When the Oscar nominees are announced Tuesday, you'll likely see a lot of familiar names and titles, from Jeff Bridges to Mo'Nique to "Avatar." But enough about them. Here are some of the long shots, dark horses and shoulda-been-contenders that went largely overlooked in 2009:

BEST PICTURE No matter what the Oscars tell you, "A Single Man" was the year's most thoughtful and moving film, anchored by Colin Firth playing a gay literature professor losing his will to live.

BEST ACTOR Speaking of Firth, he deserves this one. Not since Paul Giamatti in "Sideways" has an actor turned in such a thoroughly detailed, beautifully crafted performance.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR While Christoph Waltz will take this one - and rightly so - for playing the world's happiest Nazi in "Inglourious Basterds," a nomination at least should go to Alfred Molina, heartbreaking as a deceived father in "An Education."

BEST ACTRESS In the little-seen indie drama "Julia," Tilda Swinton was astounding as an alcoholic pulled into a nasty kidnapping scheme. This award ought to be hers, but the only Julia that Oscar voters care about is the one played by Meryl Streep.

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Though she barely appeared in "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee," Winona Ryder was hilarious as Robin Wright Penn's ultra-needy, semi-suicidal best friend - deserving of a nod, if not a statue.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE Pixar's "Up" is the biggest crowd-pleaser; Wes Anderson's "Fantastic Mr. Fox" is the most sophisticated. But in terms of sheer craft, the statue should go to Henry Selick's elaborate stop-motion fantasy, "Coraline."