Facts about 82nd Academy Awards nominees

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The Independent Culture

Selected facts and figures about nominees for the 82nd Academy Awards announced Tuesday:

 

'UP' FLYING HIGH

Pixar's "Up" is only the second animated film in history to earn a best picture nod after Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" in 1992.

The critically acclaimed film - about a grouchy widower who flies to South America after tying balloons to his house - is also vying for honors in the best animated feature category.

If successful it will be the third straight year that Pixar has secured the animation Oscar following "WALL-E" and "Ratatouille."

MERYL'S STREAK

With her 16th nomination, Meryl Streep has extended her lead as the most nominated performer in Oscars history.

The 60-year-old icon - nominated in the best actress category this year for her performance in "Julie & Julia - leads Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson, who remain tied at 12 nominations each.

BIGELOW ON A HIGH

Kathryn Bigelow is only the fourth woman ever to be nominated in the best director category and if she triumphs will be the first woman to win.

The director of the "The Hurt Locker" joins a select band of women directors which include Lina Wertmuller for "Seven Beauties" in 1976, Jane Campion for "The Piano" in 1993 and Sofia Coppola for "Lost In Translation" in 2003.

Bigelow is regarded as odds-on favorite to win on March 7, where her rivals include ex-husband James Cameron, nominated for "Avatar."

SCI-FI IN SPOTLIGHT

The decision to expand the best picture nominees to 10 has been a delight for science-fiction fans, a long neglected genre traditionally shunned by Oscars voters.

The inclusion of "Avatar" and "District 9" doubles the tally of sci-fi movies nominated for best picture to four. "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" and "Star Wars" are the only other science fiction films to be nominated.

FIRST TIMERS

Twelve of the 20 nominees in the acting categories are receiving their first first ever Oscars nomination. Five nominees - George Clooney, Morgan Freeman, Penelope Cruz, Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep - are former Oscar winners.

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