The nominations for this year’s Oscars are in (thanks Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone for some toe-curling jokes during the announcement). But what do they tell us about the race to the 2013 Academy Awards?
1. It’s a two-horse race
This year’s frontrunners are Steven Spielberg’s presidential drama ‘Lincoln’ (12 nominations) and Ang Lee’s 3D adventure ‘Life of Pi’ (11 nominations). Not far behind are ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and ‘Les Misérables’, with eight nominations each. The torture controversy surrounding Kathryn Bigelow’s hunt for Bin Laden thriller ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ seems to have taken the shine off its chances. While any hopes that ‘Skyfall’ would give Bond its first ever Best Picture nomination have been squarely dashed.
2. The Oscars still love an underdog
Remember ‘The Artist’ sweeping the board last year? This year’s little-film-that-can is ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’. It’s a low-budget American indie set in dirt-poor New Orleans and it’s been nominated for four awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress. Will it win big? We think not… By this time last year, ‘The Artist’ had already built up a steady buzz.
3. A record could be set in the Best Actress category…
The French actress Emmanuelle Riva turns 86 on the same day as the Oscars, February 24. Riva is nominated for Best Actress. If she wins, she’ll make Oscar history as the oldest winner. And if you think that makes her a heartstring-tugging dead cert, consider her fellow nominee: Quvenzhané Wallis. She was just six when she was cast in ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’. If she wins, she’ll be the youngest ever Best Actress: she’s now nine. Both face tough competition from ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ actress Jennifer Lawrence.
4. …and in the Best Actor category
Short of him burning an American flag on live TV, Daniel Day-Lewis has surely got Best Actor all sewn up for his turn as the US’s favourite president in ‘Lincoln’. Which would make him first actor to win three Oscars for Best Actor. Jack Nicholson has three… but one of his is a mere Best Supporting Actor gong.
5. Michael Haneke has broken the subtitles barrier
Okay, so ‘The Master’ didn’t get nearly enough nominations as it should have. But hooray for Michael Haneke. The Austrian master’s films have been shamefully overlooked in the past by the Academy. But his latest, ‘Amour’, a love story about an elderly couple in Paris facing illness and death, has scooped five nominations including Best Director, Best Picture and Best Actress. And if he doesn’t win one of those there’s always the consolation prize (we’re kidding) of Best Film in a Foreign Language. We’ll be glued to Haneke’s hilarious, sadly spoof, twitter account @Michael_Haneke until the Oscars.
The Oscars ceremony takes place on February 24. Read more about the Oscar nominations.
Predict who will win best picture, director, actor, actress, supporting actor and supporting actress below. Nail all six and you’ll win £5 off your first purchase with Time Out Offers, making the city’s fun stuff so affordable, you’ll feel like a Hollywood star: