The 85th Annual Academy Award Nominations have been announced (click the link to see the entire list). While many nominations may have been what we expected, the Oscars still managed a few shocks and surprises – most notably in the Best Director Category. But we will get to that later. I personally think the Academy thought outside the box and managed to be a little unpredictable, some good some bad, with their choices. Six of the nine nominees landed on my Top Ten Best Movies of 2012 (click the link to read the list), so clearly I’m very happy with the results. Plus, The Simpsons got an Oscar Nomination in the Animated Short category! Now I’ll have to wait until the winners are announced on February 24th to see if my happiness continues. Enough small talk. Lets take a look, in no particular order, at the Top Ten Shocks, Surprises, Snubs and Stats about the 2013 Oscar Nominations.
10. LINCOLN leads the pack! – With 12 nominations, the historical drama about the 16th American President’s fight to emancipate slaves is now the front-runner to win Best Picture (LIFE OF PI has 11 nominations). Originally thought to be more in the middle of the pack, LINCOLN has snuck in and taken the lead away from favorite horses ZERO DARK THIRTY, ARGO and LES MISERABLE. That leads us to…
9. Best Director category gets Huge shake up – Ben Affleck for ARGO, Katherine Bigelow for ZERO DARK THIRTY and Tom Hooper for LES MISERABLES all were expected to receive nominations and were replaced by directors of smaller films in Benh Zeitlin for BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, Michael Haneke for the foreign film AMOUR and to a lesser extent David O. Russell for SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK. Affleck just won the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Director and I for one thought was competing with Bigelow for Director and Picture, the odds are clearly no longer in their favor.
8. Supporting Actor Category looks very familiar – Every nominee in this category has won a little golden guy statue before – Alan Arkin for LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, Christoph Waltz for INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, Tommy Lee Jones for THE FUGITIVE, Philip Seymour Hoffman for CAPOTE, and Robert De Niro for THE GODFATHER: PART II and RAGING BULL. No matter the outcome someone will be adding another win.
7. Best Actress Category makes history twice - 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis is the youngest Oscar nominee for her role in BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. She will be competing against the oldest nominee in Oscar history in 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva for her role in AMOUR. Another interesting fact – Unlike the Supporting Actor Nominees, none of these ladies have ever won the award and will be a first time recipient.
6. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES gets shut out – Despite some heavy campaigning, the third installment of the greatest superhero movie franchise of all time ended up not getting a single nomination anywhere. It’s predecessor, THE DARK KNIGHT earned eight Oscar nominations with two wins and is perhaps the sole reason the Academy expanded their Best Picture nominees after it got snubbed from the list. Unfortunately, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES apparently had too many flaws, causing voters to leave it off even the most obvious categories like Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. This also marks Director Christopher Nolan’s first film since 2002′s INSOMNIA not to have an Oscar Nomination.
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