Billy Soistmann

Billy’s Guide to the 82nd Annual Academy Awards

In Awards on February 10, 2010 at 1:30 AM

Its been a week since the Academy announced the nominees for this year’s Oscars. Although there are several glaring omissions and, in general, very few surprises, I, for the most part, am satisfied. I may get to this more in-depth next week, but for now I just want to lay down an overview of this year’s nominees.

I am going to try to see all the nominated films before the ceremony on March 7th, but here is a selection of 15 films which are must-sees in order to have an informed conversation about the awards.

Here we go:

Avatar

Nominations (9 – Art direction, Cinematography, Directing, Film editing, Original score, Best picture, Sound editing, Sound mixing, Visual effects)

Why You Need to See It: As the highest-grossing movie of all time, everyone and their mother’s sister has seen this movie. If you haven’t seen this, you’re going to miss a large chunk of the awards.

How To See It: In Theaters Everywhere

The Hurt Locker

Nominations (9 – Jeremy Renner – Performance by an actor in a leading role, Cinematography, Directing, Film editing, Original score, Best picture, Sound editing, Sound mixing, Original screenplay)

Why You Need to See It: As a favorite for Best Picture, and tied for the most nominations, definitely a front-runner.

How To See It: On DVD and Blu-Ray

Inglourious Basterds

Nominations (8 – Christoph Waltz – Performance by an actor in a supporting role, Cinematography, Directing, Film editing, Best picture, Sound editing, Sound mixing, Original screenplay)

Why You Need to See It: Quentin Tarantino’s fun-filled, irreverent World War II film got a lot of love from the Academy this year and Christoph Waltz is a lock for Supporting Actor.

How To See It: On DVD and Blu-Ray

Up in the Air

Nominations (6 – George Clooney – Performance by an actor in a leading role, Vera Farmiga – Performance by an actress in a supporting role, Anna Kendrick – Performance by an actress in a supporting role, Directing, Best picture, Adapted screenplay)

Why You Need to See It: Nominated for all the high-profile awards, including two supporting actresses. Also, it is simply a great film.

How To See It: In Theaters Everywhere

Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire

Nominations (6 – Gabourey Sidibe – Performance by an actress in a leading role, Mo’Nique – Performance by an actress in a supporting role, Directing, Film editing, Best picture, Adapted screenplay)

Why You Need to See It: Last year’s Sundance favorite has both Best Picture and Director noms, along with some frontrunners for actress and supporting actress.

How To See It: This is a tough one. Hopefully it is still playing near you, or you may be out of luck.

Up

Nominations (5 – Best animated feature film, Original score, Best picture, Sound editing, Original screenplay)

Why You Need to See It: One of the best movies of the year, and another Pixar classic. Fortunately, it is also nominated for Best Picture and is only the second animated film to earn that honor, after Beauty and the Beast.

How To See It: On DVD and Blu-Ray

The Blind Side

Nominations (2 – Sandra Bullock – Performance by an actress in a leading role, Best picture)

Why You Need to See It: This is the most controversial Best Picture nomination, and any discussion of this year’s Oscars will probably include this. In addition, Sandra Bullock is the favorite for Best Actress.

How To See It: In Theaters Everywhere

An Education

Nominations (3 – Carey Mulligan – Performance by an actress in a leading role, Best picture, Adapted screenplay)

Why You Need to See It: Every year there are a few small films that make it big and this year its this, nominated for Best Picture and Best Actress for the 24-year-old Carey Mulligan.

How To See It: In Theaters (Almost) Everywhere

Crazy Heart

Nominations (3 – Jeff Bridges – Performance by an actor in a leading role, Maggie Gyllenhaal – Performance by an actress in a supporting role, Original song – “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)”)

Why You Need to See It: Jeff Bridges’ is the favorite for Best Actor, and his performance should be seen before making your judgement.

How To See It: In Theaters (Almost) Everywhere

So, if you’re a little behind on 2009’s films, if you can see these, you can at least have an informed discussion about this year’s biggest film awards.

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