“Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker“ lead the field with nine nominations each for this year’s Oscars.
The films’ respective directors, James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow, who were once man and wife, will battle it out in the Best Film and Best Director categories.
The nominations were announced in Los Angeles ahead of the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony on March 7.
Science fiction epic “Avatar” is already the highest grossing film of all time, and the only film to have taken more than two billion dollars at the box office.
For the first time, there are ten candidates for best film. They include the Disney Pixar animation “Up,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds,” the Coen brothers’ “A Serious Man” and British drama “An Education”.
“Blind Side”, “District 9”, “Precious”, and “Up in the Air” complete the list.
British actor Colin Firth (“A Single Man”) is surrounded by four Americans in the Best Actor category; they are George Clooney (“Up in the Air”), Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”), Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker”) and Morgan Freeman (“Invictus”).
In the best actress category, Meryl Streep (“Julie and Julia”) picks up a record 16th nomination. Standing between her and a third Oscar are Sandra Bullock (“The Blind SIde”), Helen Mirren (“The Last Station”), Carey Mulligan (“An Education”) and Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”).
Avatar and The Hurt Locker lead Oscar nominations