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9 Films Vie for Best Picture Oscar; 'Lincoln' Tops With 12 Nominations

Lincoln Close Up - H 2013
Dreamworks
Lincoln

Seth MacFarlane will host the Oscar show when it airs live by ABC from Hollywood's Dolby Theatre on Feb. 24.

With 12 nominations, Lincoln led the pack as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated nine movies for its best picture Oscar on Thursday morning. For their 85th Academy Awards, Academy voters embraced a wildly eclectic list of films that included the French-language drama Amour and the indie breakout Beasts of the Southern Wild as well as Argo, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Silvers Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty.

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In a year that appeared to embrace extremes, the nominees for best actress ranged from Emmanuelle Riva, who plays a woman facing the end of her life in Amour and who at 85 is the oldest actress to be nominated in the category, to Quvenzhane Wallis, who plays a young girl encountering a mysterious world in Beasts and who at age 9 is the youngest nominee in the category. The category also includes Jessica Chastain for her relentlessly driven CIA agent in Zero, Jennifer Lawrence for her not-so-merry widow in Playbook and Naomi Watts for playing a mother battling the elements in The Impossible.

The nominations included some major omissions as well. While the musical Les Miserables received eight noms, Tom Hooper did not make the cut in the best directing category. Similarly, Zero's Kathryn Bigelow, an Oscar winner three years ago for The Hurt Locker, also was among the missing in that category, as was Argo's Ben Affleck. Instead, the directors branch nominated Amour's Michael Haneke, Beasts' Benh Zeitlin, Pi's Ang Lee, Lincoln's Steven Spielberg and Playbook's David O. Russell.

Surprises popped up in other categories, too: Stop-motion dominated the animation category; the technique was used in Disney's Frankenweenie, Sony and Aardman Animation's The Pirates! Band of Misfits and Focus and Laika's ParaNorman. The nominees also include Pixar/Disney's Brave and Disney's Wreck-It Ralph. But DreamWorks Animation's Rise of the Guardians failed to secure a nomination.

In addition to Amour, the Cannes Palme d'Or winner that totaled an impressive five nominations, the nominees for best foreign-language film are Norway's Kon-Tiki, Chile's No, Denmark's A Royal Affair and Canada's War Witch. But France's The Intouchables, a huge worldwide hit, missed the cut.

Although at the beginning of this awards season, it looked as if studio fare might dominate, in the end, the major nominations represented a mix of studio and specialty company releases. Fox (Pi), Sony (with Annapurna's Zero), Warners (with Stage 16's Argo), Universal (with Working Title's Les Mis) and Disney, as the distributor of DreamWorks and Participant's Lincoln, were all represented. Fox Searchlight had an entry in Beasts; Sony Pictures Classics (which also received two foreign-language and two feature doc noms) fielded Amour; and the Weinstein Co., exhibiting some real awards-season muscle, was repped by both Django and Playbook as well as foreign-language nominee Kon-Tiki.

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Acting nominations clustered around a number of the leading best picture contenders. Lincoln's 12 noms included mentions for lead actor Daniel Day-Lewis, supporting actor Tommy Lee Jones and supporting actress Sally Field. Playbook, with eight noms, scored in all four acting categories: Bradley Cooper was nominated for his lead performance as a bipolar man opposite best actress nominee Lawrence, and Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver, who play the parents of Cooper's character, earned supporting noms. Playbook is the first film to receive noms in all four acting categories as well as picture, directing and writing since 1981's Reds.

The Master's three nominations all came in the acting categories: Joaquin Phoenix was nominated as lead actor for his post-World War II drifter, and Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams, who play a couple heading up a Scientology-like cult, took home supporting noms. In the case of Les Mis, Hugh Jackman was nominated as best actor for his redemption-seeking song-and-dance turn, while Anne Hathaway was nominated as supporting actress for her tragic performance as a fallen woman.

Rounding out the list of best actor nominees is two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington, who plays an alcoholic airline pilot in Flight. The ranks of supporting actors also includes Oscar winners Alan Arkin, who appears as a Hollywood producer in Argo, and Christoph Waltz, who plays a bounty hunter in Django Unchained. Oscar winner Helen Hunt received a supporting actress nomination for playing a sex surrogate in The Sessions, but her co-star John Hawkes, who many expected to show up in the best actor category, did not collect a corresponding nomination.

