Former husband and wife James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow to compete for Best Director prize

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated February 02, 2010 08:45 AM
Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty

She’s already taken home the Golden Globe and the SAG Award. Now, Sandra Bullock is up for Hollywood’s biggest prize of all: the Academy Award, as was announced – along with all the other nominations – by Anne Hathaway early Tuesday morning in Beverly Hills.

As a Best Actress nominee for her turn as the real-life Memphis mother Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side, Bullock shares her category with Carey Mulligan, for An Education; Helen Mirren, for The Last Station; Gabourey Sidibe, for Precious; and Meryl Streep, for her rollicking interpretation of French chef Julia Child in Julie & Julia.

The SAG and Globe male winner, longtime critics’ favorite Jeff Bridges, also snagged a Best Actor Oscar nod, for his down-and-out country musician Bad Blake in Crazy Heart. His fellow nominees are George Clooney, for Up in the Air (considered Bridges’s strongest rival); Colin Firth, for A Single Man; Morgan Freeman, for Invictus; and Jeremy Renner, for The Hurt Locker.

Harking back to the Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1930s, the Academy has increased the number of Best Picture nominees, from five to 10. This year’s contenders are: Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, A Serious Man, Up and Up in the Air.

Up is only the second animated film ever to be nominated for Best Picture. The 1991 classic Beauty and the Beast was the first.
RELATED: See the full list of nominations

The 82nd annual Academy Awards, to be co-hosted by Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, take place Sunday, March 7, and will air live on ABC starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

With their movies tied for most nominations, nine, Avatar‘s James Cameron and The Hurt Locker‘s Kathryn Bigelow – who already won the Directors Guild Award and her picture, the Producers Guild Award – are both nominated for Best Director. They are also former husband and wife. The other nominees are Quentin Tarantino, for Inglourious Basterds; Jason Reitman, for Up in the Air; and Lee Daniels, for Precious.

In the Supporting categories, the Actress nominees are Penélope Cruz, for Nine; Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick, for Up in the Air; Maggie Gyllenhaal, for Crazy Heart; and Golden Globe and SAG winner Mo’Nique, for Precious.

Supporting Actor nods went to Matt Damon, for Invictus; Woody Harrelson, for The Messenger; Christopher Plummer, for The Last Station; Stanley Tucci, for The Lovely Bones; and Golden Globe and SAG winner Christoph Waltz, for Inglourious Basterds.

For a full list of nominations, check out PEOPLE’s Academy Awards coverage.