Lincoln emerges as the film to beat at the 85th Academy Awards
by Sara Michelle Fetters -
SGN A&E Writer
Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, Ang Lee's Life of Pi, and David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook were the big winners when nominations for the 85th annual Academy Awards were announced Thursday morning, receiving 12, 11, and eight nods respectively. In addition to Best Picture, Spielberg's epic was nominated for Best Director, Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actress (Sally Field), and Best Supporting Actor (Tommy Lee Jones), as well as receiving nods in the categories of adapted screenplay, cinematography, costume design, editing, original score, production design, and sound mixing. It is widely seen to be the frontrunner to take home the top prize.
Not that the other two can be easily discounted. Silver Linings Playbook became the first film in 31 years to be nominated in all four acting categories, leads Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence and supporting players Jacki Weaver and Robert De Niro all receiving nods. Also nominated was Russell for both his direction as well as his screenplay adaptation, while the movie additionally received a notice in the all-important editing category as well.
As for Life of Pi, Lee's well-respected adaptation of Yann Martel's mystical novel was nominated for its direction, adapted screenplay, cinematography, editing, original score, original song, production design, sound editing, sound mixing, and visual effects. While obviously beloved by Academy voters, its Best Picture prospects do seem limited due to the lack of any acting nominations. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was the last film to win without any.
NINE TOP CONTENDERS
All in all, nine films were nominated for Best Picture. Alongside the aforementioned Lincoln, Pi, and Playbook are Amour (with five nominations in total), Argo (seven), Beasts of the Southern Wild (four), Django Unchained (five), Les Misérables (eight), and Zero Dark Thirty (five). Left out of the race were perceived favorites like The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, and Skyfall, all of which did receive nominations in other categories.
The biggest surprises of the morning were in the Best Director category. Along with Spielberg, Lee, and Russell, the well-respected Michael Haneke was nominated for helming Amour while newcomer Benh Zeitlin found himself a nominee for spearheading Sundance and Cannes festival favorite Beasts of the Southern Wild. Perceived shoo-ins Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and Ben Affleck (Argo) were left standing in the cold, wondering what had happened.
PHOENIX RISES AGAIN
Besides Day-Lewis and Cooper, the Best Actor nominees include Denzel Washington (Flight), Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables), and, in a minor surprise, Joaquin Phoenix (The Master). Many thought Phoenix's chances had vanished after he made a series of remarks disparaging the Academy, but voters chose not to hold a grudge.
Alongside Lawrence, the Best Actress field consists of Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Naomi Watts (The Impossible), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) and Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild). At 85, Riva is the oldest nominee ever in this category, and at nine, Wallis is the youngest - making for a somewhat unique talking point you can be sure Oscar pundits will be yammering about long after the ceremony is over.
Here's another: For the first time ever, an acting category sports five previous winners vying for the award, the Best Supporting Actor lineup consisting of Academy Award winners Jones, De Niro, Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Alan Arkin (Argo), and Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained). As for Best Supporting Actress, the nominees are also all previous winners or nominees, Weaver and Field competing against Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables), Helen Hunt (The Sessions), and Amy Adams (The Master) for the Oscar.
NO LOVE FOR LOOPER
Along with Lincoln, Life of Pi, and Silver Linings Playbook, the other two Adapted Screenplay nominees were Argo and Beasts of the Southern Wild, while Original Screenplay nods went to Amour, Django Unchained, Flight, Moonrise Kingdom, and Zero Dark Thirty. Snubs in these categories included scripts for Looper, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Les Misérables, and The Sessions, all of which at one time or another were thought of as nomination favorites.
Best Foreign Language Film nominees include Austria's Amour, Denmark's A Royal Affair, Chile's No, Norway's Kon-Tiki, and Canada's War Witch. Best Animated Film contenders are Brave, Wreck-It Ralph, Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, and The Pirates! Band of Misfits, while Best Documentary nods went to How to Survive a Plague, The Gatekeepers, Searching for Sugar Man, 5 Broken Cameras, and The Invisible War. Noticeably absent from their categories were France's The Intouchables, the documentary Chasing Ice, and animated features Rise of the Guardians and The Painting.
The winners of the 85th annual Academy Awards will be announced on Sunday, Feb. 24, in a live telecast from the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. Hosting the event will be Ted and 'Family Guy' creator Seth MacFarlane, and while this year's list of presenters has not yet been announced, one can assume it will be as star-studded as ever. Until then, let the guesswork begin!
Share on Facebook
Share on Delicious
Share on StumbleUpon!