Thursday, February 4, 2010

Canadian connections at the 2010 Academy Awards

Taking a look back at the recently-announced Oscar nominations, there were a few Canadian connections that we in the Great White North could take pride in. 

- Director James Cameron was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario and raised in Chippawa, Ontario, while director Jason Reitman is from Montreal, Quebec. Both received three nominations – producing, directing and editing for Cameron on Avatar; producing, directing and writing for Reitman on Up in the Air. Cameron received those same three nominations and won each of them in 1998 with Titanic.

- Jason’s father Ivan Reitman is a co-nominee for producing Up in the Air. It is his first nomination. The Reitmans are only the second father-son team to be nominated for Best Picture after Mario Cecchi Gori and Vittorio Cecchi Gori of Il Postino (The Postman). 

- The venerable 80-year-old Toronto actor Christopher Plummer received his first Oscar nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category for playing Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station. In a great year, he also was the titular Doctor Parnassus in nominated film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, played Charles Muntz in the nominated Pixar film Up, and also voiced another animated film, Shane Acker’s 9.

- Vancouver-based couple Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell were nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for writing District 9 together, based on Blomkamp’s Canadian-produced short film Alive in Joburg. District 9’s Best Editing nominee Julian Clarke is also from Vancouver. Effects artists at two Vancouver companies share the nomination for Best Visual Effects for their work on District 9 - Dan Kaufman and Peter Muyzers at Image Engine and Bob Habros of The Embassy.

- The Hurt Locker was partly filmed in British Columbia.

- The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a Canada/U.K./France co-production. It too was partly filmed in British Columbia.

- The Young Victoria was directed by Quebecker Jean-Marc Vallée. 

- Toronto-based set decorator Gordon Sim is part of the team nominated for Best Art Direction for the musical Nine.

- 5 of the 10 Best Picture nominees played at the Toronto International Film Festival – An Education; The Hurt Locker; Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire; A Serious Man; and Up in the Air. The premiere for The Hurt Locker dates all the way back to TIFF 2008, while the others played in 2009. Other nominated films that played at TIFF are Food, Inc., The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Un Prophète (A Prophet), A Single Man, Das Weisse Band (The White Ribbon), and The Young Victoria.

View complete list of nominees here.

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