Lincoln gets 12 Oscar nominations
For once, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences actually sprung a few surprises when the nominations for the 2013 Oscars were announced in Hollywood this afternoon. As expected, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln headed the chart with an impressive 12 nods.
That film remains favourite for best picture and Daniel Day-Lewis, who plays Abraham Lincoln, looks hard to beat in the best actor race. Should he win, Day-Lewis would become the first man to secure three best actor statuettes.
Most everyone expected Les Misérables to take the silver medal spot, but, in the event, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi secured the second biggest haul of nominations with 11. David O Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook took eight. Les Misérables had to settle for seven mentions.
Those three films join Lincoln in the best picture enclosure alongside Django Unchained, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Beasts of the Southern Wild and – triggering gasps in the auditorium – Michael Haneke’s Amour. After much early buzz, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master failed to make the best picture starting gate.
Amour produced the most surprises. The Academy is notoriously wary of mentioning non-English language films.
In the event, Haneke’s Franco-Austrian picture, winner of the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, picked up a fairly astonishing five nominations. Somewhat delightfully, Emmanuelle Riva, who plays an elderly woman struck down by a stroke in that film, joins Quvenzhané Wallis, star of Beasts of the Southern Wild, in the competition for best actress.
At 85, Riva is the oldest ever nominee. At nine, Wallis is the youngest ever. Expect the two to pose for many photographs in the run up to February’s ceremony.
Beasts of The Southern Wild also did a great deal better than expected. The dreamlike independent film, a hit at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, was seen as a reasonably likely best picture nominee. But virtually no pundit predicted that Benh Zeitlin, the film’s director, would end up with a nomination.
He finds himself mentioned alongside Spielberg, Lee, Haneke and Russell. Both Kathryn Bigelow, director of Zero Dark Thirty, and Ben Affleck, director of Argo, was seen as safe bets for nominations. The bookies are hastily redrawing many of their odds.
As so often in recent years, there was Irish interest in the short film category. Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly’s Head over Heels – co-directed by Timothy Reckart – is mentioned in the race for best short animation. Experienced cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, raised in Armagh, receives his second Oscar nomination for his work on Joe Wright’s luscious. Anna Karenina.
The ceremony takes place in Hollywood on February 24th.