‘Lincoln’ Leads Oscars With 12 Nominations

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BEVERLY HILLS,
Calif. (AP) — The Civil War saga “Lincoln” leads the Academy Awards
with 12 nominations, including best picture, director for Steven
Spielberg and acting honors for Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy
Lee Jones.

Also among the nine nominees for
best picture Thursday: the old-age love story “Amour”; the Iran hostage
thriller “Argo”; the independent hit “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; the
slave-revenge narrative “Django Unchained”; the musical “Les
Miserables”; the shipwreck story “Life of Pi”; the lost-souls romance
“Silver Linings Playbook”; and the Osama bin Laden manhunt chronicle
“Zero Dark Thirty.”

“Life of Pi” surprisingly
ran second with 11 nominations, ahead of “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Les
Miserables,” which had been considered potential front-runners.

More
surprising were snubs in the directing category, where three favorites
missed out: Ben Affleck for “Argo” and past Oscar winners Kathryn
Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty” and Tom Hooper for “Les Miserables.”
Bigelow was the first woman ever the win the directing Oscar for 2009's
“The Hurt Locker,” while Hooper won a year later for “The King's
Speech.”

The best-picture category also had
surprising omissions. The acclaimed first-love tale “Moonrise Kingdom”
was left out and only got one nomination, for original screenplay. Also
snubbed for best-picture was “The Master,” a critical favorite that did
manage three acting nominations for Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and
Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Two-time winner
Spielberg earned his seventh directing nomination, and also in the mix
are past winner Ang Lee for “Life of Pi” and past nominee David O.
Russell for “Silver Linings Playbook.” The other slots went to surprise
picks who are first-time nominees: Michael Haneke for his
French-language “Amour” and Benh Zeitlin for “Beasts of the Southern
Wild.”

“Amour” also was a best-picture
surprise. The film, which won the top prize at last May's Cannes Film
Festival, mainly had been considered a favorite in the foreign-language
category, where it also was nominated. “Amour” had five nominations,
including original screenplay and best-actress for Emmanuelle Riva.

The
year's second-biggest box-office hit, “The Dark Knight Rises,” was shut
out entirely, even for visual effects. The omission of its predecessor,
“The Dark Knight,” from best-picture consideration for 2008, was
largely responsible for the expansion of the Oscar category from five
nominees to 10 the following year. “The Dark Knight” had earned eight
nominations and won two Oscars.

Chronicling
Abraham Lincoln's final months as he engineers passage of the 13th
Amendment abolishing slavery, “Lincoln” stars best-actor contender
Day-Lewis in a monumental performance as the 16th president,
supporting-actress nominee Field as the notoriously headstrong Mary Todd
Lincoln and supporting-actor prospect Jones as abolitionist firebrand
Thaddeus Stevens.

Joining Day-Lewis in the
best-actor field are Bradley Cooper as a psychiatric patient trying to
get his life back together in “Silver Linings Playbook”; Hugh Jackman as
Victor Hugo's tragic hero Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables”; Phoenix as a
Navy vet who falls in with a cult in “The Master”; and Denzel
Washington as a boozy airline pilot in “Flight.”

Cooper
had been a bit of a longshot. John Hawkes, a potential best-actor
favorite, missed out for his role as a man in an iron lung aiming to
lose his virginity in “The Sessions.”

Nominated
for best actress are Jessica Chastain as a CIA operative hunting bin
Laden in “Zero Dark Thirty”; Jennifer Lawrence as a troubled young widow
struggling to heal in “Silver Linings Playbook”; Riva as an ailing
woman tended by her husband in “Amour”; Quvenzhane Wallis as a spirited
girl on the Louisiana delta in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; and Naomi
Watts as a mother caught up in a devastating tsunami in “The
Impossible.”

Best actress had a wild age
range: Riva is the oldest nominee ever in the category at 85, while
Wallis is the youngest ever at 9.

Along with
Field, supporting-actress nominees are Adams as a cult leader's devoted
wife in “The Master”; Anne Hathaway as an outcast mother reduced to
prostitution in “Les Miserables”; Helen Hunt as a sex surrogate in “The
Sessions”; and Jacki Weaver as an unstable man's doting mom in “Silver
Linings Playbook.”

Besides Jones, the
supporting-actor contenders are Alan Arkin as a wily Hollywood producer
in “Argo”; Robert De Niro as a football-obsessed patriarch in “Silver
Linings Playbook”; Hoffman as a dynamic cult leader in “The Master”; and
Christoph Waltz as a genteel bounty hunter in “Django Unchained.”

“Family
Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, who will host the Feb. 24 Oscars, joined
Emma Stone to announce the Oscar lineup, and he scored a nomination
himself, original song for “Everybody Needs a Best Friend,” the tune he
co-wrote for his big-screen directing debut “Ted.”

“That's kind of cool I got nominated,” MacFarlane deadpanned at the announcement. “I get to go to the Oscars.”

Walt
Disney predictably dominated the animated-feature category with three
of the five nominees: “Brave,” “Frankenweenie” and “Wreck-It Ralph.”
Also nominated were “ParaNorman” and “The Pirates! Band of Misfits.”

“I'm
absolutely blown away,” Rich Moore, director of “Wreck-It Ralph” said
by phone. “It is weird at 5:30 in the morning to hear Emma Stone say
your name. It's surreal.”

“Lincoln” is
Spielberg's best awards prospect since his critical peak in the 1990s,
when he won best-picture and directing Oscars for “Schindler's List” and
a second directing Oscar for “Saving Private Ryan.” The 12 nominations
for “Lincoln” matched Spielberg's personal best on “Schindler's List,”
which won seven Oscars.

Spielberg's latest
film could vault him, Day-Lewis and Field to new heights among
Hollywood's super-elite of multiple Oscar winners.

A
best-picture win for “Lincoln” would be Spielberg's second, while
another directing win would be his third, a feat achieved only by Frank
Capra and William Wyler, who each earned three directing Oscars, and
John Ford, who received four.

“Lincoln” also
was the ninth best-picture nominee Spielberg has directed, moving him
into a tie for second-place with Ford. Only Wyler directed more
best-picture nominees, with 13.

Day-Lewis and
Field both have two lead-acting Oscars already, he for “My Left Foot”
and “There Will Be Blood” and she for “Norma Rae” and “Places in the
Heart.” A third Oscar for either would put them in rare company with
previous triple winners Ingrid Bergman, Walter Brennan, Jack Nicholson
and Meryl Streep. Katharine Hepburn is the record-holder with four
acting Oscars.

An Oscar for Jones would be his second supporting-actor prize; he previously won for “The Fugitive.”

“Lincoln”
composer John Williams – whose five Oscars include three for the music
of three earlier Spielberg films, “Jaws,” “E.T. the Extra-terrestrial”
and “Schindler's List” – earned his 43rd nomination for best score,
extending his all-time record in the category.

The
Oscars feature a best-picture field that ranges from five to 10 films
depending on a complex formula of ballots from the 5,856 voting members
of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Winners for the 85th Oscars will be announced Feb. 24 at a ceremony aired live on ABC from Hollywood's Dolby Theatre.

 

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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