Bay Area's Strong Presence at 82nd Oscars

Susan Gerhard February 3, 2010

Films with Bay Area connections featured prominently in the 82nd Academy Award Nominations announced yesterday. The burgeoning Best Picture category featured the Sandra Bullock football film The Blind Side based on the book by Berkeley resident Michael Lewis, and Pixar-Disney’s animated Up took not only a slot in the Best Picture, but was also nominated in the Animated category and in Sound Editing and Original Score.

The Documentary nomination for Berkeley-based Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith’s The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers did not necessarily come as a surprise to Goldsmith, who spoke with on the phone Tuesday afternoon.

"This is my second time through this," said Goldsmith, who received a nomination for Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press 13 years ago. He said the film’s been well received by audiences since September, "Audiences of all generations respond to a compelling story of someone who chooses conscience over career and takes a risk. We had the elements of good filmmaking, story, and the political times we live in. The parallels between how our government deceived us during the Vietnam War and how they deceived us during the Iraq and the Afghanistan wars are unfortunately remarkable."

"Hopefully because of the nomination," added Goldsmith, "more people are going to see it in theaters. It just opened in New York last weekend, and it’s going to open in Los Angeles, Boston, D.C. and the Bay Area soon."

On the Disney-Pixar-created Up, director-writer Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera issued a statement for press,"We are humbled and grateful to the Academy. Being nominated among these remarkable animated films is such an amazing privilege. On top of that, to be honored as one of the best pictures of the year is just mind-blowing. It’s truly been a long, wonderful ride getting here, and with all sincerity it really does feel like we’re floating on air."

Other Bay Area-related nominations came in the Supporting Actor category: Woody Harrelson’s nomination in The Messenger, and the nomination of The Lovely Bones (based on a book by current Bay Area resident Alice Sebold) for Stanley Tucci.

Longtime Bay Area figure Henry Selick received an Animated nomination for heralded Coraline.