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Midday Movies: Oscar Nominations Announced

Emmanuelle Riva received a best actress nomination and Michael Haneke received a surprise best director nomination for "Amour."
Sony Pictures Classics
Emmanuelle Riva received a best actress nomination and Michael Haneke received a surprise best director nomination for "Amour."

Film Critics React To Academy's Picks

Midday Movies: Oscar Nominations Announced
GUESTS: Anders Wright, Film Critic for San Diego CityBeat and President of the San Diego Film Critics Society Beth Accomando, KPBS Arts Reporter and Author of the blog Cinema Junkie

CAVANAUGH: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. It's a bit early for most San Diegans to watch live, but the nominations for the 85th academy awards were announced at 5:30 AM today. Nine films were nominated for best picture, and all around there were some surprising inclusions and omissions in this year's nominations. Joining me to talk with who's running for the Oscars this year, Anders wright is film critic for San Diego City beat, and president of the San Diego film critic society. Welcome to the show. WRIGHT: Good to see you, Maureen. CAVANAUGH: Beth Accomando is here, KPBS arts reporter, and author of cinema junkie. ACCOMANDO: Hello. CAVANAUGH: Lincoln leads the field with 12 nominations. Does this surprise either of you starting with you, anders? WRIGHT: No! [ LAUGHTER ] WRIGHT: It really doesn't. I was thinking about what was going to be the big frontrunner, and it really makes sense that Lincoln is. It's got a high-profile acting role, it's got Spielberg, it's based on real event, it's an epic story, and it's about the eradication of slavery. That's the exact movie Oscar goes for. ACCOMANDO: It's a very Hollywood film. And the thing about the academy and its voting member, they're all members of the industry. So they're voting for the films that either they know the people who worked on it or they appreciate what it represent, and this is a big Hollywood film that looks good, are it's slick, the acting is very good, and it's got a subject matter that they can feel good about. WRIGHT: I quantity as taken with it as a lot of people were. But people really like this movie. They come out very affected by it. (Audio Recording Played) CAVANAUGH: Beth, could you round out the best picture nominees for us? ACCOMANDO: Sure, there are nine. This is the newly expanded category of best picture, and there's Amor, which say foreign film, Argo, beast of the southern wild, "Django Unchained", "Life of Pi", Lincoln, "Silver Linings Playbook", and "Zero Dark Thirty." CAVANAUGH: What do you like or hate about these nominations? WRIGHT: There is one small movie I hoped would make it. It's called take this waltz by the Canadian actress Sarah Pauley. And it features a lovely performance from Michelle Williams. And I was surprised it was completely overlooked. But other than that, there's nothing here that really jumps out as being extraordinary film-making. I'm a big proponent of "Zero Dark Thirty" on this list. But I can sort of see how people are going for Lincoln. And most of the things -- the films that have made the list make sense. CAVANAUGH: And Beth, you had a surprise, one of your top picks for the year got on this! ACCOMANDO: For once! Oh, my God! I was thrilled to see beast of the southern wild make the list. It's a small, numbers film, beautifully made, and I was very glad to see that it managed to make the list, and I'm also happy to see "Django Unchained" on there. (Audio Recording Played) CAVANAUGH: That is the voice of -- ACCOMANDO: QuvenzhanÈ Wallis. The 6-year-old girl who is fabulous. And that's a nice surprise. She got a nomination. CAVANAUGH: The youngest and the oldest nominees ever in the best actress category, right? WRIGHT: Yeah, Emmanuel Riva for Amor. She is quite tremendous in this film. I don't believe she'll win the award. ACCOMANDO: Probably not. WRIGHT: But that film too, which opens here tomorrow, I think is poised to take the best foreign language. ACCOMANDO: Although that category is always up for grabs. Unlike the others, you have to see all the nominees in order to vote in that category. So while from the outside you kind of go, oh, that looks like hands down the best winner, not the entire voting academy fends to make use of being able to see all those films and vote on all of them. WRIGHT: What I think it is is because it's nominated in selfother big categories, if they give it the best foreign language film, they don't have to vote for it for best picture. CAVANAUGH: Oh, really. Okay. ACCOMANDO: But you still have to see it to vote for that category. And that changes its odds. CAVANAUGH: The directing nominations. There are several that you might imagine. Spielberg, of course, for Lincoln. And Ang Lee for "Life of Pi". "Beasts of the Southern Wild", and one name that is not on the list that is sort of surprising a lot of people is Catherine Bigelow for "Zero Dark Thirty." WRIGHT: I think it's a major snub. I personally believe it's the best-directed film of the year. And life of pi may be closely after that. But "Zero Dark Thirty" say controversial movie. People are talking about it for a lot of reasons. And she won the best director Oscar just a few years ago for the Hurt Locker, and in many way, it seems to be sending a message that people aren't going to vote for her new film this year. CAVANAUGH: It does seem like almost a deliberate snub. Do you think people should take it that way? ACCOMANDO: Yeah, it's hard to tell. If you want to look at it in a negative light, it would be a snub to Catherine. If you want to look at it in a positive light, it's like saying let's make