Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Steven Spielberg's Civil War epic Lincoln leads pack of Academy Award nominees

  • Print

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Steven Spielberg has matched his personal best at the Academy Awards: 12 nominations for his Civil War saga Lincoln, including best picture, director and acting honours for Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones.

That ties the 12 nominations for his 1993 drama Schindler's List, which won seven Oscars, including best picture and director.

Also among the nine nominees for best picture Thursday: the old-age love story Amour; the Iran hostage thriller Argo; the independent hit Beasts of the Southern Wild; the slave-revenge narrative Django Unchained; the musical Les Misérables; the shipwreck story Life of Pi; the lost-souls romance Silver Linings Playbook; and the Osama bin Laden manhunt chronicle Zero Dark Thirty.

Life of Pi surprisingly ran second with 11 nominations, ahead of Zero Dark Thirty and Les Misérables, which had been considered potential front-runners.

"I thought we'd get a few, so this is really great for us," said Life of Pi director Ang Lee. "Eleven really surprised me. But it's a good surprise. I'm very happily surprised."

Surprising snubs

More surprising were snubs in the directing category, where three favourites missed out: Ben Affleck for Argo and past Oscar winners Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty and Tom Hooper for Les Misérables. Bigelow was the first woman ever the win the directing Oscar for 2009's The Hurt Locker, while Hooper won a year later for The King's Speech.

The best-picture category also had surprising omissions. The acclaimed first-love tale Moonrise Kingdom was left out and only got one nomination, for original screenplay. Also snubbed for best-picture was The Master, a critical favourite that did manage three acting nominations, for Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Two-time winner Spielberg earned his seventh directing nomination, and also in the mix are past winner Lee for Life of Pi and past nominee David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook. The other slots went to surprise picks who are first-time nominees: Michael Haneke for his French-language Amour and Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Oscar directing contenders often are identical or at least usually line up closely with those for the Directors Guild of America Awards. But only Spielberg and Lee made both lists this time. The Directors Guild also nominated Affleck, Bigelow and Hooper, but not Haneke, Russell or Zeitlin.

Haneke's Amour also was a best-picture surprise. The film, which won the top prize at last May's Cannes Film Festival, mainly had been considered a favourite in the foreign-language category, where it also was nominated. Amour had five nominations, including original screenplay and best-actress for Emmanuelle Riva.

"It is fulfilling to discover that a film has found the audience and critical acclaim that Amour has garnered," Haneke said. "I have been very fortunate on both those fronts, but it is especially rewarding to discover that a film has found favour among one's industry peers who know, in particular, the effort that goes into getting a film -- any film -- made."

The year's second-biggest box-office hit, The Dark Knight Rises, was shut out entirely, even for visual effects. The omission of its predecessor, The Dark Knight, from best-picture consideration for 2008 was largely responsible for the expansion of the Oscar category from five nominees to 10 the following year. The Dark Knight had earned eight nominations and won two Oscars.

It was a good day for Canadians, however. Rebelle (War Witch) from Montreal's Kim Nguyen scored a nomination in the best foreign-language film category, while Toronto-based composer Mychael Danna is up for best song and best original score for his work on Life of Pi.

Canada also got a pair of nominations in the best live-action short category: Halifax-raised producer Ariel Nasr for Buzkashi Boys and Quebec actor Yan England for Henry.

Chronicling Abraham Lincoln's final months as he engineers passage of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, Lincoln stars best-actor contender Day-Lewis in a monumental performance as the 16th president, supporting-actress nominee Field as the notoriously headstrong Mary Todd Lincoln and supporting-actor prospect Jones as abolitionist firebrand Thaddeus Stevens.

Joining Day-Lewis in the best-actor field are Bradley Cooper as a psychiatric patient trying to get his life back together in Silver Linings Playbook; Hugh Jackman as Victor Hugo's tragic hero Jean Valjean in Les Misérables; Phoenix as a Navy vet who falls in with a cult in The Master; and Denzel Washington as a boozy airline pilot in Flight.

