After months of speculation, the wait is finally over; the 85th Academy Award nominees have been announced.
For those following the race, there were few surprises. Lincoln came out ahead with 12 nominations including Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, and Cinematography, and it looks to take home more than a few when the awards are aired live on Feb. 24, 2013 at 7:00pm.
This year’s ceremony will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy, who also managed to get in on the show; his comedy smash Ted walked off with a nomination for an Original Song which was co-written by MacFarlane himself.
As always, several films outperformed expectations and a few didn’t do as well as predicted. Beasts of the Southern Wild, this year’s little indie that could, nabbed 4 major nominations, and though Life of Pi was well reviewed, few could have predicted it would be the lone runner up to Lincoln with 11 total nominations. French film Amour by auteur Michael Haneke rode some high praise to 5 total nominations, a remarkable chain of events for a foreign film.
It would also appear that James Bond got the best 50th birthday present he could ask for; Skyfall is the first 007 film to get an Oscar nomination in 30 years, and 5 representative technical categories is nothing to sniff at for an action film.
Argo did well with 7, but the expected Director nod for Ben Affleck did not come through. Django Unchained also got less than expected with 5, a mark shared by Zero Dark Thirty, a film that seemed to be Lincoln’s biggest competitor. The Sessions got high marks for John Hawkes’ performance, but Helen Hunt ended up being the film’s only representative as Supporting Actress. The Dark Knight Rises was shut out completely.
A few films landed right where they expected. Silver Linings Playbook walked off with 8 nominations including Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay and a representative in each of the four acting categories, meaning this underdog film is poised to play spoiler against bigger budget competition. Les Misérables got 8 big nominations, including one that surprised many in the Actor nod for Hugh Jackman. That’s right; the Wolverine is now an Academy Award nominee.
As usual, the films released earlier in the year had poor showings. Early favorite Moonrise Kingdom only managed a nomination for Original Screenplay and Scientology opus The Master was shut down on the filmmaking side, taking away three nominations in acting categories where it is projected to suffer heavy losses. Prometheus was never going to get more than a handful, but even with its gorgeous cinematography it only took home a nevertheless well-deserved Visual Effects nomination. The year’s highest grossing film, The Avengers, got its only recognition in the same category.
This year’s nominees were announced 14 days earlier than last year, ostensibly to allow more Academy members to see the final nominees. This year’s Academy Awards features a few minor changes to the categories; the Oscar for Art Direction has been changed to Production Design and Makeup has been changed to Makeup and Hairstyling.
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