The Oscars: Lincoln leads, The Master pooh-poohed, heads explode

Nominations for the 2013 Oscars were announced this morning, and true to form, there are some baffling inclusions and omissions.

Things played out fairly predictably in the best picture category with middlebrow epics like Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, and Les Miserables leading the bunch.

Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained, Amour, Life of Pi, Argo, and—fingers crossed—Beasts of the Southern Wild round out the nominations, but it’s hard to imagine any of them upsetting what will probably be a Lincoln juggernaut.

Steven Spielberg’s film received 12 nominations in total, equalling the director’s career best for Shindler’s List in 1993.

Most vexing is the omission of Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master from the list of best pictures. If there was a more beautiful and fascinating example of big budget Hollywood cinema this year, I’ve yet to see it.

Joaquin Phoenix managed at least to score a well-deserved nomination for best actor, and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s turn as the charismatic leader of the "the Cause" netted him a best supporting actor nod—but are either of these guys likely to swipe the golden statue from Lincoln’s Daniel Day-Lewis or Tommy Lee Jones?

Notably, Amy Adams also received a nomination for her handjob-tastic role as Hoffman’s wife in The Master, but it’s more likely that the Academy will be liking, really, really liking Sally Field once again as Abe Lincoln’s downer wife.

The Master was also shut out of the best director and best original screenplay categories. Which is insanity, but there you go. In the former, it’s nice to see Michael Haneke recognized for something as challenging as Amour and Behn Zeitlin for a movie as inspired and original as Beasts of the Southern Wild. In the latter, Django Unchained, Moonrise Kingdom, and Flight are cheering inclusions.

The 85th Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 24.

Seth McFarlane hosts the event, and might even pick up a trophy himself for Best Original Song. McFarlane co-wrote "Everybody Needs A Best Friend" for his feature length film Ted, in which a hooker takes a shit on the floor.

Here are the major nominations:

Best picture
Amour
Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Best director
Michael Haneke, Amour
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best actor
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

Best actress
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Best supporting actor
Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert de Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Best supporting actress
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Best original screenplay
Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom
Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
John Gatins, Denzel Washington, 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 foreign film
Amour - Austria
Kon-Tiki - Norway
No - Chile
A Royal Affair - Denmark
War Witch - Canada

Best documentary
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man

Best animation
Brave: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Frankenweenie: Tim Burton
ParaNorman: Sam Fell, Chris Butler
The Pirates! Band of Misfits / In an Adventure with Scientists, Peter Lord
Wreck it Ralph, Rich Moore

Best cinematography
Anna Karenina, Seamus McGarvey
Django Unchained, Robert Richardson
Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda
Lincoln, Janusz Kaminski
Skyfall, Roger Deakins

Best editing
Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers, Silver Linings Playbook
William Goldenberg, Argo
Michael Kahn, Lincoln
Tim Squyres, Life of Pi
Dylan Tichenor, William Goldenberg, Zero Dark Thirty

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