It's more than an honor to be nominated: It's an exercise in well-worded effusion. Here's what the ever-gracious nominees had to say about their (mostly) well-deserved accolades:
• Sandra Bullock, Best Actress, The Blind Side (and one day removed from a Razzie nod): "Who would have thought after all these years that I would be experiencing this moment now...I certainly didn't...I'd always assumed that the road to Oscar was planned. I thought people chose projects that were considered 'Oscar-worthy.' No one wanted to make this film. I didn't want to make this film for the better part of the year. Everyone is as blindsided—can I say that?—as I am."
• Gabourey Sidibe, Best Actress, Precious: "As soon as I heard, I jumped up and down and for some reason, I kept screaming, 'I'm gonna get a car, I'm gonna get a car!' I don't know why. I was so excited…I'm not sure they know what they're doing by letting me in that room."
• Colin Firth, Best Actor, A Single Man: "I thought I was managing my expectations, but on hearing the news I discovered new and unfamiliar vocal tones. Perhaps I should do another musical."
• Meryl Streep, Best Actress, Julie & Julia: "I am proud and grateful to stand with these women who have given such a range of beautiful, indelible performances this year!!"
• Penélope Cruz, Best Supporting Actress, Nine: "I am completely surprised and elated. Rob Marshall is not only a genius but an absolute joy to work with. I woke up every morning excited to collaborate with this amazingly talented group of actors. Filming this movie was such a special experience and to be nominated for this role makes me so happy."
• Helen Mirren, Best Actress, The Last Station: "I'm very happy and honored for Christopher, myself and our film. I think Tolstoy himself would have been perplexed by all this, but, Sofya his wife would have been over the moon. So in that spirit, I am too."
• Morgan Freeman, Best Actor, Invictus: "I'd like to thank the Academy for this honor. Congratulations to Matt Damon on his nomination. I'm especially grateful to Clint Eastwood, Invictus producer Lori McCreary, and the entire cast and crew of Invictus. Most importantly, thank you to Nelson Mandela for his encouragement, his blessing and his friendship—without which, this film would not have been possible."
• Matt Damon, Best Supporting Actor, Invictus: "To be directed by Clint Eastwood everyday and to sit across the table from Morgan Freeman and watch him do what he did was a dream come true. I'm so grateful that this role came my way."
• Quentin Tarantino, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Inglourious Basterds: "Wow! This honor gives me such tremendous satisfaction. And I'd like to congratulate all the other nominees in the directing and writing categories. I'm proud to be in their company."
• Anna Kendrick, Best Supporting Actress, Up in the Air: "I feel unbelievable. This is just not one of those things that you ever think is in the realm of possibility to happen to you. I don't come from this world and I feel privileged to be in the room with these people."
• Vera Farmiga, Best Supporting Actress, Up in the Air: "[My mom] was panicking because she was watching E! and it was 33 and 34 after the hour, and they weren't switching over...It's been nice to hold George's and Anna's and Jason's hands through it all. It's been a great trip so far, and it's just nice to have been able to have that acknowledgement as a team. It makes playing quarters at the ceremony much more fun."
• Lee Daniels, Best Director, Precious: "I am stoked. I haven't moved. I'm in bed feeling like a stuffed pig, I'm just so overwhelmed with joy and so full of excitement."
• Kathryn Bigelow, Best Director, The Hurt Locker: "This is a great honor and a wonderful compliment to everyone who worked on the film. I've always believed that the secret to filmmaking is that it is essentially a collaborative medium, and so to get recognized by the various branches of the academy is truly heart-warming, and I know all of us who worked on The Hurt Locker are going to treasure this."
• Wes Anderson, Best Animated Feature, Fantastic Mr. Fox: "I am very honored to have received an Oscar nomination for Fantastic Mr. Fox. Roald Dahl's classic story has been one of my favorite books since I first learned to read, and it was an amazing experience to work with my many, many very skilled collaborators and bring it to life as a stop-motion film! I would like to congratulate Alexandre Desplat, who wrote our wonderful score, for his nomination as well."
• Christopher Plummer, Best Supporting Actor, The Last Station: "I'm absolutely delighted that Helen Mirren and I have both been nominated by the Academy for portraying that stormy couple, the Tolstoys. As I've just turned 80, there's no way it will go to my head."
The Oscar hopefuls are ready for their close-up...so we're giving it to them in our gallery of Notable Nominees.