Rene Rodriguez: Bold picks for Oscar nominations, along with the expected


Best Picture: “Amour,” “Argo,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Django Unchained,” “Les Miserables,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Actor: Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”; Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”; Hugh Jackman, “Les Miserables”; Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”; Denzel Washington, “Flight.”

Actress: Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”; Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”; Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”; Quvenzhane Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; Naomi Watts, “The Impossible.”

Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, “Argo”; Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook”; Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”; Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”; Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained.”

Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, “The Master”; Sally Field, “Lincoln”; Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”; Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”; Jacki Weaver, “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Directing: Michael Haneke, “Amour”; Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”; Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”; David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Foreign Language Film: “Amour,” Austria; “Kon-Tiki,” Norway; “No,” Chile; “A Royal Affair,” Denmark; “War Witch,” Canada.

Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, “Argo”; Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; David Magee, “Life of Pi”; Tony Kushner, “Lincoln”; David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Original Screenplay: Michael Haneke, “Amour”; Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”; John Gatins, “Flight”; Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, “Moonrise Kingdom”; Mark Boal, “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Animated Feature Film: “Brave”; “Frankenweenie”; “ParaNorman”; “The Pirates! Band of Misfits”; “Wreck-It Ralph.”

Production Design: “Anna Karenina,” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Les Miserables,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln.”

Cinematography: “Anna Karenina,” “Django Unchained,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” “Skyfall.”

Sound Mixing: “Argo,” “Les Miserables,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” “Skyfall.”

Sound Editing: “Argo,” “Django Unchained,” “Life of Pi,” “Skyfall,” “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Original Score: “Anna Karenina,” Dario Marianelli; “Argo,” Alexandre Desplat; “Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna; “Lincoln,” John Williams; “Skyfall,” Thomas Newman.

Original Song: “Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice,” J. Ralph; “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from “Ted,” Walter Murphy and Seth MacFarlane; “Pi's Lullaby” from “Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayashri; “Skyfall” from “Skyfall,” Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth; “Suddenly” from “Les Miserables,” Claude-Michel Schonberg, Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil.

Costume: “Anna Karenina,” “Les Miserables,” “Lincoln,” “Mirror Mirror,” “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

Documentary Feature: “5 Broken Cameras,” “The Gatekeepers,” “How to Survive a Plague,” “The Invisible War,” “Searching for Sugar Man.”

Documentary (short subject): “Inocente,” “Kings Point,” “Mondays at Racine,” “Open Heart,” “Redemption.”

Film Editing: “Argo,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Makeup and Hairstyling: “Hitchcock,” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Les Miserables.”

Animated Short Film: “Adam and Dog,” “Fresh Guacamole,” “Head over Heels,” “Maggie Simpson in `The Longest Daycare,“’ “Paperman.”

Live Action Short Film: “Asad,” “Buzkashi Boys,” “Curfew,” “Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw),” “Henry.”

Visual Effects: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Life of Pi,” “Marvel's The Avengers,” “Prometheus,” “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

The complaints that have long dogged the Oscars — too safe, too predictable, too staid — do not apply to the list of nominees for the 85th Academy Awards, announced Thursday morning.

Look past the expected big dogs — Steven Spielberg’s historical drama Lincoln, which leads the pack with 12 nominations and is the early favorite, or Ang Lee’s visually spectacular Life of Pi, which follows with 11 — and it appears that unlike previous years, Academy members actually watched all of the eligible films.

For example: Beasts of the Southern Wild, a scrappy, low-budget (under $2 million) fantasy set in the Louisiana bayou, earned four huge nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director (for first-timer Benh Zeitlin) and Best Actress for 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, the youngest nominee in the category in Oscar history.

Michael Haneke’s Amour, the heartrending portrait of a married couple in their twilight years, snagged five nominations, including Best Picture (only the ninth foreign-language movie to break into the category), Best Director and Best Actress for 86-year-old Emmanuelle Riva, the oldest nominee in the category in Oscar history.

Silver Linings Playbook, director David O. Russell’s rough-and-tumble romantic comedy about two manic depressives in love, scored the rare feat of nominations in all four acting categories (for Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver). Russell, who was shut out of the Directors Guild of America nominations on Wednesday, made the Best Director cut with Academy members. The film garnered a total of eight nominations in major categories — a strong indication that Oscar voters love the film. With the marketing muscle of the Weinstein Company behind it, the modestly budgeted movie has a chance to steal the spotlight from its bigger competitors.

Kathryn Bigelow’s controversial Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, earned five nominations, but none for Bigelow. Ben Affleck’s beloved Argo, about a secret rescue mission during the Iran hostage crisis, earned seven nominations, but none for Affleck. And Les Misérables, the lavish adaptation of the smash hit musical, earned eight nominations, but none for director Tom Hooper. All three films are Best Picture nominees, but the lack of an accompanying nomination for their respective directors suggests Oscar may favor other films ( Driving Miss Daisy is one of the few movies in Oscar history to win Best Picture without a Best Director nomination).

Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, a violent western set in the slave-era South, landed five nominations, including Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz, who previously won the award for Tarantino’s last film, Inglourious Basterds. He won’t be the only one competing for a second Oscar: All of the other nominees in the category — Alan Arkin ( Argo), Tommy Lee Jones ( Lincoln), Philip Seymour Hoffman ( The Master) and De Niro ( Silver Linings Playbook) – are previous Oscar winners.

In the Best Documentary category, Searching for Sugar Man, about the legend behind 1970s folk singer Rodriguez, is the early favorite. Adele should start making room on her trophy shelf for Skyfall, which is a lock for Best Original Song (the James Bond picture earned a total of five nominations, including Best Cinematography for the brilliant Roger Deakins, who has never won).

Although Pixar traditionally owns the Best Animated Feature category, this year may be different. Their film Brave faces strong competition from Frankenweenie, ParaNorman and Wreck-It Ralph, all of which have staunch supporters. The fact that even Pixar isn’t a safe bet is proof that this year’s Oscars won’t be as easy to handicap as usual. This year, they may actually be fun.

The 85th Academy Awards will air at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 24 on ABC.

Read more Entertainment stories from the Miami Herald

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