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`Beasts,’ `Playbook’ surprise in Oscar nominations

January 10, 2013 - Andy Gray
Voters had a few surprises for Oscar watchers this morning when the 85th Academy Award nominations were announced.

“Lincoln” led the pack with 12 nominations as expected, but some of its strongest challengers for Best Picture took a hit.

Traditionally, Best Picture and Best Director go to the same film. At the very least, the Best Picture winner almost always garners a directing nomination. But neither Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty” nor Tom Hooper for “Les Miserables” are nominated for Best Director. Neither is Ben Affleck, whose nomination has been a foregone conclusion since September.

“Silver Linings Playbook” became the first movie since “Reds” to get nominations for Best Picture and Best Director and in all four acting categories. That showing means it has to get serious consideration by those trying to predict a Best Picture winner (then again, “Reds” didn’t win Best Picture).

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” also got more love than expected from voters with director Benh Zeitlin nabbing a slot from his more famous colleagues, and Quvenzhane Wallis becoming the youngest person ever nominated for an acting Academy Award (she was 6 when the movie was filmed).

I was wrong in predicting that voters would decide she was too young to be nominated. I also thought that “Skyfall” might get a few additional nominations from the Anglophiles in the Academy.

But I didn’t do too badly in my predictions. All nine Best Picture nominees were among the 10 films I listed. I got 4 of 5 right for Best Actor and was correct in guessing that John Hawkes’ place among the frontrunners was wavering (however, I thought Richard Gere, not Joaquin Phoenix would get the fifth slot).

I also was 4 for 5 in the Best Actress category, picking Marion Cotillard (“Rust and Bone”) over Wallis, and I had the same percentage in Best Supporting Actor because I wrongly assumed that the “Django Unchained” actors would split the vote and keep any of them from being recognized.

Click the link to the right to see the complete list of nominees.


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