some room for some of these smaller films and get some of those directors up there, people who have never had a chance to be up for a nomination. CAVANAUGH: Like? ACCOMANDO: Well, Ben Zeitlin who did "Beasts of the Southern Wild," David Russell I'm less excited about. But those two I think are very deserving of the nomination. I think the fact that she won recently does also color it in the fact that the film has just recently stirred A LOT of controversy. WRIGHT: And I don't look at it as an intentional snub. Whenever you're making a list of your top-five, top-10, you break down all the things that you want to be on there, and you've got to make cuts. ACCOMANDO: And when you have the bigger best picture category with nine nominations, some of those films nominated are not going to have their directors showing. CAVANAUGH: You feel the best actor category this time around is rather weak, as opposed to the best actress category. How does the best actress category round out? ACCOMANDO: This year it's pretty exciting that we have more than five actresses that we feel are worthy of a nomination. Jessica Chastain for "Zero Dark Thirty." Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook". Riva from Amore. And Wallis in beast of the southern wild. And Naomi Watts in the impossible. CAVANAUGH: And there's a person missing from that list, I think. You wanted to see her. WRIGHT: Michelle Williams, the work she did this take this waltz is really, really spectacular. But she didn't make the cut. They're saying right now that Jennifer Lawrence is the frontrunner. I think Jessica Chastain's work is superior, I suppose. And I think we've seen better work from Jennifer Lawrence herself. But we'll see. CAVANAUGH: Do you think the lock is in for Daniel day Lewis as Lincoln? ACCOMANDO: It would seem so, I think. Like I said, the nominations in that category there's nothing that's really exciting in that list to me. And they left off the most exciting punish who's in the supporting actor category, Christoph Waltz. WRIGHT: If you look at that list, you don't look at them and say, they, they were better than Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln. CAVANAUGH: Christopher Lawrence in jango. ACCOMANDO: It has to do with the studio. The studio tries to make these calculated decisions before the nominations come out as to how they might maximize their Oscar potential. And they were probably thinking if we put Kristoff Walt in best actor, he's less likely to get nominated. And if they're pushing Jamie fox for a best actor category, they would have competition with themselves. That's why we had tatum O'Neal in paper moon who's on screen for like 110 of 114 minutes in the supporting actress category. And age sometimes too. Of the young girl from beast of the southern wild, I'm sure there was a serious debate about whether we should put her up for supporting actress. But there's absolutely no way. WRIGHT: She's the movie. CAVANAUGH: What about supporting actors and actress roles? Anything jump out at you? WRIGHT: I think Tommy Lee Jones is probably a lock to win for Lincoln. Christoph Waltz is terrific in jango. But against him, he won the last time he was in another Tarantino movie. And Tommy Lee Jones is pretty good in linkop. And his competition, Allen arcin is pretty good in Argo. Robert DeNiro showed up and did silver linings laybook. And Phillip Seymour Hoffman is tremendous, but it's being overlooked. Best supporting actress, my guess that Ann Hathaway is going to win. But people love Ann Hathaway. CAVANAUGH: Well, she lost a lot of weight and cut her hair. Of she's got to win something for it, right? [ LAUGHTER ] WRIGHT: And she's the best part of that movie. ACCOMANDO: No, I would say the other supporting actress who didn't get nominated, Samantha Barks, I think, she actually played the role in Les Mis, on stage, and she was the only highlight in that film for me. CAVANAUGH: Let me talk about Seth MacFarlane. He's going to be the host. How do you feel about that? I would ventsure to say there are a lot of people to say there are a lot of people who go to the moveebs who don't know who he is. WRIGHT: I would agree with you. He's mostly been known for his TV work. But this year, he did venture into films. Ted, the comedy with mark Walhberg. And he voices -- CAVANAUGH: Oh, the one with the bear. WRIGHT: Exactly. And Seth is the voice of the bear. ACCOMANDO: Everyone probably knows his voice. WRIGHT: Yes, or voices. ACCOMANDO: Yes. WRIGHT: He's a very funny guy. And he's -- his humor is generally considered to be more edgy than most of the Oscar humor would be. But they obviously need to shake things up. Last year they had James Franco and Ann Hathaway? ACCOMANDO: Was it last year? It's a painful memory. WRIGHT: It was a disaster. And I think they're hoping they can bring it become to one guy who can zing the crowd. So he could fall flat, he could offend a lot of people, or he could be exactly the shot in the arm they need. ACCOMANDO: If you look at Family Guy and the kind of humor that's in there, there's a lot of musical comedy, and a lot of, you know, affection for old-school Hollywood. WRIGHT: Yeah. ACCOMANDO: So I think there might be an interesting kind of match-up between him and the Oscars. Just enough sly humor to keep it edgy, but just enough of the showmanship that they want to make it fun. WRIGHT: Yeah, and he can sing, so -- CAVANAUGH: And he has a best song nominee. ACCOMANDO: Yes! WRIGHT: He'll be performing. ACCOMANDO: This is one of the first times I've ever been excited about a song that's been nominated. WRIGHT: And his audience skews young. CAVANAUGH: That's what they need. I won't ask you for prediction, we'll wait till we get closer.

