The 5 Biggest Surprises Of The 2013 Oscar Nominations

By Katey Rich 2013-01-10 07:30:23discussion comments
The 5 Biggest Surprises Of The 2013 Oscar Nominations image
I could make a list of all the categories that shocked us at this morning's Academy Award nominations, but that would pretty much just be all the categories. The energetic ceremony hosted by Emma Stone and Seth MacFarlane-- which felt more like the actual awards than the usual dry announcement process-- contained so many gasp-worthy moments that i basically never took my hand away from my mouth. Benh Zeitlin? Jacki Weaver? Christoph Waltz instead of Leonardo DiCaprio? What the what???

You can read the full list of nominees here, and once you're caught up, read below for the 5 biggest surprises by my measure.

Amour for Best Picture…. and not Moonrise Kingdom. I only predicted a seven-wide Best Picture field, but we wound up with nine, a sure sign of how widespread the affection is this year. But instead of rounding things out with a well-regarded indie like Moonrise, or even the spectacular blockbuster Skyfall, the Academy went with the harsh and lovely French-language Amour, also nominated for Best Foreign Language film. It's the first foreign language film to be nominated in the category since Letters from Iwo Jima-- but if you don't want to count the Clint Eastwood film, you've got to go all the way back to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to find a foreign film in here.

The Best Director Category. All Of It. Where to even begin with this crowd? Two people genuinely thought to be locked in for this category-- Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow-- were nowhere to be found, leaving room for rumored-shocker Michael Haneke and then genuine crazy town surprise Benh Zeitlin to both make the cut. Then there's Tom Hooper, who won Best DIrector just two years ago and who made the very popular Les Miserables, left out in favor of David O. Russell. There are a million Oscar predictions all over the Internet, and you'd be really, really hard pressed to find anyone who predicted this lineup.

Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor. Yes, OK, I did predict this, but I knew it was a huge gamble, and not many people had faith in Phoenix's "I hate the Oscars" schtick making it in with the Academy, who love to be sucked up to. But this is one of those times where the work gets rewarded, not just the schmoozing. We can all be proud of this one no matter how we feel about The Master.

The Silver Linings Playbook four-for-four. The last film to get a nomination in all four acting categories was Reds, all the way back in 1981, and while some were speculating that SLP might be able to pull it off, the nomination that looked the most dubious was for Jacki Weaver. Yes, she was a previous nominee for Animal Kingdom, and she's terrific in the movie, but it's a tiny part that's overshadowed by virtually everyone else in the film. But there she was this morning, along with DeNiro in Supporting Actor, Lawrence in Best Actress and Bradley Cooper (the only first-time nominee of the bunch) in Best Actor. I was predicting waning affection for Silver Linings Playbook out there, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

Ted's nomination for Best Original Song. I don't even know how to deal with the reality that Seth MacFarlane will be hosting the awards and performing as a Best Original Song nominee… but I guess knowing that Adele will inevitably beat him makes it a bit easier?

Share your own personal surprises about the nominations below, and come back for much more coverage of the 2013 Oscar nominations!
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