Oscars 2013 Will Lincoln Snuff Out Life Of Pi?

LOS ANGELES (TIP): Torture. Terror. Depression. Revolt. Where’s Uggie the dog when you need him? The 85th Academy Awards season jolted into place on Thursday, as the heaviest number of Oscar nominations — including nods for best picture — went to “Lincoln”, about a president’s struggle with civil war; ” Life of Pi”, about a shipwreck survivor and a tiger; “Silver Linings Playbook”, a comedy, of sorts, about mental illness; and “Les Miserables”, filled with songs of the oppressed. Close behind were “Argo”, about political captivity; “Amour”, a French-language film about death; and “Django Unchained”, about slavery and retribution. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, about a child’s encounters with rising floodwaters in the South, and “Zero Dark Thirty”, about the murky pursuit of a national enemy, also scored heavily and were nominated for best picture.

But the real surprise was a triple snub in the best director category: Neither Kathryn Bigelow, who directed “Zero Dark Thirty”, nor Ben Affleck, who directed “Argo”, nor Quentin Tarantino, who directed “Django Unchained”, were included among the five directing nominees. Those were Steven Spielberg for “Lincoln”, Ang Lee for “Life of Pi”, Michael Haneke, for “Amour”, David O Russell for “Silver Linings Playbook” and Benh Zeitlin for “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” The nominations were announced at the Academy’s Beverly Hills headquarters in an early morning ceremony that paired the actress Emma Stone with the host of this year’s Oscar telecast, Seth MacFarlane.

Hollywood now faces a somewhat longer-than-usual campaign period. A new digital voting system — despite its reported hitches — allowed the Academy to announce nominees two weeks earlier than last year, and more than six weeks before the awards ceremony, which will be broadcast on February 24. “Lincoln,” directed by Steven Spielberg, had gone into the morning as the picture to beat, and it remained a leader, with 12 nominations. But it barely outpaced “Life of Pi”, which beat the expectations by coming up second, with 11 nominations in all, even as ” Zero Dark Thirty,” an early favourite, picked just five. Spielberg’s directing nomination was his seventh (he has won twice), while Daniel Day-Lewis received his fifth best actor nomination, this time for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln. Though no slouch when it comes to importance, “Zero Dark Thirty”, about the pursuit of Osama Bin Laden, may have been hurt by controversy, as several senators and a number of political critics tore into the film for its portrayal of the use of torture. nyt news service.

007 stumbles
again The latest James Bond movie “Skyfall” won five Oscar nominations on Thursday, the highest tally for a 007 picture, but the major categories including best picture once again eluded the franchise. Hopes had been raised that “Skyfall”, the first official Bond movie to make over $1 billion at the box office, would finally make its mark at the Academy Awards at the 23rd time of asking.

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