2013 Oscar Nominations

Nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were announced this morning by host Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone. As always, the announcement came with some surprises and shocking snubs. So without further ado, the nominees, plus some thoughts

BEST PICTURE

  • Amour
  • Argo
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Django Unchained
  • Les Miserables
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Zero Dark Thirty

With the new Academy rules in effect, anywhere between 5-10 movies could have been nominated; this year was a strong showing with 9. To me, I think 6 of the movies were a given, considering all the buzz and accolades they had gotten. Amour is a lesser known movie, albeit having gotten rave reviews, so wasn’t sure of its chances. Beasts of the Southern Wild is the little movie that keeps picking up steam, as more people discover and fall in love with it. I know I shouldn’t be so surprised by the inclusion of Django Unchained, but I am. Coming off of Inglourious Basterds, which was fantastic, Tarantino’s latest just fell a little short for me. Most years, there’s usually a frontrunner that you can tell. If we go by pure numbers in nominations for the awards show, Lincoln (with 12 total nominations) would be it. But for the first time in years, anybody could win this. Granted, as we get closer to the ceremony and other awards get handed out, we might be able to get a sense at who’s got the best chance at winning Oscar gold. For now, it’s refreshing to see that there’s not one or two movies that is taking all the spotlight.

BEST ACTOR

  • Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
  • Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
  • Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
  • Denzel Washington, Flight

I think the biggest, yet only slightly shocking surprise here is that Joaquin Phoenix got nominated. I haven’t seen The Master myself, but after the movie played at TIFF, a lot of people were saying that the performances by all the actors in the film were incredible. However, Phoenix then made a statement that he thought campaigning for awards was stupid, leading many to believe that he just hurt his chances Oscar chances – clearly, not the case. As it stands, it seems that Daniel Day-Lewis is the frontrunner to win again, but as it the case for Best Picture, I think any one of these fine actors could win it.

BEST ACTRESS

  • Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
  • Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Naomi Watts, The Impossible

The biggest news to come out of the announcement is that we have both the oldest (Riva) and the youngest (Wallis) nominees ever in the category. At 22, Jennifer Lawrence is already better than all of us, scoring her second Oscar nod. Naomi Watts also earns her second nomination, while Jessica Chastain moves up from her Best Supporting nod last year. The only surprise in this category was that Marion Cotillard didn’t get nominated for her incredible performance in Rust and Bone, but besides that, it was a strong year for nominees. I think it’s going to be between Chastain and Watts for the win.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Alan Arkin, Argo
  • Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
  • Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
  • Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

As Emma Stone so dryly noted when announcing the nominees, we’ve got a category full of past Oscar winners. All of these actors were expected to be nominated, though I thought Leonardo DiCaprio would’ve been the pick over Christoph Waltz for Django.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Amy Adams, The Master
  • Sally Field, Lincoln
  • Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
  • Helen Hunt, The Sessions
  • Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

My take on awards season is that the closest thing to a frontrunner we have this year is Anne Hathaway, for her performance in Les Miserables – everyone keeps talking about it. At this point, the only other person who could possibly beat Hathaway is Sally Field.

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Michael Haneke, Amour
  • Ang Lee, Life of Pi
  • David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
  • Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Who would’ve thought the biggest shockers would come out of the Best Director category? Zeitlin was definitely the biggest surprise nomination here. With such a strong year for movies, it was shocking to not see Kathryn Bigelow (for Zero Dark Thirty), Tom Hooper (for Les Miserables), and most of all, Ben Affleck (for Argo) not being nominated. I thought Affleck was a lock for a nomination, thereby truly solidifying his role as a Hollywood power player.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Amour, Michael Hanake
  • Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino
  • Flight, John Gatins
  • Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
  • Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal

Clearly showing signs of sci-fi bias, Rian Johnson’s script for Looper was robbed of a nomination. Looper was one of the most original stories to come out of Hollywood in recent years, totally up there with Inception in terms of originality.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Argo, Chris Terrio
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin
  • Life of Pi, David Magee
  • Lincoln, Tony Kushner
  • Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell

The biggest snub here was Stephen Chbosky for adapting his novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower. That was a wonderful movie and deserved to get some recognition.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

  • Brave
  • Frankenweenie
  • ParaNorman
  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  • Wreck-It Ralph

Hollywood churned out some great animated features this past year, as not one of the nominees was a small/foreign animated film. I’m certainly a little surprised that Pirates! got nominated, as I didn’t think much of it, but I suppose the Academy likes themselves some stop-motion animation.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

  • “Before My Time” from Chasing Ice, music and lyric by J. Ralph
  • “Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from Ted, music by Walter Murphy; lyric by Seth MacFarlane
  • “Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi, music by Mychael Danna; lyric by Bombay Jayashri
  • “Skyfall” from Skyfall, music and lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
  • “Suddenly” from Les Misérables, music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

There were doubts as to whether the theme song from Skyfall would be eligible, as the beginning of the song sounds eerily similar to an old school Bond song. Regardless, Adele received a nomination for the song, and how nice is it to see more than two nominees in the category?

There you have it folks, a quick look at this year’s Oscar nominations. What were some of the surprises and snubs for the nominations? Who do you think are the frontrunners? Sound off below! For a complete list of all the nominees, visit Oscar.com.

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