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The Oscar Nominations!

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“Gravity,” Alfonso Cuaron’s space masterpiece and “American Hustle,” David O’ Russell’s look back at the ABSCAM scandal of the 1970s, led all films nominated today for the upcoming 86th Annual Academy Awards. Both films received a total of 10 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director.

A total of 9 films were nominated for Best Picture this year, and those films nominated earned the lion’s share of other nominations. Right on the trail of “Gravity” and “American Hustle” comes “12 Years a Slave,” which earned 9 nominations. Three other Best Picture nominees earned 6 nominations each: “Captain Phillips,” “Dallas Buyer’s Club” and “Nebraska.” Two very difrerent films, Martin Scorsese’s tale of excess, “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Spike Jonze’s technical romance “Her” each had 5 nominations. Bringing up the rear is surprise nominee “Philomena,” which takes home 4 nods. Surprisingly missing from the list is the box office and critical favorite from earlier last year, “Lee Daniels The Butler,” which was shut out of every category it was eligible for.

“American Hustle” becomes the 15th film in Oscar history to receive nominations in all four acting categories. Ironically, director Russell’s previous film, “Silver Lining Playbook,” also duplicated that feat. “Silver Lining Playbook” was the first film to achieve this record since Warren Beatty’s “Reds” did it in 1981. Two of the “American Hustle” actors – Best Supporting Actor nominee Bradley Cooper and Best Supporting Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence – were nominated in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories last year, with Lawrence taking home the Oscar. They are joined this year by Best Actor and Best Actress nominees Christian Bale and Amy Adams.

“Gravity”‘s only other major nomination was for Sandra Bullock as Best Actress. The majority of the film’s nomination are for technical achievements, including film editing and production design.

Bullock is among four previous Oscar winners in the Best Actress category which includes Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”, Judi Dench (“Philomena) and three time winner Meryl Streep (“August: Osage County”). Only Amy Adams of “American Hustle” is currently Oscar-less.

Best Actor is a contest between both Hollywood veterans and newcomers. Former Best Supporting Actor winner Christian Bale is nominated for “American Hustle,” while Bruce Dern earns his first Academy Award nomination since 1979’s “Coming Home” for “Nebraska.” Leonardo DiCaprio earns his fourth nomination for his work in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” These three are joined by Oscar newcomers Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club” and Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”).

Best Supporting Actor nominees include newcomer Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips”), Cooper, Michael Fassbender (“12 Years a Slave’), Jonah Hill (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) and Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”). Best Supporting Actress noms went to Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”), Lawrence, Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”), previous Best Actress winner Julia Roberts (“August: Osage County”) and June Squibb (“Nebraska’).

Joining Cuaron and Russell in the Best Director category are Alexander Payne (“Nebraska”), Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) and previous winner Martin Scorsese (“The Wolf of Wall Street”).

“Frozen” leads the nominees for Best Animated Feature, which also includes “The Croods,” “Despicable Me 2,” “Ernest and Celestine” and “The Wind Rises.”

The 86th Annual Academy Awards will be presented live on March 2, 2014 on ABC Television.

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About Mike Smith

Michael Smith - quite possibly the world's biggest 'Jaws' fan - heads up Moviehole's international reviewing team.

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