This year’s nominations for the 85th Academy Awards have a distinctly patriotic feel with Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln receiving twelve nominations. However, in contention are survivalist film Life of Pi with eleven nominations and all-singing (but no dancing) Les Miserables with eight.
What is unsurprising is that Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s big screen biopic of the former US president starring Daniel Day-Lewis, will be up there in the running for Best Picture. Also nominated in this category, as expected, was the long-awaited British adaptation of the hit West End and Broadway musical Les Miserables, along with Argo, Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty among others. Perhaps the surprise nomination was for romantic comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook.
Considering that the Best Director gong has been awarded hand-in-hand with Best Picture eight out of ten times in the last decade, it’s a fairly reasonable assumption to anticipate a repeat this year. With the films of the shortlisted directors (Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, Michael Haneke, David O Russell and Benh Zeitlin) featuring in the Best Picture category, all five must fancy their chances. Given the Academy’s reticence towards big budget blockbusters, it is unsurprising that Sam Mendes (Skyfall) did not feature despite the pre-nominations chat; what is more surprising is that neither Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) nor Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) were shortlisted for this award.
Best Acting Awards
In terms of acting awards it’s stretching the imagination to expect Daniel Day-Lewis’ name not to be pulled from the Best Actor envelope on awards night for his role as US president Abraham Lincoln and certainly pre-Oscars speculation is firmly pointing in his direction. Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) may well battle it out in the ladies’ category, although Naomi Watts (The Impossible) may well do the impossible and steal the award away. And let’s not ignore the amazing achievement of Quvenzhane Wallis who, at the age of nine, is the youngest ever nominee for the Best Actress award for Beasts of the Southern Wild.
In the Best Supporting categories, Anne Hathaway’s teary eyed performance of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ is already leading many to predict success on Oscars night and the 30 year-old revealed a rather hysterical reaction to the news of her nomination afterwards. But she will face stiff competition from, in particular, Sally Field for her role as Mrs Abraham Lincoln.
In the Best Supporting Actor category the race is wide open as all five nominees have celebrated Oscar success before. All will be revealed on 24th February.
Picture: Teb Nad – Fotolia