Oscar Nominations: 10 Films Vie For Best Picture
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
Oscar nominations were announced this morning in Los Angeles. Ten movies are up for Best Picture this year, double the usual number. Here's a sample of some of them.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "AVATAR")
STEPHEN LANG: (as Colonel Miles Quaritch) You're not in Kansas anymore, you're on Pandora.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS")
BRAD PITT: (as Lieutenant Aldo Raine) I'm putting together a special team. We're going to be doing one thing and one thing only: Killing Nazis.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE HURT LOCKER")
DAVID MORSE: (as Colonel Reed) How many bombs have you disarmed?
JEREMY RENNER: (as Sergeant First Class William James): I'm not quite sure.
MORSE: (as Col. Reed) Sergeant?
RENNER: (as SFC. James) Yes, sir?
MORSE: (as Col. Reed) I asked you a question.
RENNER: (as SFC. James) Eight hundred seventy-three.
MORSE: (as Col. Reed) Eight hundred and seventy-three. Eight hundred and seventy-three.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "UP IN THE AIR")
ANNA KENDRICK: (as Natalie Keener) How does it not even crossed your mind that you might want a future with someone?
GEORGE CLOONEY: (as Ryan Bingham) It's simple. You know that moment when you look into somebody's eyes and you can feel them staring into your soul and the whole world goes quiet just for a second?
KENDRICK: (as Natalie) Yes.
CLOONEY: (as Ryan) Right. Well, I don't.
MONTAGNE: Good morning, Kim.
KIM MASTERS: Good morning, Renee.
MONTAGNE: So tell us those other six.
MASTERS: The other six are "The Blind Side," "District 9," "An Education," "Precious," "A Serious Man," and "Up."
MONTAGNE: Well, from "Avatar" to "Precious" - and Kim, that's quite a range. And you know, I'm wondering - they added five movies to the traditional five, partly to get, you know, crowd pleasers in there. I mean, do you think the Academy got what it wanted?
MASTERS: I think they absolutely did. They got in "District 9," which was a sleeper hit. They got in "The Blind Side," another movie that kind of came out of left field. And I think they'll be hugely encouraged. I mean, this was about building ratings for the Academy telecast. We've seen the Golden Globes do a much better rating than in previous years. We just saw the Grammys do spectacularly well. So I would assume that the producers of the Academy Awards telecast and the Academy itself are feeling very pleased and anticipating a successful show this year.
MONTAGNE: Although with 10 movies, is it possible that one of these 10 will shoot through and be a surprise winner?
MASTERS: Yes. Actually, there's sort of a strange weighted voting system with the 10 pictures, and so there is a little bit. I mean, this is definitely seen a race between, at least in my view, between "Avatar" and "Hurt Locker," but there's an argument that votes could split and be weighted in peculiar ways and you could see a surprise winner pop up in there - you know, "Up in the Air" perhaps or "Inglourious Basterds" being the main contenders for the surprise winner slot.
MONTAGNE: Well, let's - because we just have a few - a couple minutes here, talk to us about the Best Actor and Actress categories. Now, still those categories - just five.
MASTERS: Yes, and there are no surprises. Jeff Bridges is considered a formidable frontrunner in Best Actor. We have - we also have George Clooney, Colin Firth, Morgan Freeman and Jeremy Renner. Best Actress is seen as a race at this point between Sandra Bullock for "The Blind Side" and Meryl Streep for "Julie & Julia." We also have Helen Mirren, Carey Mulligan and Gabourey Sidibe for "Precious" in that category.
MONTAGNE: And the nominees for Best Director, that's an interesting group, partly because - for one thing, you've got two directors who used to be married.
MASTERS: Yes, that's the battle of the exes, Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron, respectively "Hurt Locker" and "Avatar." Kathryn Bigelow is only the fourth woman nominated, and she's very likely to be the first woman to win, finally, in that category. And Lee Daniels should be mentioned; he's only the second African-American ever to be nominated in the Best Director category.
MONTAGNE: And he's director for "Precious."
MONTAGNE: Kim Masters hosts THE BUSINESS on member station KCRW. Thanks, Kim.
MASTERS: Thank you, Renee.
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