News Column

Oscar Best Picture Nominees

Jan 10, 2013
Jessica Chastain

The following are the nine best picture nominees for the Oscars as announced in Los Angeles on Thursday.

- Amour: A French language film drama written and directed by Michael Haneke that focuses on a refined elderly couple whose incredible bonds of love and devotion enable them to cope in the aftermath of a stroke. The film has been widely praised for the acting performances of Lean-Louis Trintignant and Emanuelle Riva.

- Argo: Directed by Ben Affleck, who also takes a starring role alongside Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and John Goodman, Argo is based on the true story of a CIA ruse to extract six American diplomats from revolutionary Iran. Hollywood voters are expected to identify with the main story line, in which a CIA officer concocts a fake Canadian movie to be shot in Iran as a way for the group to escape the country. The film has been a commercial and critical success earning over $100 million at the US box office on a budget of $44.5 million.

- Beasts of the Southern Wild: A low budget fantasy drama and favourite of the indie film festival circuit, the film portrays the saga of a young girl in an isolated Louisiana bayou when a flood devastates her community. The film was made for just $1.8 million and had earned some $12 million at the US box office.

- Django Unchained: Quentin Tarantino's western stars Oscar winner Jamie Foxx as a slave turned bounty hunter and has sparked controversy for its gruesome depiction of violence as well as for allegedly treating the legacy of slavery with disrespect. The film was made for $100 million and has grossed over $65 million in its first week of release, making it Tarantino's most successful ever film.

- Les Miserables: A big budget adaptation of the hit stage musical based on the epic Victor Hugo novel, Les Miserables stars Hugh Jackman as a man who serves 19 years hard labour in 19th century France, and spends his remaining years trying to evade a vindictive policeman played by Russell Crowe. The $61-million movie also stars Anne Hathaway and was directed by Tom Hooper, who won the 2011 Oscar for The King's Speech.

- Life of Pi: Directed by Ang Lee and adapted from Yann Martel's bestselling novel, the film tells the story of an Indian teenager who is shipwrecked along with a tiger and other animals on their way to North American zoos. Filled with amazing special effects, the film cost an estimated $120 million to make and grossed some $76 million in its first month in cinemas.

- Lincoln: A worthy and detailed look at legendary US president Abraham Lincoln and his battle against slavery. Directed by Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day Lewis stars in the title role and is the overwhelming favourite to dominate the year's acting honours. Made for an estimated $65 million, the film has already racked up over $130 million at the US box office and is the leading nominee for the Golden Globes with seven nods.

- Silver Linings Playbook: The year's indie favourite, Silver Linings Playbook, is a quirky romantic comedy starring Bradley Cooper as a bipolar man trying to resurrect his life after the break-up of his marriage and legal troubles. He finds an unlikely ally in the form of Jennifer Lawrence. The $21-million film has already notched up $27 million at the US box office.

- Zero Dark Thirty: Made by Katherine Bigelow, who was the first woman to win a director's Oscar in 2009 for The Hurt Locker, the film chronicles the decade-long hunt for Osama Bin Laden in obsessive detail, and has earned both plaudits and controversy for its handling of sensitive subject matter that includes torture. Jessica Chastain is considered a favourite for best actress honours for her portrayal of a dogged CIA analyst whose persistence leads to the discovery of the al-Qaeda leader. The $20-million film has not yet been shown in wide release.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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