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The 2013 Academy Award Nominations: Snubs, Surprises, and Analysis

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | January 10, 2013 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | January 10, 2013 |

The 85th Academy Award nominations were announced this morning, and it’s kind of a sh*t show in the snubs department, in particular in the directing category: No Quentin Tarantino. No Ben Affleck. No Tom Hooper. No Kathryn Bigelow (I had to double check that, in fact). The surprise here is how much momentum Beasts of the Southern Wild has been able to maintain going into the nominations (it was nominated for best film, best actress, and best director), and the omnipresence of Michael Haneke’s Amour.

A big surprise is also the multiple nominations for David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, a movie I loved but which is poised to be this year’s The Artist: Primed for the most backlash, since it’s a fairly formulaic romantic comedy that just happens to hit every beat perfectly and not exactly the heavy, statement film that most Best Picture nominees tend to be. It really is, as Joanna said, The Cutting Edge, except with Prozac instead of ice-skating.

Also disappointing: Looper is nowhere to be found (nor is Safety Not Guaranteed , though we didn’t have huge expectations for either). There’s no Matthew McConaughey in the supporting category, nor Javier Bardem, nor Leonardo DiCaprio: That fifth slot went somewhat surprisingly to Robert DeNiro, proving once again that the Weinsteins have bought the Oscar nomination process (they are behind Silver Linings Playbook, The Master and Django Unchained).

I think the biggest snub of the day, however, goes to the criminal omission of John Hawkes for The Sessions, even though Helen Hunt did got nominated in the supporting actress category (along with another surprise: Jacki Weaver).

We can also usually rely upon the screenplay categories to recognize the more offbeat films that aren’t chosen in the Best Picture categories, but other than Moonrise Kingdom that wasn’t the case this year, either, although the horrendously scripted Flight got a nod (as did Denzel, in the Best Actor category, to no one’s surprise).

Fun Facts: Quvenzhané Wallis (9) is the youngest nominee ever, while Emmanuelle Riva (85) is the oldest nominee ever.

Here are your 2013 Academy Award Nominations.

Best Picture

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty


Les Miserables

Life of Pi


Django Unchained


Best Director

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

Ang Lee, Life of Pi

Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

Michael Haneke, Amour

Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Actor

Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln

Denzel Washington, Flight

Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Best Actress

Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Supporting Actor

Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook

Alan Arkin, Argo

Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Best Supporting Actress

Sally Field, Lincoln

Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Helen Hunt, The Sessions

Amy Adams, The Master

Best Original Screenplay

Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom

Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty

John Gatins, Flight

Michael Haneke, Amour

Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Best Adapted Screenplay

Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Tony Kushner, Lincoln

David Magee, Life of Pi

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

Chris Terrio, Argo

Best Animated Film


Pirates: Band of Misfits


Wreck-It Ralph


Best Foreign Film

Amour, Austria

No, Chile

War Witch, Canada

A Royal Affair, Denmark

Kon-Tiki, Norway

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.