Academy Award nomination recap

The Academy Award nominations were released this morning, and it's been all the talk today in the film industry.

For the first time in a while, the best picture category is not what is drawing the most buzz — each one of the nine nominees rightfully deserves to be there.

"Amour," "Argo," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Django Unchained," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Zero Dark Thirty" are all up for the Oscar’s biggest prize.

What is garnering a lot of attention around Hollywood and everywhere else is the nominations for best director. Going into today, everybody and their grandmother predicted Steven Spielberg, Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow to be  locks in this category for "Lincoln," "Argo" and "Zero Dark Thirty," respectively. However, the latter two did not make the cut, stunning everybody who was up bright and early to hear the nominations.

Instead, Benh Zeitlin for "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and Michael Haneke for "Amour" snuck in while Ang Lee and David O. Russell rounded out the category.

It goes to show that nobody can be considered a lock nomination any longer.

Those two directors getting snubbed by the Academy were probably the biggest surprises of the day.

"Lincoln" ended up leading all nominees with 12 nominations including three acting: Daniel Day Lewis for lead actor, Sally Field for supporting actress and Tommy Lee Jones for supporting actor, picture, director and adapted screenplay.

"Life of Pi" was in second with 11, including picture, director and all seven technical categories.

"Silver Linings Playbook," the feel good movie of the year, received eight nominations, including one in each of the four acting categories (Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver). This is the first film to accomplish this feat in 31 years.

A lot of fans are disappointed to not see indie-hit "Moonrise Kingdom," "The Master" or even "Skyfall" make the best picture list, but each movie found its way into at least one nomination.

Joaquin Phoenix received a best acting nod for his role in "The Master," even after his loud antics against the Academy two months ago. He edged out John Hawkes for "The Sessions," who had given one of the best performances in recent history.

Another surprise was to see "The Dark Knight Rises" left off the ballots entirely. Each of the first two movies in the trilogy had received at least one nomination.

Some history marks were set this year in the best actress category: the youngest nominee Quvenzhane Wallis, 9, for "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and the oldest nominee Emmanuelle Riva, 84 for "Amour." Rounding out the category was Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook," Jessica Chastain for "Zero Dark Thirty" and Naomi Watts for "The Impossible." Chastain had previously been nominated for "The Help" last year.

The best supporting actor group is made up of five previous Oscar winners in Philip Seymour Hoffman for "The Master," Lee Jones, De Niro, Alan Arkin for "Argo" and Christoph Waltz for "Django Unchained," who edged out co-star Leonardo DiCaprio for the fifth spot.

One interesting note is a movie has only won best picture once without its director getting nominated ("Driving Miss Daisy"), and since the Academy only had five nominees, it is bad news for the likes of "Argo" and "Zero Dark Thirty."

"Lincoln" appears to be the favorite for picture and director so far, given that it is the type of movie that academy members love — a biopic old history film.

Don’t rule out "Silver Linings Playbook" though, because it could still become 2005’s "Crash."


For more information on the Academy Awards email the reporter at or on twitter @DillonReedRose

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.