The Oscar nominations are out at last. As many suspected, the Academy expanded the Best Picture base to include nine nominated films. They include Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty. However, it was Lincoln and not Les Miserables that led in nominations. The Steven Spielberg biographical film received 12 nods.
Best Acting Categories
There was no real surprise in the Best Actor category. Bradley Cooper (Silver Lingings Playbook), Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) and Denzel Washington (Flight) all got the nods they deserved. There were, however, a couple of switch ups in the Best Actress category. Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) made the cut as expected. So did Naomi Watts (The Impossible), whom many believed would land on the list. However, perennial favorite, Helen Mirren (Hitchcock), lost out. So did Rust and Bone's Marion Cotillard. The other two nominees were Oscar's oldest and youngest nods. Emmanuelle Riva, the oldest nominee in the category, was nominated for Amour. Quvenzhane Wallis, the youngest nominee in the category, was nominated for Beasts of the Southern Wild.
There were no surprises in the Best Supporting Actor category. Alan Arkin (Argo), Robert DeNiro (Silver Linings Playbook), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) and Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) were all nominated. For the most part, the Best Supporting Actress category went as planned too. Amy Adams (The Master), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables), Helen Hunt (The Sessions) and Sally Field (Lincoln) were all nominated. However, Jacki Weaver (Silver Lingings Playbook) took the fifth spot, leaving Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy) out in the cold.
Best Director Nods
Ben Affleck got snubbed by his colleagues, not gaining the Best Director nod that many believed he deserved. Instead, his berth went to newcomer Behn Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild). Michael Haneke (Amour) also took a spot; perhaps the one some felt belonged to Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty). The other nominees were expected. They included Ang Lee (Life of Pi), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) and Steven Spielberg (Lincoln).
All in all, the Oscar nominations went as many expected. It will be interesting to see if the wins go to odds-on favorites too. The Academy Awards will air on February 24th.