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Although Pi didn't register in any of the acting categories, it still managed to amass the second-highest number of nominations with 11. In addition to Lee's directing nomination, it picked up an adapted screenplay nom for David Magee, song and score nominations and technical noms ranging from its cinematography to its visual effects.

Three of the best director nominees also did double duty in the screenplay categories.

In the original screenplay lineup, Amour's Haneke was nominated along with Django's Quentin Tarantino, Flight's John Gatins, Moonrise Kingdom's Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola and Zero's Mark Boal. For adapted screenplay, Zeitlin was nominated along with his co-writer Lucy Alibar for their on Beasts, and Russell was nominated for Playbook. The category's other nominees are Argo's Chris Terrio and Lincoln's Tony Kushner as well as Pi's Magee.

The respected cinematographer Roger Deakins, who has earned nine previous nominations without a win, picked up his 10th for his globe-trotting work on the James Bond pic, Skyfall. The category's other contenders are Anna Karenina's Seamus McGarvey, Django's Robert Richardson, Pi's Claudio Miranda and Lincoln's Janusz Kaminski, who has won two Oscars for Spielberg's Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan.

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While Skyfall fell short in its bid for a best picture nomination, the movie did pull together five noms overall, including mentions for Thomas Newman's score, its title song by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth, sound editing by Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers and sound mixing by Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson.

Composer John Williams, who already boasts more nominations than any other living person, extended his lead to 48 with his nom for Lincoln. In addition to Williams and Newman, best score nominees are Karenina's Dario Marianelli, Argo's Alexandre Desplat and Pi's Mychael Danna.

Dressing Snow White did the trick for two of the nominated costume designers: Eiko Ishioka received a posthumous nomination for her work on Mirror Mirror, and Colleen Atwood made the list for a 10th time for Snow White and the Huntsman (she has three Oscars). Their fellow nominees are Jacqueline Durran for Karenina, Paco Delgado for Les Mis and Joanna Johnston for Lincoln.

Sony Pictures Classics, which is distributing two of the foreign-language nominees, Amour and No, also was represented by two of the five feature documentary nominees: The Gatekeepers, which is built around interviews with former heads of the Israeli security agency, and Searching for Sugar Man, which tells the story of a singer/songwriter who became a star in South Africa even while he lived in anonymity in Detroit. The other feature docs are 5 Broken Cameras, about a Palestinian farmer who resisted Israeli forces; How to Survive a Plague, which recounts how activist groups like ACT UP fought the AIDS epidemic; and The Invisible War, which examines rape within the U.S. military.

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Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone unveiled the nominations at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills early Thursday morning. MacFarlane, who will host the Oscar ceremony Feb. 24, is only the second Oscar host to take part in the nominations announcements, following Charlton Heston in 1972. In the midst of the announcements, he also learned that he's been nominated for his first potential Oscar for having written the lyrics for the song "Everybody Needs a Best Friend," music by Walter Murphy, which was included in MacFarlane's hit summer comedy Ted.

The Oscar ceremony will be broadcast live by ABC from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Find a complete list of nominees below.

Performance by an actor in a leading role

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

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

*   Alan Arkin in "Argo"
*   Robert De Niro in "Silver Linings Playbook"
*   Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master"
*   Tommy Lee Jones in "Lincoln"
*   Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained"

Performance by an actress in a leading role

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

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

*   Amy Adams in "The Master"
*   Sally Field in "Lincoln"
*   Anne Hathaway in "Les Miserables"
*   Helen Hunt in "The Sessions"
*   Jacki Weaver in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Best animated feature film of the year

*   "Brave," Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
*   "Frankenweenie," Tim Burton
*   "ParaNorman," Sam Fell and Chris Butler
*   "The Pirates! Band of Misfits," Peter Lord
*   "Wreck-It Ralph," Rich Moore

