Freeman disappointed over no Oscar nomination for Mandela

2010-02-03 10:04

US ACTOR Morgan Freeman said today that he was disappointed Clint

Eastwood’s Nelson Mandela biopic Invictus, in which he plays the iconic former

South African president, failed to pick up an Oscar nomination for Best


Freeman, who was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in

the film, which focused on the South African rugby team’s victory during the

1995 World Cup, told Johannesburg-based Talk Radio 702 in an interview from Rome

in Italy: “I’m feeling pretty good about it.

“But I just can’t understand why the picture didn’t get nominated

out of the 10 (nominated).”

Instead, the Best Picture nomination went to another made-in-South

Africa film, the science-fiction blockbuster, District 9.

District 9, by South African-born director Neill Blomkamp, is the

story of a race of extraterrestrials whose spaceship gets marooned in

Johannesburg, where they are forced into slums and face extinction until

converting a government agent to their cause.

While Invictus fielded top-billing US actors in the starring roles

– Matt Damon has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of

then-Springbok rugby captain Francois Pienaar – District 9 boasts a South

African cast of relative unknowns.

Apart from Best Picture, the film, which was produced by Lord of

the Rings director Peter Jackson, has also been nominated in the Editing, Visual

Effects and Best Adapted Screenplay categories.

Actor Sharlto Copley, whose portrayal of Afrikaaner government

agent Wikus van der Merwe was universally praised, told Talk Radio 702 he was

thrilled at the nominations.

“It’s big news for South Africa, both for the industry and the

South African people,” he said.

While the competition for Best Picture was strong, Copley

acknowledged, “being nominated really is quite an honour and it puts a lot of

spotlight on the film and everyone involved”.

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