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The race is on for film accolades after the nominations for the 86th Academy Awards were announced Thursday morning in Beverly Hills, California.
As expected, comedy “American Hustle” led the run with 10 nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor and Actress in a Leading Role for Christian Bale and Amy Adams, and Best supporting actor and actress for Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence respectively. David O. Russell’s film won recently 3 Golden Globes.
3D space thriller “Gravity” also received 10 nominations including Best Film, and Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron, already winner of a Golden Globe this year. Sandra Bullock is nominated for Best Actress.
The third big favourite, was “12 Years a Slave”, following closely behind with nine nominations. British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor was nominated for Best Actor, while Michael Fassbender and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o received best supporting nods. British director Steve McQueen’s brutal depiction of American slavery won the Golden Globe this week for Best Drama. McQueen could become the first black winner of an Oscar for Best Director.
One of the few surprises came from Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska,” a film that nabbed six Oscar nods. “Nebraska” was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival where Bruce Dern won the Best Actor award.
In the acting category, one of the most notable omissions by the Academy was Tom Hanks, whose lead performance in “Captain Phillips” was widely considered a shoo-in. However, “Captain Phillips” received six nominations including Best Supporting Actor for newcomer Barkhad Abdi.
There were six nods for AIDS drama “Dallas Buyers Club” including Best Actor for Golden Globe winner Matthew McConaughey. Co-star Jared Leto, who was also awarded a Golden Globe last Sunday, is nominated in the supporting role category.
Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” received five nods including Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio who could finally get his first statuette after four Academy nominations.
Regarding the film’s Oscar recognition, Hollywood journalist Jeanne Wolf said: “I would say one of the biggest surprises of the morning was total support for ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’.
“Everyone had made such a big deal about the fact that the Academy Awards wouldn’t like it – sex, drugs, rock and roll, three hours of debauchery – and the Academy came through with Leonardo, with Jonah Hill (Best Supporting Actor), Martin Scorsese (Best Director), with best movie,” Wolf added.
The Best Actress category sees heavyweights such as Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench all vying for the award. The 79-year-old Dench is up for her role in “Philomena”, in which she plays an Irish mother looking for the son she was forced to give up in the 1950s. The film received four nominations.
Quirky, computer-aged romance “Her” received four nominations. Spike Jonze’s innovative film stars Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara, and is the story of a love affair between a writer and a female voice on his computer operating system (played by Scarlett Johansson).
Robert Redford, expected by many to be nominated for the shipwreck drama “All Is Lost,” also missed out on a best actor nod. Redford has never won an acting Oscar.
The Oscars will be presented March 2 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.