Oscars: 'American Hustle,' 'Gravity' Score 10 Nominations Each


Warner Bros.' space drama Gravity became an out-of-this-world box office hit when it opened in theaters in October. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron, the pic scored a stunning $55.8 million from 3,575 theaters, setting a new October opening weekend record. It surpassed Paranormal Activity 3's $52.6 million debut in 2011. It went on to pass the $400 million mark at the global box office to become October's highest grossing live-action film release of all time. It's earned $652.3 million worldwide to date.

"12 Years a Slave," with nine nominations of its own, also joins the elite circle of nine best picture nominees.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated nine films for best picture on Thursday, with the '70s crime caper American Hustle and the lost-in-space tale Gravity leading the pack with 10 nominations each and the antebellum drama 12 Years a Slave following closely with nine. Also nominated for best picture are Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Nebraska, Philomena and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Sony's Hustle scored big by securing a spot in each of the acting categories for its ensemble -- best actor Christian Bale, actress Amy Adams, supporting actor Bradley Cooper and supporting actress Jennifer Lawrence -- along with a directing nom for David O. Russell. In a rare feat, it repeated the success that Russell had last year with Silver Linings Playbook, which also placed in all four acting categories and went on to earn an Oscar for Lawrence. But Russell did even better this year, since Silver Linings had eight nominations, while Hustle added to Silver Linings' tally by picking up noms for costume design and production design as well as best picture, original screenplay and film editing.

STORY: Complete List of Nominees

Warners' Gravity took home only one acting nomination -- for Sandra Bullock's tour-de-force performance as a woman lost in space. (Her co-star George Clooney didn't make the supporting actor cut.) But in addition to best picture and a directing nomination for Alfonso Cuaron, it swept through the crafts categories, with mentions for cinematography, film editing, score, production design, sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects.

Since its debut at the Telluride Film Festival on Aug. 30, Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, from Fox Searchlight, has been considered one of the season's awards frontrunners, and it didn't disappoint. In addition to its best picture nom and McQueen's first nomination as director, it collected three acting nominations: Chiwetel Ejiofor for actor, Michael Fassbender for supporting actor and Lupita Nyong'o for supporting actress. It also figured in the categories of editing, adapted screenplay and production design. Brad Pitt will also have a seat at the Oscars, since he's among the producers nominated for the film.

Low-key films like Nebraska, the bittersweet tale of a Midwestern father and son coming to terms with each year, and Her, a futuristic love story about a man and his computer-operating system, also caught the Academy's attention. 

Alexander Payne, who helmed Nebraska, received his third nomination for best director, where he will compete with Russell, Cuaron, McQueen and The Wolf of Wall Street's Martin Scorsese. His inclusion on that list meant that Captain Phillips' Paul Greengrass -- who was nominated by the Directors Guild of America along with Russell, Cuaron, McQueen and Scorsese -- failed to secure a spot. With a total of six noms, Nebraska also was recognized for the work of best actor Bruce Dern, supporting actress June Squibb, Bob Nelson's original screenplay and its cinematography.

PHOTOS: Oscar Nominees

With five nominations, Her made the best picture circle, and that meant that Annapurna Pictures' Megan Ellison earned two nominations, for both Her and American Hustle, making her the first woman to earn two best picture noms in the same year. While the film's director, Spike Jonze, didn't receive a directing nom, he was cited for both the movie's screenplay and original song.

Dallas Buyers Club, the drama about one man's unconventional battle with AIDS, also turned in a strong showing. In addition to its best picture nomination, it collected noms for actor Matthew McConaughey and supporting actor Jared Leto, as well as original screenplay, film editing and makeup and hairstyling.

While some had thought Scorsese's drug-fueled Wall Street might prove too rough for the Academy's taste, that didn't prove to be the case. The movie totaled five noms -- for picture, director, its screenplay by Terence Winter, best actor Leonardo DiCaprio and supporting actor Jonah Hill.

In a year that saw a lot of films rewarded for acting quartets, trios and duos, the dysfunctional family drama August: Osage County added to that list, as Meryl Streep was nominated for best actress for her monstrous mom -- it's the 18th nom in her record-setting career -- and Julia Roberts got a nom for supporting actress for playing her long-suffering daughter.

STORY: Who Was Snubbed

As had been widely predicted, Cate Blanchett was nominated for her turn as a society woman down on her luck in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine -- which also brought Allen an original screenplay nom, his 16th writing nom -- and she was joined by Sally Hawkins, who plays her blue-collar sister in the supporting actress category.

In something of a surprise, Tom Hanks wasn't included for playing the title role in Captain Phillips -- that film's one acting nomination went to newcomer Barkhad Abdi. Philomena also registered a solo acting nom -- for Judi Dench, who plays a woman who goes in search of her long-lost son.