The nominations for the 85th Academy Awards were announced this morning with "Lincoln" leading the list with 12 nominations, and three directors (Micahel Haneke for "Amour," David O. Russell for "Silver Linings Playbook," and Benh Zeitlan for "Beasts of the Southern Wild") win nominations after being passed over by the Directors Guild.

The expanded best picture field did what it was supposed to do in terms of bringing in smaller independent films -- like "Beasts," "Amour," "Silver Linings Playbook," and "Django Unchained" -- but it failed to be inclusive of popular mainstream fare such as "The Avengers" and "The Dark Knight Rises."

The Oscars televised show will air on ABC Sunday, February 24th at 4 p.m. Pacific Time.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences describes itself as " the world's preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards–in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners-the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies."

CityBeat's Anders Wright and CInema Junkie's Beth Accomando recently came out with their own picks for the best of the year. Anders Wright’s top picks included: “Argo,” “Django Unchained,” “Killing Them Softly,” “Life of Pi.” “The Master,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “Searching For Sugar Man,” “Starlet,” “Take This Waltz,” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” Beth Accomando’s picks were: “Beasts Of The Southern Wild,” “Sleep Tight,” ”The Raid: Redemption,” “Django Unchained,” “American Mary,” “The Avengers,” “Rust And Bone,” “Skyfall,” “Cabin In The Woods,” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Nominations for the 85th Academy Awards

Best motion picture of the year



"Beasts of the Southern Wild"

"Django Unchained"

"Les Misérables"

"Life of Pi"


"Silver Linings Playbook"

