By MICHAEL CIEPLY for THE NEW YORK TIMES
“Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker” narrowly led the Oscar nominees, with nine nominations each, including best picture and best director, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences scattered its honors among an unusually wide field of contenders on Tuesday.
The anti-Nazi romp “Inglourious Basterds,” received eight nominations, including best director for Quentin Tarantino and best supporting actor for Christoph Waltz. And the urban drama “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, took nominations for best picture, best director for Lee Daniels, best actress for Gabourey Sidibe, best supporting actress for Mo’Nique, and best adapted screenplay for Geoffrey Fletcher.
“Up in the Air” was nominated for best picture, with acting nominations for its star, George Clooney, and its actresses Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick. Jason Reitman, the film’s director, also received a nod. Its screenplay was also nominated.
The other best picture nominees in a field that was doubled to ten from five this year included “The Blind Side,” “District 9,” “An Education,” “A Serious Man” and “Up.”
The best actor nominees include Jeff Bridges, for “Crazy Heart”; George Clooney, for “Up in the Air”; Colin Firth for “A Single Man”; Morgan Freeman, for “Invictus”; and Jeremy Renner, for “The Hurt Locker.”
Nominees for best actress are Sandra Bullock, for “The Blind Side”; Helen Mirren, for “The Last Station”; Carey Mulligan, for “An Education”; Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” and Meryl Streep, for “Julie & Julia.”