Hollywood’s favourite season is upon us: the one where it gets to celebrate itself, with round upon round of red carpets, shining statues, never-ending speechs and tears of joy. Today was one of the biggest days of the awards season, where we hear who has been nominated for the 85th Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, which are handed out at the grand-daddy of ceremonies on February 24. Emma Stone joined Oscar host Seth MacFarlane at the Samuel Goldwin Theatre in Hollywood at a painful 5.30am LA time to make the announcements.
Lincoln led the pack with 12 nominations cutting right across the categories, including best picture, best actor for Daniel-Day Lewis, best supporting actress for Sally Field and best director for Steven Spielberg. They also scored for costumes and make-up.
Life of Pi followed with 11 nominations, scoring in the sound and visual fields but failing to get any nominations for acting. Oscar winner Ang Lee is nominated for best director; there are nominations for film editing, cinematography, music, original song, sound editing and mixing, writing and visual effects.
With eight nominations, drama Silver Linings Playbook swept the acting nominations, with nominations in every possible acting field. Jennifer Lawrence scoring her second nomination following Winter’s Bone; Bradley Cooper has his first nomination. Robert DeNiro is nominated for best supporting actor -- all actors nominated in that category have won Oscars before. Jackie Weaver took a best supporting actress nomination.
Historical musical Les Miserables did well, as expected, with eight nominations, including supporting and lead acting nods for Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman respectively. The film also got nominations for costumes and make-up, best song for Suddenly.
Oscar winner Ben Affleck’s Iran drama Argo took seven nominations, including best supporting actor for Alan Arkin, writing, and editing.
The best actress field has the youngest and oldest nominees ever, with Quvenzhané Wallis (9) of Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour’s Emmanuelle Riva (85). Amour, a film written and director by Austrian Michel Haenke, was also nominated for best picture and best foreign language feature. Beasts of the Southern Wild, which featured non-professional actors, had nods for best adapted screenplay and direction for Benh Zeitlin.
Flight got a best actor nomination for Denzel Washington for his portrayal as a drunk pilot, as well as best original screenplay.
James Bond -- the 50th anniversary of which will celebrated in a feature at the Oscars ceremony -- had one nomination, for best song for Skyfall. That means it’s hoped nominee and new mum Adele, who wrote the song with her frequent collaborator Paul Epworth, will be present.
Also scoring multiple nominations were cult drama The Master with 6, including best actor for Joaquin Phoenix and best supporting actor for Phillip Seymour Hoffman; Bin Laden drama Zero Dark Thirty with six, including best actress for Jessica Chastain (her second Oscar nomination) and best original screenplay; and five for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, including original screenplay, best picture and best supporting actor for Christophe Waltz (who won his first and only Oscar with Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds).
Among the snubs, Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman to win a best directing Oscar for The Hurt Locker, was not nominated for her work in Zero Dark Thirty. Perhaps she won’t feel too bad: MacFarlane described the award as “the five people best at sitting in a chair and watching other people make a movie”. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” from multiple Oscar winner Peter Jackson, which has underwhelmed critics, was not nominated in any of the major categories. It took three nominations, for production design, visual effects and make-up. The Impossible, the tsunami drama, got just one, an acting nod for Naomi Watts. Similarly, Wes Anderson’s highly-rated Moonrise Kingdom, which is nominated in several categories at Sunday’s Golden Globes, only received a best original script nomination.
MacFarlane will be hoping this presenting effort -- a rare instance where the Oscar night presenter also reads out the nominees -- brings the young audience the Oscars live telecast so badly needs. In recent years it has been criticised for being staid, scripted, overlong and out-of-touch, so it’s no surprised they’ve recruited the witty and often raunch MacFarlane to host. He has at least has two things to bet on. If his debut presenting the awards flops, he can still hope for a win: he is nominated in the best original song category for “Everybody Needs A Friend” from his film “Ted”.