"Lincoln," Steven Spielberg's historical biopic about the passing of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, is the top nominee at the Academy Awards with 12 bids including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. "Lincoln" has swept the nominations throughout the season, also receiving the most bids at SAG, Critics' Choice, the Golden Globes, and BAFTA. It is the director's most nominated film since "Schindler's List" in 1993.
Though Spielberg has three Oscars (Director and Picture for "Schindler's," Director for "Saving Private Ryan"), no actor has ever won for his films. This year three will have a chance to break that losing streak: Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actor (Tommy Lee Jones), and Best Supporting Actress (Sally Field).
"Life of Pi" follows close behind with 11 nominations, including Picture and Director (Ang Lee). Of the top Oscar nominees, it is the only one shut out of the acting categories, but the visually bold shipwreck drama earned nods in multiple craft categories, including Cinematography, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.
"Silver Linings Playbook" had a surprisingly strong showing with eight bids, including Picture, Director (David O. Russell), and Adapted Screenplay. It is also nominated in all four acting races, including a surprise Supporting Actress nod for Jacki Weaver.
Tom Hooper's musical adaptation "Les Miserables" earned eight nominations, well south of the 11 we forecast. It's nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Hugh Jackman), and Best Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway); Hooper was snubbed in the Best Director race.
Kathryn Bigelow made history in 2009 by becoming the first woman to win Best Director (for "The Hurt Locker"), but she won't have a chance to repeat for "Zero Dark Thirty." She was left out of that category this year. The film nevertheless earned five nominations, including Picture, Actress (Jessica Chastain), and Original Screenplay.
Ben Affleck was another surprise omission. His latest film, "Argo," is up for a better-than-expected seven awards, including Picture, Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin), and Adapted Screenplay, but Affleck himself failed to earn a Directing nod despite much speculation that he could actually win.
Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" did better than expected, with five nominations including Picture and Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz). Tarantino was not nominated for Director, but earned a bid for Original Screenplay.
"Amour" earned a nomination for Foreign Language Film and is the expected frontrunner in that race. It is also up for Actress (Emmanuelle Riva) and Original Screenplay, as we predicted. But it also earned another pair of major surprise bids: Picture and Director (Michael Haneke).
Other notable snubs include Maggie Smith ("Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"), John Hawkes ("The Sessions") and Marion Cotillard ("Rust and Bone"). France's top-grossing "The Intouchables" was snubbed for Foreign Language Film, as was Cristian Mungiu's "Beyond the Hills."
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