"Zero Dark Thirty"

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln"

Hugh Jackman in "Les Misérables"

Joaquin Phoenix in "The Master"

Denzel Washington in "Flight"

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Alan Arkin in "Argo"

Robert De Niro in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master"

Tommy Lee Jones in "Lincoln"

Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained"

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty"

Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Emmanuelle Riva in "Amour"

Quvenzhané Wallis in "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Naomi Watts in "The Impossible"

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Amy Adams in "The Master"

Sally Field in "Lincoln"

Anne Hathaway in "Les Misérables"

Helen Hunt in "The Sessions"

Jacki Weaver in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Best animated feature film of the year

"Brave" Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman

"Frankenweenie" Tim Burton

"ParaNorman" Sam Fell and Chris Butler

"The Pirates! Band of Misfits" Peter Lord

"Wreck-It Ralph" Rich Moore

Achievement in cinematography

"Anna Karenina" Seamus McGarvey

"Django Unchained" Robert Richardson

"Life of Pi" Claudio Miranda

"Lincoln" Janusz Kaminski

"Skyfall" Roger Deakins

Achievement in costume design

"Anna Karenina" Jacqueline Durran

"Les Misérables" Paco Delgado

"Lincoln" Joanna Johnston

"Mirror Mirror" Eiko Ishioka

"Snow White and the Huntsman" Colleen Atwood

Achievement in directing

"Amour" Michael Haneke

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" Benh Zeitlin

"Life of Pi" Ang Lee

"Lincoln" Steven Spielberg

"Silver Linings Playbook" David O. Russell

Best documentary feature

"5 Broken Cameras"

"The Gatekeepers"

"How to Survive a Plague"

"The Invisible War"

"Searching for Sugar Man"

Best documentary short subject


"Kings Point"

"Mondays at Racine"

"Open Heart"


Achievement in film editing

"Argo" William Goldenberg

"Life of Pi" Tim Squyres

"Lincoln" Michael Kahn

"Silver Linings Playbook" Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers

"Zero Dark Thirty" Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg

Best foreign language film of the year

"Amour" Austria

"Kon-Tiki" Norway

"No" Chile

"A Royal Affair" Denmark

"War Witch" Canada

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

"Hitchcock" Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane

"Les Misérables" Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

"Anna Karenina" Dario Marianelli

"Argo" Alexandre Desplat

"Life of Pi" Mychael Danna

"Lincoln" John Williams

"Skyfall" Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

"Before My Time" from "Chasing Ice"

"Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from "Ted"

"Pi's Lullaby" from "Life of Pi"

"Skyfall" from "Skyfall"

"Suddenly" from "Les Misérables"

Achievement in production design

"Anna Karenina"

Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

Production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright

"Les Misérables"

Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson

"Life of Pi"

Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock


Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Best animated short film

"Adam and Dog"

"Fresh Guacamole"

"Head over Heels"

"Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare""

Best live action short film

"Asad" Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura

"Buzkashi Boys" Sam French and Ariel Nasr

"Curfew" Shawn Christensen

"Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)" Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele

"Henry" Yan England

Achievement in sound editing

"Argo" Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn

"Django Unchained" Wylie Stateman

"Life of Pi" Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton

"Skyfall" Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers

"Zero Dark Thirty" Paul N.J. Ottosson

Achievement in sound mixing


"Les Misérables"

"Life of Pi"



Achievement in visual effects

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

"Life of Pi"

"Marvel's The Avengers"


"Snow White and the Huntsman"

Adapted screenplay

"Argo" Screenplay by Chris Terrio

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" Screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin

"Life of Pi" Screenplay by David Magee

"Lincoln" Screenplay by Tony Kushner

"Silver Linings Playbook" Screenplay by David O. Russell

Original screenplay

"Amour" Written by Michael Haneke

"Django Unchained" Written by Quentin Tarantino

"Flight" Written by John Gatins

"Moonrise Kingdom" Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola

"Zero Dark Thirty" Written by Mark Boal

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