(FOX News & AP) The 85th Annual Academy Award nominations are in and, in a predictable turn of events, “
Oscar host Seth McFarlane took the stage to announce the nominees alongside actress Emma Stone. There were 11 categories announced Thursday morning, but the biggest question of the day was which of this year’s top films would earn best picture nominations.
The best picture nominees include "Lincoln," Steven Spielberg's portrait of the great emancipator who abolished slavery and reunified the United States; "Zero Dark Thirty," Kathryn Bigelow's chronicle of the hunt for Osama bin Laden; and "Les Miserables," Tom Hooper's musical epic set against an uprising of freedom fighters in 19th century France.
"Argo," Ben Affleck's suspense flick about a CIA scheme, also took home a best picture nod as did "Django Unchained," Quentin Tarantino's controversial bloody saga about a former slave hunting white oppressors just before the Civil War; and "Life of Pi," Ang Lee's story of a free-thinking Indian youth cast adrift on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger while traveling to a new life in North America.
The less obvious films "Silver Linings Playbook," "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and the foreign film "Amour" earned best picture nominations as well.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of nominations came with the best directing category. Affleck didn't garner a best directing nomination for his thriller "Argo" and past Oscar winners Kathryn Bigelow ("Zero Dark Thirty") and Tom Hooper ("Les Miserables") were also left out of the best directing nominations.
Fairport native Philip Seymour Hoffman was among those nominated for Best Supporting Actor in "The Master."
This year's nominations came earlier than usual in
The nominations this time precede the Golden Globes ceremony, which follows on Sunday.