BEVERLY HILLS (CNS) – Director Steven Spielberg’s historical drama “Lincoln” earned a leading 12 nominations today for the 85th Academy Awards, followed by Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” with 11, while the musical “Les Miserables” and David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” tied with eight nods each.
“Lincoln” was nominated for best picture and earned Spielberg his eighth best director nomination. A win would be his third in the director category. The film is the eighth Spielberg has had in the running for best picture — with “Schindler’s List” winning in 1993.
“Lincoln” also garnered a best acting nod for two-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln and supporting acting nominations for Sally Field — a two-time best actress winner who played Lincoln’s wife Mary Todd — and Tommy Lee Jones as a radical antislavery legislator.
“Lincoln” also received nominations for cinematography, costume design, film editing, original score, production design, sound mixing and adapted screenplay.
The dream-like fantasy adventure “Life of Pi” was nominated for best picture, best director, original song — “Pi’s Lullaby” — adapted screenplay, cinematography, film editing, original score, production design, sound editing and mixing and visual effects.
“Les Miserables,” a film adaptation of the long-running musical set in 19th century France, earned acting nods for Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and Anne Hathaway in her supporting role as Fantine, as well as nominations for costume design, makeup, original song — “Suddenly” — production design and sound mixing.
The Weinstein Company’s “Silver Linings Playbook’s” eight nominations included best picture and across-the-board nods for its actors: Bradley Cooper – - who played a man recently released from a psychiatric institution — and Jennifer Lawrence, his romantic foil, as leads and Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver in supporting roles as Cooper’s parents.
There were only nine best picture nominees this year. The other five were Michael Haneke’s Austrian film about love, illness and aging, the French- language”Amour”; Ben Affleck’s dramatization of a 1980 hostage rescue from revolutionary Iran, “Argo”; the indie favorite “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” set in the Louisiana bayou; Quentin Tarantino’s violent tale of a slave- turned-bounty hunter “Django Unchained”; and Kathryn Bigelow’s story of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, “Zero Dark Thirty.”
Bigelow — who made history as the first woman to win the directing Oscar in 2010, for “The Hurt Locker” — failed to earn a nod for on “Zero Dark Thirty.” Ben Affleck was also snubbed in the category for his work on “Argo.” Both Bigelow and Affleck were nominated for the Directors Guild of America Award for feature films.
The big corporate winner was Fox Entertainment Group with 27 nominations: 23 collectively for “Lincoln” and “Life of Pi” from 20th Century Fox and four more for Fox Searchlight’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” giving it contenders at both ends of the big studio-indie film continuum.
In addition to Day-Lewis, Cooper and Jackman, best actor nominations went to Joaquin Phoenix for his role as a World War II veteran and follower of the leader of a cult-like religion in “The Master” and Denzel Washington as an alcoholic pilot who makes a miracle crash landing in “Flight.”
The best actress nominees were Naomi Watts in “The Impossible, ” a story of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and Jessica Chastain as a CIA operative in “Zero Dark Thirty,” along with Emmanuelle Riva of “Amour,” Quvenzhane Wallis of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and Lawrence.
Best supporting actors nominated were Alan Arkin in “Argo,” Philip Seymour Hoffman in “The Master,” Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained,” along with De Niro and Jones.
Actresses nominated in the supporting category were Amy Adams in “The Master,” Helen Hunt in “The Sessions” and Field, Hathaway and Weaver.
If Day-Lewis takes the Oscar, he would be the first three-time winner in the best actor category.
Field also has the opportunity to join the small club of those who have three gold statuettes for acting, including Meryl Streep, Walter Brennan, Ingrid Bergman and Katharine Hepburn (who got four).
The latest James Bond thriller, “Skyfall,” which has taken in more than $1 billion at the box office worldwide, did not get enough traction with Academy voters for a best picture nomination, but it received five nominations for cinematography, original score, original song, sound editing and sound mixing.
The film’s original score nod marked composer Thomas Newman’s 11th nomination. Newman’s nod brings the total for the Newman family (Alfred, Lionel, Emil, Thomas, David and Randy) to 87.
The Academy will celebrate the Bond film franchise’s 50th anniversary with a special sequence during the awards show.
Today’s nominations set records for the oldest and youngest nominees in the best actress category. French actress Riva, 85, received a nomination for her role in “Amour,” which is also nominated for both best picture and best foreign film.
And 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis became the youngest-ever best actress nominee for her portrayal of Hushpuppy in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”
Both Riva and Wallis are first-time nominees, along with Cooper and Jackman.
The youngest acting nominee in all categories is still Justin Henry, who was eight when he was nominated for supporting actor for “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979), and the oldest remains Gloria Stuart, who was 87 when she received a supporting nomination for “Titanic.”
“Silver Linings Playbook” is the first film to take nominations for best picture, directing, writing and all four acting categories since “Reds” (1981).
In addition to Austria’s entry, “Amour,” foreign film nominees come from Norway (“Kon-Tiki”), Chile (“No”), Denmark (“A Royal Affair”) and Canada (“War Witch”).
The best animated features nominated were Disney’s “Brave,” Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie,” “ParaNorman,” “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” and “Wreck-It Ralph.”
Oscar show host Seth MacFarlane and actress Emma Stone — of the 2011 Oscar-nominated “The Help” — announced the nominations just after 5:30 a.m. in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. It was the first time since 1972 — when Charlton Heston hosted — that a show host took part in the announcements.
MacFarlane, a television writer-producer known for his blunt comic voice, gave a hint that he will not pull his punches at the awards ceremony when he announced the best actress nominations.
“Congratulations. You five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein,” he joked.
The Academy Awards ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 24 at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center. It will be televised live domestically on ABC and in more than 225 foreign countries.
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