Hurt Locker, Avatar

Avatar and The Hurt Locker lead the 82nd Academy Awards with nine nominations each.

The films join The Blind Side, Inglourious Basterds, District 9, An Education, Precious, A Serious Man, Up and Up in the Air in the expanded best picture race, which features 10 nominees for the first time in 66 years.

Oscars expands best picture race to 10 nominees

Avatar director James Cameron will face off against ex-wife and Hurt Locker helmer Kathryn Bigelow for directing honors. Bigelow, only the fourth woman to be nominated for best director, would be the first to win. Others in the director competition include Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds), Lee Daniels (Precious) and Jason Reitman (Up in the Air). Daniels is the only second African-American director to be nominated. John Singleton was first, for Boyz N the Hood, nearly 20 years ago.

Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award winners Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), Mo'Nique (Precious) and Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) solidified their frontrunner statuses with nominations.

Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin to co-host 2010 Oscars

Bullock will vie for best actress honors against Helen Mirren (The Last Station), Carey Mulligan (An Education), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) and Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia). Already the most nominated performer of all time, Streep earned her 16th nomination, but only has two wins.

The 82nd Academy Awards, hosted by Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, airs March 7 at 8/7 on ABC.

See the list of nominees below.

The Blind Side

District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

James Cameron, Avatar  
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Lee Daniels, Precious  
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air   

Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air 
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Supporting Actor:  
Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Supporting Actress:
Penélope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Mo'Nique, Precious

Original Screenplay:
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The Messenger
A Serious Man

Adapted Screenplay:
District 9
An Education
In the Loop
Up in the Air

Animated Feature:
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells

Foreign Language Film:
Ajami, Israel
El Secreto de Sus Ojos, Argentina
The Milk of Sorrow, Peru
A Prophet, France
The White Ribbon, Germany