Avatar, The Hurt Locker lead 2010 Oscar nominations

Avatar, the blockbuster science fiction movie directed by James Cameron and The Hurt Locker, the film on Iraq war directed by James Cameron’s former wife Kathryn Bigelow, are among the moves tipped for the Oscar nominations.

The full list of nominees for the 82nd Academy Awards will be announced in Los Angeles.

In December 2009, Avatar had won the award for the best film drama at the Golden Globes.

Avatar recently surpassed Titanic, James Cameron’s own film that won multiple Oscars. Cameron also beat his own record, which he achieved with the Titanic, when Avatar became the move that grossed the highest box-office collection ever.

The Hurt Locker, directed by Kathryn Bigelow and made for a fraction of the money spent on Avatar, is a tense movie that tells the story of an elite bomb-disposal squad.  It has won widespread critical commendation and also the Directors Guild of America award.

James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow were short-listed for best director in the Golden Globes, with Cameron winning the prize.

Other films that have a strong chance of being nominated for the Oscar for the best film and also have received critical acclaim include Up In The Air, Precious (a film on child abuse), Invictus (biopic on Nelson Mandela), Inglourious Basterds (war movie), An Education, District 9, and The Blind Side.

Britain is pinning its Oscar hopes on newcomer Carey Mulligan for her role in An Education, a film based on the memoirs of journalist Lynn Barber, and Dame Helen Mirren for her role as Leo Tolstoy’s wife in the movie The Last Station.

For the first time since 1944, there are 10 contenders for the best picture Oscars, instead of the usual 5.

In the best actor category, the main contenders are Colin Firth (who plays the leading role in A Single Man, which is about the story of a gay academic mourning the death of his partner), George Clooney, Morgan Freeman, Jeff Bridges, and Jeremy Renner.

Those nominated in the best actress category include Sandra Bullock for her role in for The Blind Side, Gabourey Sidibe for her role in Precious, and Mulligan for her film An Education, Academy Award winner Dame Helen Mirren, and Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia).

In the best supporting actress category, there are nominations for Penelope Cruz, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga, Mo’Nique, and Anna Kendrick.

Those nominate for the Oscar for the best supporting actor are Woody Harrelson, Matt Damon, Christopher Plummer, Christoph Waltz, and Stanley Tucci.

The Oscar ceremony will take place on March 7, 2010, to be hosted by Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.

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