The votes are in (please catch up with the full nominations list here)! Announced just this past hour, the Academy Award nominations have been cast, and as always, the results have been met with praise, some head-scratching, and in some cases, some downright anger at those who were left off of the list.
Overall, it was "American Hustle" and "Gravity" that walked away the big winners, nabbing 10 nominations a piece. Close behind was the early Oscar front-runner, "12 Years a Slave," with nine nominations. "Dallas Buyers Club," "Captain Phillips" and "Nebraska" were all honored with six a piece.
So let's break down the nominations!
"Nebraska" lands a surprising six nominations. Nine films made the cut for Best Picture this year, but "Nebraska" and "Philomena" definitely seem to be the surprise nominations in this category. Many expected Bruce Dern and possibly June Squibb to get nominated (they both did), but few expected "Nebraska" to land not only a Best Picture nod, but also nominations for Alexander Payne (Best Director) and Bob Nelson (Best Original Screenplay). Many might consider the exclusion of Supporting Actor Will Forte a snub, but he was a definite long-shot for a nomination to begin with.
"The Wolf of Wall Street" makes things interesting. Coming so late in the game, "The Wolf of Wall Street" didn't have much momentum just a few weeks ago. Boy how times can change so quickly. On the heels of Leonardo DiCaprio's Golden Globe win, "The Wolf of Wall Street" surprised by not only getting Leonardo his fourth overall Oscar nomination, but the film landed nominations for Best Picture, Best Director (Martin Scorsese), Best Adapted Screenplay (Terence Winter) and most surprising of all, Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill). Jonah Hill was solid, but there hasn't been much buzz surrounding his performance. And Scorsese lands his eighth overall Directing nomination, although he has only one once (for "The Departed" in 2007).
"Dallas Buyers Club" strong as well. Fans of "Dallas Buyers Club" don't fret: Both Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey received nods for their roles in the film, as expected (the film also earned an unexpected Best Picture and Original Screenplay nominations).
"Inside Llewyn Davis" and "Lone Survivor" all but shut out. There are always a few films that seem to get no love come Oscar time, and these two films are the two biggest glaring omissions. Both films ended up with two nominations a piece - both in technical categories ("Llewyn Davis" for Cinematography and Sound Mixing, "Lone Survivor" for Sound Editing and Sound Mixing). "Inside Llewyn Davis" featured some of the most memorable songs of the year, but none were rewarded. Both films will now have to live with the hard fact that they received the same amount of nominations as "The Lone Ranger" (Makeup and Hairstyling, and Visual Effects).
Best Actor Category. DiCaprio's well-deserved inclusion was mostly felt perhaps by Tom Hanks, who was denied entry for his role in "Captain Phillips." Also on the outside was Robert Redford ("All is Lost"), Idris Elba ("Mandela"), Joaquin Phoenix ("Her") and Oscar Isaacs ("Inside Llewyn Davis"). For the other nominees, it's hard to believe that there is only one Oscar win among such big names (Christian Bale won a Supporting Actor Oscar for "The Fighter") and a total of zero Lead Acting wins. Yes, both Bale and long-time actor Bruce Dern are being nominated in the lead category for the first time ever, with Ejiofor and McConaughey landing their first-ever nominations (Dern had previously been nominated in a Supporting role for "Coming Home").
Best Actress Category. Dench. Streep. Bullock. Blanchett. Adams. Yes, there is no shortage of big names and massive star-power this year, never represented more clearly than in this category. This is unbelievably the 18th Academy Award nomination for Meryl Streep, who won just two years ago for "The Iron Lady." For Dench, it's her seventh nomination. Despite these 25 nominations between the two of them, they only have four total wins. Blanchett has earned her sixth overall nomination, and Bullock is now a two-time Lead Actress nominee, having won in 2009 for "The Blind Side." Amy Adams has now been nominated five times, but has never won. Yes, these five were the biggest names and they all made it, but if there was to be a snub, it would be Emma Thompson ("Saving Mr. Banks") and perhaps Julie Delpy ("Before Midnight").
Supporting Actor Category. Beyond Jonah Hill earning a surprising nomination, the other eye-opening nom goes to Bradley Cooper for "American Hustle." Sure, the movie was expected to dominate, but Cooper's performance wasn't generating the same level of buzz as his co-stars Jennifer Lawrence and Christian Bale. Barkhad Abdi, Michael Fassbender and Jared Leto all were expected nominees. But the inclusion of Jonah Hill and Bradley Cooper seemed to push out a few other contenders, most notably Daniel Bruhl ("Rush"), who gave a strong performance and had landed a Golden Globe nomination. And sorry, small faction of James Franco supporters...his "Spring Breakers" role was not noticed by the Academy.
Supporting Actress Category. For Best Supporting Actress, the list of nominees exactly matches that of the Golden Globes, with Sally Hawkins, Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyong'o, Julia Roberts and June Squibb. This is Jennifer Lawrence's third Oscar nomination at the young age of 23, and her first Supporting nomination. Roberts has three previous nominations and one win ("Erin Brokovich") but hasn't made these lists since 2000. For Nyong'o, Squibb and Hawkins, this is their first-ever nomination. For a snub, I guess you can count Scarlett Johansson, who many had wanted to receive a nomination for her voice-only performance in "Her."
What to watch for come the Academy Awards on March 2nd. So as of today, it's still "American Hustle" and "12 Years a Slave" leading the pack. This is the second-straight year that a David O. Russell film had nominations in all four acting categories. "Gravity" seems a close third right now for Best Picture, although Alfonso Cuaron seems to be the heavy favorite for Best Director. But keep your eye on "The Wolf of Wall Street," as if today's nominations are any indication, this movie was on more voters' radars than we first thought.
For a full list of nominees in all of the other categories, please visit Oscar.com.
The Oscars air on Sunday, March 2 at 7 p.m. EST on ABC.