Oscar vets vs. newbies

February 5, 2010 9:27:04 AM PST
When it comes to this year's Oscar contenders, some are old, some are new and some are certainly blue.The nominees for the 82nd Academy Awards in the Best Acting categories include some Hollywood veterans who may possess a collection of golden statuettes. Some actors vying for Oscar glory had never acted a day in their lives up until a year ago. Others have devoted their lives to the silver screen and only now have received the chance to compete for its greatest reward.

Read the full list of nominees here.

Breakout actress newcomer Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe, star of the Oprah-endorsed indie film Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire, may score a 1 for 1 when it comes to her Hollywood career.

The 26-year-old former receptionist and psychology student from New York had never acted professionally prior to winning the role of Claireece "Precious" Jones, an overweight and abused pregnant teenager from the actress's native Harlem.

Should she beat out her fellow nominees - Hollywood veterans Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren and 24-year-old British actress Carey Mulligan, another new Oscar contender, Sidibe's acting score will be 1:1 - one movie, one Oscar. Now that's what we call the express train to fame.

Some of the most renowned actors are not as lucky. Many have devoted their lives to the silver screen and have yet to even be nominated by the Academy for what is the highest honor in filmmaking. But on Tuesday, it was announced that some may finally see their due.

First-time contenders

Sandra Bullock, who was blasted onto Hollywood's radar by driving a rigged bus with Keanu Reaves, finally received her first Academy Award nomination, for her performance in The Blind Side. Bullock plays a white woman who adopts a homeless black teenager and encourages him to play football.

Christopher Plummer, the 80-year-old Canadian-born actor who wooed and serenaded Julie Andrews in the beloved 1965 musical classic, The Sound of Music, was also tapped for an Oscar for the first time, for his performance as Russian author Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station, which depicts the novelist's final months of his life. Mirren plays his wife Sofya.

Plummer has starred in some 180 films and television shows. He also voices a menacing aircraft commander with an army of talking dogs in Disney/Pixar's Up, which is nominated for a "Best Picture" Oscar this year. Plummer has won two Emmys and has been nominated for two Golden Globes, including one for The Last Station.

Fifth time's a charm?

Some Oscar nominees this year have often come close to winning the gold. Jeff "The Dude" Bridges, who received a Best Leading Actor nod for his performance as grisly country singer Bad Blake in Crazy Heart, has been nominated for an Academy Award four times before, starting in 1972, when he starred in The Last Picture Show. The 60-year-old actor won a Golden Globe earlier this month for his role in Crazy Heart.

A live telecast of the Academy Awards ceremony will air on March 7 on ABC.

- Writing by Corinne Heller