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'Avatar,' 'An Education,' 'Hurt Locker' dominate BAFTA nominations

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Avatar, An Education, and The Hurt Locker each scored eight nominations for the British Academy Awards, announced today. Here are the nominees, along with some commentary after each major category.

Best Film

Avatar

An Education

The Hurt Locker

Precious

Up In The Air

An Education made the BAFTA top five over Inglourious Basterds, which was relegated to Best Director and Best Original Screenplay instead. Basterds will likely come back with a Best Picture nod at the Oscars.

Outstanding British Film

An Education

Fish Tank

In The Loop

Moon

Nowhere Boy

An Education, In the Loop, and Moon were all also released in the US in 2009. Fish Tank hit theaters stateside this month, and Nowhere Boy—director Sam Taylor-Wood’s moving look at John Lennon’s childhood—will come out here later this year.

Director

James Cameron, Avatar

Neill Blomkamp, District 9

Lone Scherfig, An Education

Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker

Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

Blomkamp and Scherfig displaced Lee Daniels and Jason Reitman. Could Blomkamp do the same with the Academy? He’s one of the top wild-card contenders, and Daniels is probably the shakiest at this point.

Leading Actor

Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart

George Clooney, Up In The Air

Colin Firth, A Single Man

Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

Andy Serkis, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

Lord of the Rings star Serkis claimed Morgan Freeman’s slot for his acclaimed performance as punk pioneer Ian Dury. The film was just released in the UK (the eligibility period ends in January).

Leading Actress

Carey Mulligan, An Education

Saoirse Ronan, The Lovely Bones

Gabourey Sidibe, Precious

Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Audrey Tautou, Coco Before Chanel

With Sandra Bullock ineligible (The Blind Side hasn’t opened there yet), Ronan and Tautou benefitted. Missing here: Helen Mirren and Emily Blunt. Since The Young Victoria has already been out on DVD in the UK for months, Blunt’s performance doesn’t feel as fresh as it does on our shores. But Mirren’s omission means she’s no sure thing for an Oscar nod either.

Supporting Actor

Alec Baldwin, It’s Complicated

Christian McKay, Me And Orson Welles

Alfred Molina, An Education

Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones

Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Finally, Baldwin scores a big nomination, taking Matt Damon’s place (Invictus was completely shut out of the BAFTAs). Christopher Plummer was also left out, in favor of Molina.

Supporting Actress

Anne-Marie Duff, Nowhere Boy

Vera Farmiga, Up In The Air

Anna Kendrick, Up In The Air

Mo’nique, Precious

Kristin Scott Thomas, Nowhere Boy

Nowhere Boy‘s impressive duo (Duff plays John Lennon’s mother, Scott Thomas his aunt) bumped out Julianne Moore and Diane Kruger (Samantha Morton was ineligible since The Messenger hasn’t opened there).

Check out the rest of the categories after the jump.

Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director Or Producer

Lucy Bailey, Andrew Thompson, Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock, David Pearson, Mugabe And The White African

Eran Creevy, Shifty Stuart

Hazeldine, Exam

Duncan Jones, Moon

Sam Taylor-Wood, Nowhere Boy

Original Screenplay

The Hangover (Jon Lucas, Scott Moore)

The Hurt Locker (Mark Boal)

Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)

A Serious Man (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)

Up (Bob Peterson, Pete Docter)

Don’t fret, (500) Days of Summer fans: It wasn’t eligible here. But Bright Star, unfortunately, was (BAFTA placed it under original screenplay, while it’s considered adapted at the Oscars).

Adapted Screenplay

District 9 (Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell)

An Education (Nick Hornby)

In The Loop (Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche)

Precious (Geoffrey Fletcher)

Up In The Air (Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner)

In the Loop scored a nod over Fantastic Mr. Fox. But Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach could come back on Feb. 2.

Film Not in the English Language

Broken Embraces

Coco Before Chanel

Let the Right One In

A Prophet

The White Ribbon

Animated Film

Coraline

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Up

Music

Avatar

Crazy Heart

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

Up

Cinematography

Avatar

District 9

The Hurt Locker

Inglourious Basterds

The Road

Editing

Avatar

District 9

The Hurt Locker

Inglourious Basterds

Up in the Air

Production Design

Avatar

District 9

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Inglourious Basterds

Costume Design

Bright Star

Coco Before Chanel

An Education

A Single Man

The Young Victoria

Sound

Avatar

District 9

The Hurt Locker

Star Trek

Up

Special Visual Effects

Avatar

District 9

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The Hurt Locker

Star Trek

Make Up & Hair

Coco Before Chanel

An Education

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Nine

The Young Victoria

Follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for Oscar news and updates.

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