Nominations, please! Literally…

85th-academy-awards

As the sun was just beginning to rise on this early morning, actors, directors, and filmmakers alike anxiously watched the 85th Annual Academy Awards’ live simulcast to announce the new bunch of nominees. Emma Stone, who had a fairly big year with The Amazing Spiderman and the recently released, Gangster Squad, co-hosted with this years Oscars’ host, Seth MacFarlane, which marked the first time since Charlton Heston’s turn in 1972 where the year’s host declared the nominees as well. Saying only the major categories, many shocks, snubs, and pleasant surprises filled the California hosted room of film. Check them out below!

Best Picture
1. Amour
2. Argo
3. Beasts of the Southern Wild
4. Django Unchained
5. Les Misérables
6. Life of Pi
7. Lincoln
8. Silver Linings Playbook
9. Zero Dark Thirty

Most of the inclusions, including the total number of nine nominations, weren’t all too surprising. Even Amour, although not included in either of my Takes, or many others, isn’t too off the wall considering it picked up a lot of prizes for Best Picture recently. Despite the fact that it’s a foreign film, it got a lot of attention this year. Moonrise Kingdom, which only gained an Original Screenplay nod, and The Master, picking up three acting noms in the acting categories, are most likely the biggest snubs of the bunch.

Best Directorben-affleck-directing-argo
1. Michael Haneke – Amour
2. Behn Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild
3. Ang Lee – Life of Pi
4. Stephen Spielberg – Lincoln
5. David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook

And here it is. The one that every blogger, filmmaker, and critic have raved about since they set their eyes on the nominations this morning. Where are Ben Affleck andKathryn Bigelow in 2012 Kathryn Bigelow, the two tour de forces considered to be the top contenders of the 2012 year of movies? Not on many’s radars, apparently. Instead, Haneke and Zeitlin (who ended up being a personal, pleasant surprise, although the previously mentioned really disappoint me) beat the other two out. Tom Hooper and Les Mis’ mixed reviews haven’t given him much of a “snub” title, especially due to the outrage put forth by Affleck and Bigelow’s cuts. This could really affect the outcome of this year’s Best Picture win since many penned Argo and Zero Dark Thirty as top favorites for the top prize and since only three films in past have gone on to win it without garnering a Director nod (such Driving Miss Daisy), it’s chances could dwindle.

Best Actor
1. Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
2. Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
3. Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables
4. Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
5. Denzel Washington – Flight

This category probably holds the second biggest shock: no John Hawkes for his turn in The Sessions? Some considered Day-Lewis’ main competition to be Hawkes and with the likes of Denzel Washington’s takeover (or even Joaquin Phoenix, perhaps), it now seems that President Lincoln has this win in the bag.

Best Actressamour-emmanuelle-riva-michael-haneke
1. Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
2. Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
3. Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
4. Quevenzhané Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
5. Naomi Watts – The Impossible

Not any surprises here (in fact, this is the only category out of my Take 2 that I got all the guesses correct). Something notable though: this batch includes the oldest Best Actress nominee in the history of the ceremonies, 85 year old Riva, and also the youngest ever nominee, being 9 year old newcomer, Wallis.

Best Supporting Actor
1. Alan Arkin – Argo
2. Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
3. Phillip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
4. Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
5. Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained

Most were predictable, except the last spot which was a toss up between Christoph Waltz (who many consider to be a more leading role of Django) and Leonardo DiCaprio for the same film. Waltz, a recent winner for another Tarantino film, Inglorious Basterds, managed to top the yet-to-win DiCaprio.

Best Supporting Actress
1. Amy Adams – The Master
2. Sally Field – Lincoln
3. Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables
4. Helen Hunt – The Sessions
5. Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook

Again, most were expected, minus that same, final spot. In my first Take, I penned all of the following the same as this list, but later included Ann Dowd over Weaver. But just like in her last nomination, yet this time with more buzz, Jacki Weaver snuck in.

So a lot of records were broken. Oldest Best Actress. Youngest Best Actress Time. Then, although it’s not a record, for the first time since 1982’s Reds, David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook managed to gain a nomination in every major category: Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress.

Anything that surprise you? Is there a missing nom that you so desperately wish were included? Speak out!

Watch the full simulcast below, too, and then catch the rest of the nominees, including screenplays, other films, and more of the technical categories at the Oscars’ website.

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Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln

Telling the story of the 13th Amendment’s long journey of induction into the Constitution, Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States, in the biopic tale of The Great Emancipator.

The soft-spoken, yet at times assertive approach that Day-Lewis takes as Lincoln is so dead on, it’s uncanny. At times, the believability of his portrayal almost makes you think that the actual President Lincoln has returned from the dead to reprise his role as the savior of slavery. But that isn’t the case.

In what many call Day-Lewis’ performance as more “Lincoln” than Lincoln, it would be a shock for him not to only be the front runner for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, but a shoo-in for the win.

Even though his particular performance may outshine others, it doesn’t mean that the rest of the cast is by any means underwhelming. Just like 2012’s The Help, which wasn’t likely to take the top Best Picture prize at the Oscars, but won the SAG Award for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture, it wouldn’t be impossible for Lincoln to follow in its footsteps.

Every actor balances both a touching emotional edge, but also an ode to a more old-fashioned style of acting that is all the more refreshing. Sally Field, who plays First Lady, Mary Todd Lincoln, and Tommy Lee Jones, as Thaddeus Stevens, will most likely add another Oscar nod for their roles not only because of the love held by the Academy, but because of their strong screen time. Plus, the comedic relief given by James Spader, John Hawkes (who’s Day-Lewis’ main competition for Best Actor with his role in The Sessions), and David Strathairn and Gloria Reuben, who Entertainment Weekly is strongly enforcing the Academy to “Consider This”, and among many, many others, all combine to create such a great cast.

Clearly, the acting is a huge part of making this movie a success. At times, particularly towards the beginning, the story is a little slow and takes a while to pick up, but every moment that President Lincoln graces the screen, it creates a moment to remember. A moment cinematic magic.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Spielberg never fails to make an entire film full of breathtaking shots. After building up the story, the humor in Lincoln’s random stories, and the ways in which 13th Amendment supporters garner up votes from Representatives, all of the film ties together.

Regardless, Lincoln is an ensemble film and there is no doubt: you will leave thinking that Daniel Day-Lewis not only aced the role of President Abraham Lincoln, but also truly believe that he is Honest Abe, himself. B+