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Oscar Reactions: Texts, Booze, Thanks

Whether it's a show of solidarity with the striking writers or just a lack of overall enthusiasm, the major stars among this year's crop of Oscar nominees just don't seem to be too enthused about the good news.

Many of the old-hand nominees have responded with standard-issue press releases, running down their thank-yous to the usual suspects.

Then there were the newcomers.

"I am extremely grateful and excited for this recognition and it's absolutely humbling to be nominated amongst actors who I admire and respect," 20-year-old Best Actress nominee Ellen Page exulted.

"I'm always one to completely deny that anything good is going to happen," the Juno star continued. "While I was trying to play it cool, when I heard [director] Jason [Reitman]'s name I screamed. We've been playing the texting game all morning. You never expect this. It's unbelievable."

Meanwhile, her boss, Best Director nominee Jason Reitman, told E! News, “I know everyone is surprised, but take my word no one is as surprised as me. I woke up this morning to hear [screenwriter] Diablo [Cody] and Ellen's names read aloud...And then my name popped up and my heart just stopped. My wife started crying. My father [filmmaker Ivan Reitman] called me up and couldn't finish a sentence, he was so moved.

"I'm up here at Sundance right now. Around 7a.m., the guy in the next room came over to ask if I had just sold my movie.

"When I was 12 years old, I remember asking my father, 'Why don't you ever go to the Oscars?' He told me that he would go when he got nominated. For some reason, at that young age, I had the chutzpah to ask, 'What if I get nominated? Will you come then?' He smiled and said yes. I guess we're both going tux shopping.”

Juno producer Lianne Halfon, up for the Best Picture prize, seemed to be in incredulous agreement.

"As indie producers, we're naturally pessimistic, so we were completely stunned," she said. "The film is unexpected and doesn't fit any genre."

Slightly more restrained was There Will Be Blood's been-there-done-that Daniel Day-Lewis, up for Best Actor.

"You put me shoulder to shoulder with a group of fine actors," the veteran nominee and former winner said. "I'm proud to be in their company and to have the broader recognition for the film is a lovely thing. I couldn't be happier for Paul Thomas Anderson to whom we owe everything."

Fellow Best Actor contender Viggo Mortensen, a first-time nominee for Eastern Promises, also praised his rivals.

"It was nice to see Tommy Lee Jones in there," he said of his No Country for Old Men competition. "He hadn't been in so much of the mix and when I saw his name come up and there was only name left to go, I thought, 'Naah, well, there's no way.' So to be honest, I was quite surprised."

While not necessary surprised coming off a Golden Globe win, dual nominee Cate Blanchett (Best Actress for Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Best Supporting Actress for I'm Not There) said she was feeling "surreal": "It's really weird...it's lovely, but it's weird!"

Another Best Actress nominee and freshly minted Golden Glober, Marion Cotillard, was equally magnanimous, giving props to other two nominations  Edith Piaf biopic La Vie en Rose received, for Costume Design and Makeup. "It's as if I had swallowed some fireworks or something like this," she said. "It's still a surprise and I'm so happy for our three noms. We were well prepared for this film. It was a very creative time for all of us."

Johnny Depp, meanwhile, offered "my sincere thanks to the Academy for this kind nomination. It is both an honor and a privilege to be aligned amongst such ability. My endless gratitude also to Tim Burton and the entire cast and crew of Sweeney Todd, without whom I would not be here today."

While Atonement's bold-name stars Keira Knightley and James McAvoy missed out on nominations of their own, costar Saoirse Ronan, the youngest thesp in this year's crop of nominees, seems ready and willing to party on behalf of the Best Picture contender's entire cast and crew.

"I would like to thank the Academy for this great honor," the 13-year-old Irish up-and-comer said, adding that she learned of her nomination from her father's excited screams, which woke her up. She's currently in New Zealand on the set of Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones.

"It's 3:30 in the morning, so we'll celebrate later. We might get fish and chips because I hear they're really good here, but it won't be anything too posh. We weren't expecting this, so we're gonna go to the local supermarket and get the nicest bottle of champagne that we can. I might have a sip or two."

Best Supporting Actor nominee Tom Wilkinson wasn't even expecting a nomination—though, he soon made clear, his surprise came more from a poor memory than any perceived lack of confidence.

"I had forgotten about the nominations and was walking the dog," the Michael Clayton costar said. "Then someone told me to turn on the TV and I saw it. I got this character from the start. The first time I saw the film I was in Germany and took a few people with me. Everybody was blown away by it. It's just a good film. No two ways about it."

Good enough, apparently, to net nods for Best Picture, Best Director and Original Screenplay for Tony Gilroy, Best Supporting Actress for Tilda Swinton and Best Actor for costar George Clooney, who has so far remained mum on his accolade.

Not so Swinton, who said she was "tickled pink" at her nomination.

"I couldn't be happier for our entire cast and crew and am thrilled for Tony, George and Tom. I'm celebrating with my family today and couldn't think of a better place to be when I got the news."

Dual nominee Gilroy called the whole thing "overwhelming." Noting that the film was eight years in the making, he added, "I'm feeling a little swamped, so I doubt I'm going be at my most articulate this morning, but it's a good kind of swamped."

Articulate enough to issue thanks in both English and his native Spanish, No Country for Old Men's Javier Bardem also found words enough to call out his fellow filmic cohorts, both nominated and otherwise.

"It's an honor to receive this nomination, which is undoubtedly the recognition of the work and talent of all those creative and professional people from my trade, that have inspired and improved me during all these years.

"And especially to the Coen brothers' genius, because they have raised the character of Chigurh into a dimension that goes beyond my performance," he said, going on to name check costars Josh Brolin, Kelly Macdonald and fellow nominee Tommy Lee Jones.

"My thanks to all the Academy members for this wonderful gift."

The press-shy Joel and Ethan Coen, who tallied a whopping four total nominations, were less forthcoming. "We are very happy to have received these nominations," they said, before ticking off the requisite thanks to cast and crew.

However, whether or not the Coens and their Oscar-nominated brethren get the chance to accept their gifts in the traditional forum remains to be seen.

Prior to news of his nominations, Clayton's Gilroy, a member of both the Writers and Directors Guilds, was not shy about his contingency plans for attending the Oscars, should the writers' strike last that long.

"I would never cross a picket line ever," he said. "I couldn't...I think there's a lot of people who feel that way."

Like Mortensen, who also said prior to his nomination that no matter how much "mom would like to see me on TV," he, too, would not cross a picket line.

Jon Stewart, on tap to host this year's ceremony, his second time at the podium, has not commented on whether he would honor his emcee duties should the show take on a scaled-back Golden Globe-like format, though he has been an ardent supporter of the writers.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences president Sid Ganis has said there are alternate plans for an Oscars ceremony should the strike threaten traditional plans, though he has kept details of those plans to himself.

"We're dealing with contingencies but we're thrusting ahead," he said. "The point is, we're going to have a show, and we're going to give these incredible artists what they're due. We're going to present the Oscars on Feb. 24, and that is the important thing."

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