'Avatar,' 'The Hurt Locker,' leads Oscar nominations
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The science-fiction sensation "Avatar" and the war-on-terror thriller "The Hurt Locker" lead the Academy Awards with nine nominations each, including best picture and director for former spouses James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow.
For the first time since 1943 the Oscars feature 10 best-picture contenders instead of the usual five.
Also nominated for best-picture today: "District 9"; the animated comedy "Up"; the World War II saga "Inglourious Basterds"; the football drama "The Blind Side"; the recession tale "Up in The Air," the 1960s drama "A Serious Man," and the teen tales "An Education" and "Precious: Based on the Novel `Push' By Sapphire."
Acting nominees include the four stars who have dominated early awards shows: lead players Sandra Bullock for the football drama "The Blind Side" and Jeff Bridges for the country-music tale "Crazy Heart" and supporting performers Mo'Nique for "Precious" and Christoph Waltz for "Inglourious Basterds."
The best-picture and director categories shape up as a showdown between ex-spouses who directed films that have dominated earlier Hollywood honors.