Emma Stone and Seth MacFarlane woke up at the crack of dawn this morning to announce the nominees for the 85th Academy Awards. Academy members nominated nine contenders for Best Picture, with Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty all in the mix. The choices aren’t totally surprising, but it’s still a strong group of competitors.

It’s always interesting to see how the Best Picture category correlates to the Best Director one, and the notable names shut out this year include Kathryn Bigelow, Ben Affleck, Tom Hooper, and Quentin Tarantino — the first three of whom were all nominated for the DGA prize earlier this week. Another notable snub that I know /Film readers will be all over is the lack of recognition for Looper, which scored in none of the major categories.

On a happier note, The Master hasn’t been getting much love so far but it managed to score three Oscar nominations, all in the acting categories. The Best Actress group proved a historic one, with both the oldest (85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva) and youngest (9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis) nominees in the category. And the animated field went exactly the way you’d suspect, but I’m just happy to see ParaNorman get a nod. Hit the jump to read the list of nominees.

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The list of nominees for the 65th annual British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards (also known as BAFTA) feel oddly familiar, yet throw a few curveballs. For example, Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln leads the nominees with ten nominations, including nods for Best Picture, Actor, Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actor and Actress. However it’s director was snubbed in the Best Director category. Also passed over for director was Tom Hooper, whose Les Miserables pulled eight nominations including Best Picture, British Film, Actor, Supporting Actress.

In their places in the Best Director race are Quentin Tarantino, for Django Unchained, and Michael Haneke for Amour. That should please some who were upset that Tarantino was snubbed in the DGA nominations yesterday.

Check out the full list below.

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Later this week, Daniel Day-Lewis will almost certainly be handed his fifth Best Actor Oscar nomination for his work in Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln. Knowing that, the film’s history seems almost unreal.

Lincoln was more years than usual in the making as Spielberg struggled not only to lock down the right story to tell about the 16th President of the United States, but to find the right actor to play him. Spielberg’s first choice was Day-Lewis, who turned down the role on multiple occasions. The actor later recommended his friend Liam Neeson for the role, and he was attached for years before having to move on. Then, armed with a brand new script by Tony Kushner, Spielberg was finally able to land his original man, and the resulting performance speaks for itself.

The first time the actor turned down the lead role in Lincoln, the actor wrote the most powerful director in Hollywood a letter explaining his decision. You can now read that after the jump.

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With just days to go until Oscar nominations are announced, the Writers Guild of America has unveiled its list of nominees for their top screenplay awards. As expected, many of these are films that have picked up plenty of accolades already. It’ll surprise no one to see that Zero Dark ThirtyMoonrise Kingdom, and Lincoln are among the contenders. But they’ve made room for some more offbeat choices as well, including LooperPerks of Being a Wallflower, and The Master. (Jason Reitman should be pleased.) Hit the jump to see the list.

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We’re already at the point in the award season where a few films have been solidified as the big winners and prime Oscar candidates. Zero Dark Thirty, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, and Lincoln have been awards frontrunners for weeks, and will likely continue to dominate slates of official accolades until the season ends with Oscars being handed out on February 24.

The Best Picture category in the Oscars is based around the efforts of producers, and so the Producer’s Guild of America nominations are a pretty good indicator of what we’re likely to see as a nomination slate for the Best Picture Oscar when AMPAS announces noms next week.

Today the PGA announced its nominations (one day early) and the ten films that were highlighted for what amounts to the PGA’s “best picture” award are: Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall, Zero Dark Thirty.

Nothing there for The Master, but that isn’t even much of a surprise at this point, given how things have been going. The inclusion of Skyfall is a bit of a surprise, but mostly for the fact that it is the big commercial outlier rather than The Avengers. Marvel’s The Avengers was a success on many levels, but if any one position should get a sage nod in appreciation of a job well done on that movie, it’s the producers. Same goes for Skyfall, however, so even that “surprise” is a small one.

The press release featuring all of the nominations is after the break.

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The Alamo Drafthouse Picks the Top 10 Films of 2012

The Alamo Drafthouse brand is beloved among moviegoers for their plush theaters, but it’s revered for their impeccable taste in movies. Whether programming a film festival or picking up indies for distribution, they’ve demonstrated an eye for films that aren’t just good, but unique.

With 2012 on its way out, the company has just released its list of their ten favorite movies from the year. Some of the titles were as successful at the box office as they were with critics, while others are more off the beaten track, but all are well worth checking out. Read their picks after the jump.

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In this episode, Dave, Devindra, and Adam chat about the spate of hot new sci-fi film trailers, lament the preachiness of Flight, and get really troubled by Compliance. Special guest Joanna Robinson joins us from Pajiba. Be sure to check out the bad language in Lincolnthe science of high framerates, and how Tolkein retconned his own books.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993.
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This morning Megan Fox, Ed Helms, and Jessica Alba announced the nominations for the 2013 Golden Globes. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization behind the event, is famous for nominating films and performances simply based on their star factor — if there’s an actor that members of the HFPA want to hang out with, they’re sure to get a nomination.

But the HFPA is great at putting on a show, and so the Golden Globes generate a lot of attention every year. And, as the NY Times points out, with the Globes nominations coming just days before Oscar nomination voting starts, there’s a possibility that nominations here could affect Oscar voting. The Best Picture nomination set includes what is already becoming a standard set of awards favorites, such as Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty, but there are also nominations for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and Django Unchained. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen picked up a few nominations, actually, which was one of  the big surprises.

The Golden Globes will air on January 13, 2013, hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. The full nomination list is below. Read More »

The end of the year is approaching and that means award season. Every year it starts with regional critic groups and then slowly gets to the bigger, more influential groups leading up through the Academy Awards. If a film hopes to gain an Academy Award nomination, its first major hurdle is the Screen Actors Guild. Actors make up the majority of Academy voters so it’s an important group of champions to win over heading towards the Dolby Theater (formerly the Kodak Theater).

This year, the Screen Actors Guild has nominated actors from Argo, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Les Misérables, Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook for its top award, Best Ensemble, with those last two leading all other films with four nominations each. Noticeably absent? Zero Dark Thirty, the current Oscar front-runner. Does this hurt its chances? See how the film did in all the other categories below. Read More »

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There’s a lot to be said for timing when it comes to film awards, and in that respect things couldn’t have worked out better for Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty. While most audiences won’t even have a chance to see the film until early next year, the first screenings of the movie have drawn rave reviews. And now it has picked up what will likely be the first of many awards.

Today the New York Film Critics Circle voted on awards for 2012, and Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln were the big winners, with nothing scored by The Master, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, or other potential awards faves. Kathryn Bigelow took Best Director and her movie won Best Film, which is the same dual wins the filmmaker enjoyed in 2009 before The Hurt Locker went on to Oscar success. Get the full list of recipients below. Read More »