Photo courtesy of filmofilia.

BEVERLY HILLS—The nominees for the 85th Annual Academy Awards were announced on Thursday, January 10 by Seth MacFarlane and actress Emma Stone. The duo had great chemistry joking while announcing the nominees.  Leading the pack of all nominees is the picture “Lincoln” with a total of 12 nominations, followed closely behind “Life of Pi” with 11 nominations and “Silver Linings Playbook” with 8 nominations. Competing in the Best Picture race are the following pictures “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Lincoln,” “Les Misérables,” “Life of Pi,” “Amour,” “Django Unchained” and “Argo.”

Contenders for Best Actress include Naomi Watts “The Impossible,” Jessica Chastain “Zero Dark Thirty,” Jennifer Lawrence “Silver Linings Playbook,” Emmanuelle Riva “Amour” and Quvenzhane Wallis “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Missing from this race is Marion Cotillard for “Rust and Bone.”  This is a very interesting race; where it’s wide open with potential.  Amour becomes the oldest person nominated at 85 and Wallis is the youngest at only 9.

Nominees for Best Actor are Daniel Day-Lewis “Lincoln,” Denzel Washington “Flight,” Hugh Jackman “Les Misérables,” Bradley Cooper “Silver Linings Playbook” and Joaquin Phoenix “The Master.” Lewis is considered a front-runner for the prize, and I don’t see anyone close to the taking except perhaps Cooper orPhoenix.

Those vying in the Best Supporting Actress race include Sally Field “Lincoln,” Anne Hathaway “Les Misérables,” Jacki Weaver “Silver Linings Playbook,” Helen Hunt “The Sessions” and Amy Adams “The Master.”  Snubbed in that category is Nicole Kidman who is nominated for a Golden Globe and SAG award for her work in “The Paperboy.”

Up for Best Supporting Actor are Christoph Waltz “Django Unchained,” Phillip Seymour Hoffman “The Master,” Robert De Niro “Silver Linings Playbook,” Alan Arkin “Argo” and Tommy Lee Jones “Lincoln.”  This was a tough category to predict with all the nominees being actors who are winners.  A surprise though is Leonardo DiCaprio which many expected to get a nod for his villainous turn in “Django Unchained.”

Big surprises in the Best Director category, but this year’s nominees include David O. Russell “Silver Linings Playbook,” Ang Lee “Life of Pi,” Steven Spielberg “Lincoln,” Michael Hanake “Amour” and Benh Zeitlin “Beasts of Southern Wild.”  Notable surprises no love for Ben Affleck “Argo,” Kathryn Bigelow “Zero Dark Thirty,” Tom Hooper “Les Misérables” and Quentin Tarantino “Django Unchained.”  With those omissions this field is indeed wide open, where I think it’s a race between Russell and Spielberg.

For Best Original Screenplay the contenders are John Gatniss “Flight,” Mark Boal “Zero Dark Thirty,” Quentin Tarantino “Django Unchained,” Michael Hanake “Amour” and Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola “Moonrise Kingdom.”  For Best Adapted Screenplay the nominees are Lucy Alibar and Behn Zeitlin “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” David Magee “Life of Pi,” David O. Russell “Silver Linings Playbook,” Tony Kushner “Lincoln” and Chris Terrio “Argo.”

The nominees for Best Animated Feature include “Brave,” “ParaNorman,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” and “Frankenweenie.” To check out the full-list of Oscar nominees visit

The 85th Annual Academy Awards will be handed out on Sunday, February 24 at the Dolby Theatre at theHollywood andHighlandCenter live at 5:30 p.m. PST on ABC.  The ceremony will be televised in more than 225 countries worldwide. The awards season is definitely looking a bit more surprising with these Oscar nominations!

By LaDale Anderson