Oscars: ‘Hustle,’ ‘Gravity’ lead field; Hanks, Redford snubbed
"To be recognized like this and to see that there were enough people out there who said, ‘Look, we get what this film’ — not what it’s trying to say, but what it’s trying to reflect," said DiCaprio. "Nobody wants to be misunderstood."
Also doing well was Spike Jonze’s futuristic romance "Her" (five nominations, including best original screenplay for Jonze). Jonze actually earned three nominations Thursday, including best song, for co-writing "The Moon Song" with Karen O.
One of the day’s biggest winners was the 27-year-old producer Megan Ellison, the daughter of billionaire Larry Ellison. Her Annapurna Pictures produced two of the best-picture nominees ("American Hustle" and "Her") as well as the Wong Kar-Wai martial arts drama "The Grandmaster." She celebrated by tweeting "17!" — the total nominations her films received.
Though much of awards season had played out between favorites "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" (both best picture winners at the Golden Globes on Sunday), the global box-office hit "Gravity" emerged Thursday thanks partly to its strength in technical categories. It was nominated for all seven technical awards, including cinematography, production design, editing and visual effects.
Alfonso Cuaron’s innovative depiction of being lost in space has been hailed for reinvigorating the spectacle of the big-screen experience. Having taken in more than $670 million worldwide, it’s easily the most popular of the best-picture nominees.
Though historically the most-nominated films have taken home best picture, that’s not been the case in recent years. In six of the last 10 years, the most-nominated film hasn’t triumphed in the end, including last year when Steven Spielberg’s "Lincoln," with 12 nominations, was beaten by Ben Affleck’s "Argo."
The Coen brothers’ folk tale "Inside Llewyn Davis," one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, garnered only nominations for cinematography and sound mixing. And while 2013 was trumpeted as one of the best years for African-American cinema, movies like "Lee Daniels’ The Butler" and "Fruitvale Station" weren’t nominated (including Oprah Winfrey’s performance in "The Butler").
Along with Nyong’o, Squibb and Lawrence, the best supporting actress nominees were Julia Roberts ("August: Osage County") and Sally Hawkins ("Blue Jasmine").
Despite a lot of support, James Gandolfini wasn’t posthumously nominated for one of his final performances in "Enough Said."
Woody Allen scored his record 16th screenwriting nomination for "Blue Jasmine." Also up for original screenplay are "American Hustle," "Dallas Buyers Club," "Her" and "Nebraska." In the adapted screenplay category are "Before Midnight," "Captain Phillips," "Philomena," "12 Years a Slave" and "The Wolf of Wall Street."
Terence Winter, who penned the script to "Wolf," was able to uniquely share the nomination experience with his wife, Rachel Winter, a producer of "Dallas Buyers Club." Winter said it was "surreal."
Pixar, usually a mainstay in the best animation category, was left out this year. Its "Monsters University" ceded the category to "Frozen," "The Wind Rises," "Despicable Me 2," "The Croods" and "Ernest & Celestine."
Surprisingly overlooked in the documentary category was Sarah Polley’s acclaimed family history "Stories We Tell." Nominated were "The Act of Killing," "The Square," "Cutie and the Boxer," "Dirty Wars" and "20 Feet From Stardom."
Nominated for best foreign-langue film were films from Italy ("The Great Beauty"), Denmark ("The Hunt"), Belgium ("The Broken Circle"), Cambodia ("The Missing Picture") and Palestine ("Omar").
This year’s Oscar telecast on March 2, with Ellen DeGeneres hosting for the second time, has particular pressure on it to live up to the increasingly popular Golden Globes. With hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, ratings for the Globes have increased the last two years and drawn good reviews. The Academy Awards have meanwhile struggled to freshen up its more prestigious brand.
But comebacks are always possible. The most notorious flop of 2013, "The Lone Ranger," managed to land two nominations, for visual effects and makeup and hairstyle.
Associated Press writers Anthony McCartney, Derrik J. Lang and Jessica Herndon in Los Angeles contributed to this report.