Best Screenplay.

We’ll have to wait until March 7th when the Oscars are handed out to find out who all the winners are, but before then we plan on handicapping them with your help. Please email us your thoughts on who might in each category. You can also leave us a voicemail (888-567-7263) or leave a comment on this post. Your emails, comments and voicemails will be included in a future episode.

Nominees for the 82nd Academy Awards
http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/82/nominees.html

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