Achievement in cinematography

*   "Anna Karenina," Seamus McGarvey
*   "Django Unchained," Robert Richardson
*   "Life of Pi," Claudio Miranda
*   "Lincoln," Janusz Kaminski
*   "Skyfall," Roger Deakins

Achievement in costume design

*   "Anna Karenina," Jacqueline Durran
*   "Les Miserables," Paco Delgado
*   "Lincoln," Joanna Johnston
*   "Mirror Mirror," Eiko Ishioka
*   "Snow White and the Huntsman," Colleen Atwood

Achievement in directing

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

Best documentary feature

*   "5 Broken Cameras," Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
*   "The Gatekeepers” (nominees to be determined)
*   "How to Survive a Plague" (nominees to be determined)
*   "The Invisible War" (nominees to be determined)
*   "Searching for Sugar Man" (nominees to be determined)

Best documentary short subject

*   "Inocente," Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
*   "Kings Point," Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider
*   "Mondays at Racine," Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan
*   "Open Heart," Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
*   "Redemption," Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill

Achievement in film editing

*   "Argo," William Goldenberg
*   "Life of Pi," Tim Squyres
*   "Lincoln," Michael Kahn
*   "Silver Linings Playbook," Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
*   "Zero Dark Thirty," Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg

Best foreign language film of the year

*   "Amour," Austria
*   "Kon-Tiki," Norway
*   "No," Chile
*   "A Royal Affair," Denmark
*   "War Witch," Canada

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

*   "Hitchcock, "Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
*   "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
*   "Les Miserables," Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (original score)

*   "Anna Karenina," Dario Marianelli
*   "Argo," Alexandre Desplat
*   "Life of Pi," Mychael Danna
*   "Lincoln," John Williams
*   "Skyfall," Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (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 Miserables"; music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Best motion picture of the year

*   "Amour" (nominees to be determined)
*   "Argo," Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, producers
*   "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, producers
*   "Django Unchained," Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, producers
*   "Les Miserables," Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, producers
*   "Life of Pi," Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, producers
*   "Lincoln," Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, producers
*   "Silver Linings Playbook," Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, producers
*   "Zero Dark Thirty," Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, producers

Achievement in production design

*   "Anna Karenina," production design: Sarah Greenwood; set decoration: Katie Spencer
*   "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," production design: Dan Hennah; set decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright
*   "Les Miserables," production design: Eve Stewart; set decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson
*   "Life of Pi," production design: David Gropman; set decoration: Anna Pinnock
*   "Lincoln," production design: Rick Carter; set decoration: Jim Erickson

Best animated short film

*   "Adam and Dog," Minkyu Lee
*   "Fresh Guacamole," PES
*   "Head Over Heels," Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly
*   "Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare,' " David Silverman
*   "Paperman," John Kahrs

Best live-action short film

*   "Asad," Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura
*   "Buzkashi Boys," Sam French and Ariel Nasr
*   "Curfew," Shawn Christensen
*   "Death of a Shadow" (Dood van een Schaduw), Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele
*   "Henry," Yan England

Achievement in sound editing

*   "Argo," Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn
*   "Django Unchained," Wylie Stateman
*   "Life of Pi," Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton
*   "Skyfall," Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers
*   "Zero Dark Thirty," Paul N.J. Ottosson

Achievement in sound mixing

*   "Argo," John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia
*   "Les Miserables," Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes
*   "Life of Pi," Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin
*   "Lincoln," Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins
*   "Skyfall," Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson

Achievement in visual effects

*   "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
*   "Life of Pi," Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
*   "Marvel's The Avengers," Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
*   "Prometheus," Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
*   "Snow White and the Huntsman," Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson

Adapted screenplay

*   "Argo," screenplay by Chris Terrio
*   "Beasts of the Southern Wild," screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
*   "Life of Pi," screenplay by David Magee
*   "Lincoln," screenplay by Tony Kushner
*   "Silver Linings Playbook," screenplay by David O. Russell

Original screenplay

*   "Amour," written by Michael Haneke
*   "Django Unchained," written by Quentin Tarantino
*   "Flight," written by John Gatins
*   "Moonrise Kingdom," written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
*   "Zero Dark Thirty," written by Mark Boal