2013 Oscar host Seth MacFarlane and actress Emma Stone announced this year’s Academy Award nominees this morning. There weren’t too many surprises in most categories with Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln leading the pack with 12 nominations. Life of Pi is a surprising second with 11 overall nominations and Silver Linings Playbook got four acting nominations and a nod for best picture.
Best Picture – Dark themes dominate
Most films predicted to be nominted were included. Hot of the heels of its 11 Golden Globe nominations, Lincoln is one of the favourites here.
Oscars tend to favour the overly dramatic and dark films in general and this year is no different. Of the nine films nominated, several feature dark topics: civil war (Lincoln) torture by waterboarding (Zero Dark Thirty) revolution (Les Miserables) hostages in Iran (Argo) and a girl trying to survive post-hurricane (Beasts of the Southern Wild).
Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook and old-age love story Amour round out the category.
One surprise to some is that early fall-favourite The Master was overlooked.
Jessica Chastain is a favoured for her role as a CIA operative on the hunt for Osama Bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty. Naomi Watts for “The Impossible” and Jennifer Lawrence (nominated for her role opposite Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook) are also very strong contenders.
This year the category has an amazing age range as well. At 85, Emanuelle Riva (Amour) is the oldest nominee while nine year-old Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) is the youngest, making some Oscar history.
It’s pretty hard to go up against Daniel-Day Lewis. If I was a successful A-list actor, I would dread the year this man has a movie out. He’s sort of like a male Meryl Streep because he’s arguably one of the greatest actors working today and as Lincoln, he has to be considered a favourite.
The other nominees include: Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Denzel Washington (Flight), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) and Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook).
Anne Hathaway as the doomed Fantine in Les Miserables is a favourite but she’s also up against other amazing actresses who gave incredible performances this year: Sally Field (Lincoln) Amy Adams (The Master), Helen Hunt (The Sessions) and Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook).
A couple of veteran actors got nods for roles simliar to what we’ve seen before, but roles they do so well. Who can top Robert DeNiro as an intense dad after seeing him in Meet the Parents years ago? As Bradley Cooper’s football-obessed dad in Silver Linings Playbook, he was wonderful and the nomination is well-deserved. Alan Arkin can do a grumpy sarcastic old man like to other (Little Miss Sunshine) and he’s at it again in his Oscar-nominated role as a Hollywood Producer in Argo.
Other nominees are Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master) Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) and Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained).
Past winner Steven Spielberg is nominated for Lincoln and is joined by David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Michael Haneke (Amour) and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild).
Surprising omissions? How about these directors whose films are nominated for best motion picture, but they are not? I’m talking about Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained, Ben Affleck for Argo and Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty and Tom Hooper for Les Miserables. Sad day for Affleck. He’s been campaigning HARD!
Winners will be announced February 24th. Check out the full list of nominees.