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The Nominations For The 85th Academy Awards Are In… And They Might Surprise You

Kathy Zerbib |
January 10, 2013 | 2:58 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Anne Hathaway was nominated for best supporting actress for her role in “Les Miserables” (D. Wong Photography/Creative Commons).
Anne Hathaway was nominated for best supporting actress for her role in “Les Miserables” (D. Wong Photography/Creative Commons).

In a shocking turn of events, the nominees list for the upcoming Academy Awards this year lacked many deserving names. Cherished directors were absent from the list, supposedly spectacular films were not given enough credit, and a couple underdog films managed to secure more slots than expected. 

The winner for the most Oscar nominations goes to Steven Spielberg’s film “Lincoln,” centered on the former American president’s struggle to abolish slavery. The film landed 12 nominations, including best picture, best actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), best director (Spielberg), and best cinematography. Spielberg is up against David O. Russell of “Silver Linings Playbook,” Ang Lee of “Life of Pi,” Michael Haneke of “Amour,” and Benh Zeitlin of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” for his category.

Second in line for the most nominations this year was Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi,” also up for best picture alongside “Lincoln,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Les Miserables,” “Amour,” “Argo,” “Django Unchained,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” “Life of Pi” is in the running for best original song, best original score, and best visual effects, among others. With 11 nominations, the film was very well received by the academy.

Both films are highly deserving of their successes and clearly adored by their audience. Yet, other big names were shown considerable favor when they were released to the public and are somehow not significant standouts on this year’s list.

“Les Miserables,” for instance, was called a “Christmas movie blockbuster” with “bravura performances from its distinguished cast.” Anne Hathaway’s rendition of “I Dreamed A Dream” was chalk-full of raw emotion and heartbreaking realism, but the powerful performance unfortunately doesn't qualify for the best original song category. The song “Suddenly” made the cut, along with songs from “Chasing Ice,” “Ted,” “Life of Pi,” and “Skyfall.” 

The film received seven other nominations, with Hathaway competing against Sally Field (“Lincoln”), Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Helen Hunt (“The Sessions”), and Amy Adams (“The Master”) for best supporting actress. Hugh Jackman is up for best actor for his own emotional role in “Les Miserables,” facing off against Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington (“Flight”), Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”), and Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”).

“Django Unchained,” another big-name film, was also robbed of more space on the nominees list after only receiving four nominations. The film will be represented by Christoph Waltz for best supporting actor, alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman (“The Master”), Robert De Niro (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Alan Arkin (“Argo”), and Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln”). Surprisingly, neither Jamie Foxx nor Kerry Washington received a nomination for their roles. Quentin Tarantino was noticeably not nominated for best director, either.

Perhaps the academy’s distaste for “Django Unchained” stems from its controversial content, which recently brought up the issue ofusing the N-word in films (an issue Tarantino has already justified).

Other supposed hit films like “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty” were nominated for best picture, but fell flat in their hopes for other categories. “Argo” managed to snag four spots, while “Zero Dark Thirty” received five. Both were deserving of the best director category, yet shrugged off by the academy.

With so many deserving films snubbed their due credit, just which lesser-known films took their righteous places on the nominees list?

Benh Zeitlin’s “Beats of the Southern Wild,” for one, fared much better than expected and walked off with four nominations. One of them includes a nomination for Quvenzhane Wallis, up for best actress alongside Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”), Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Naomi Watts (“The Impossible”), and Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”). The nine-year-old was only six at the time of production, leading to stern criticism of her nomination.

“Amour,” an Austrian film by Michael Haneke, surprised quite a few when it turned up five nominations. Unsurprisingly, the film is nominated for best foreign language film, alongside “No” from Chile, “War Witch” from Canada, “A Royal Affair” from Denmark, and “Kon-Tiki” from Norway. In addition to doing well among other foreign films, “Amour” is also up for best original screenplay. The category also consists of “Flight,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Django Unchained,” and “Moonrise Kingdom.”

Other nominations include best animated feature – “Frankenweenie,” “The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Brave,” and “ParaNorman” – and best visual effects – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Life of Pi,” “Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Prometheus,” and “Snow White and the Huntsman.” 

With so many surprising nominations planned for this year’s award show, the winners are truly unpredictable. See which of your favorite nominees bring home a coveted Oscar (or several) at the 85th Academy Awards, airing on ABC on Sunday, February 24. For now, check out the full list of the nominees here.

See how Neon Tommy's predictions for the Oscar noms stack up to the results here.

Reach Staff Reporter Kathy Zerbib here; Follow her on Twitter here.



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