Cooper had been a bit of a longshot. John Hawkes, a potential best-actor favourite, missed out for his role as a man in an iron lung aiming to lose his virginity in The Sessions.

Nominated for best actress are Jessica Chastain as a CIA operative hunting bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty; Jennifer Lawrence as a troubled young widow struggling to heal in Silver Linings Playbook; Riva as an ailing woman tended by her husband in Amour; Quvenzhane Wallis as a spirited girl on the Louisiana delta in Beasts of the Southern Wild; and Naomi Watts as a mother caught up in a devastating tsunami in The Impossible.

Age range

Best actress had a wild age range: Riva is the oldest nominee ever in the category at 85, while Wallis is the youngest ever at 9.

Along with Field, supporting-actress nominees are Adams as a cult leader's devoted wife in The Master; Anne Hathaway as an outcast mother reduced to prostitution in Les Misérables; Helen Hunt as a sex surrogate in The Sessions; and Jacki Weaver as an unstable man's doting mom in Silver Linings Playbook.

Besides Jones, the supporting-actor contenders are Alan Arkin as a wily Hollywood producer in Argo; Robert De Niro as a football-obsessed patriarch in Silver Linings Playbook; Hoffman as a dynamic cult leader in The Master; and Christoph Waltz as a genteel bounty hunter in Django Unchained.

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, who will host the Feb. 24 Oscars, joined Emma Stone to announce the Oscar lineup, and he scored a nomination himself. He's up for original song for Everybody Needs a Best Friend, the tune he co-wrote for his big-screen directing debut Ted.

"That's kind of cool I got nominated," MacFarlane deadpanned at the announcement. "I get to go to the Oscars."

Walt Disney predictably dominated the animated-feature category with three of the five nominees: Brave, Frankenweenie and Wreck-It Ralph. Also nominated were ParaNorman and The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

Lincoln is Spielberg's best awards prospect since his critical peak in the 1990s, when he won best-picture and directing Oscars for Schindler's List and a second directing Oscar for Saving Private Ryan.

Spielberg's latest film could vault him, Day-Lewis and Field to new heights among Hollywood's super-elite of multiple Oscar winners.

A best-picture win for Lincoln would be Spielberg's second, while another directing win would be his third, a feat achieved only by Frank Capra and William Wyler, who each earned three directing Oscars, and John Ford, who received four.

Lincoln also was the ninth best-picture nominee Spielberg has directed, moving him into a tie for second-place with Ford. Only Wyler directed more best-picture nominees, with 13.

Day-Lewis and Field both have two lead-acting Oscars already, he for My Left Foot and There Will Be Blood and she for Norma Rae and Places in the Heart. A third Oscar for either would put them in rare company with previous triple winners Ingrid Bergman, Walter Brennan, Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. Katharine Hepburn is the record-holder with four acting Oscars.

An Oscar for Jones would be his second supporting-actor prize; he previously won for The Fugitive.

Lincoln composer John Williams -- whose five Oscars include three for the music of three earlier Spielberg films, Jaws, E.T. the Extra-terrestrial and Schindler's List -- earned his 43rd nomination for best score, extending his all-time record in the category.

The Oscars feature a best-picture field that ranges from five to 10 films depending on a complex formula of ballots from the 5,856 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Nominations in most categories are decided by ballots from members of specific academy branches -- such as directors, writers or actors. All members are eligible to vote for best-picture nominees, and the entire academy can vote in every category for the actual Oscars, whose balloting begins Feb. 8.

Winners for the 85th Oscars will be announced Feb. 24 at a ceremony aired live on ABC from Hollywood's Dolby Theatre.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 11, 2013 D3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jim Flaherty remembered at visitation as irreplaceable

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / Jan 10  2011 ‚Äì WEB STDUP ‚Äì Frosty morning at -15 degrees C , in pic frost covers the the Nellie McClung statue  on the MB Legislature grounds at 7am
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google