Hollywood stars were holding their breath Wednesday and setting their alarm clocks ahead of the announcement early Thursday of the Oscar nominees.
Oscar host Seth MacFarlane and actress Emma Stone were due to make the announcements starting at 5.30 am local time, (1330 GMT). It's the first time since 1972 than an Oscar show host has also headed the nominations announcements.
Pre-announcement speculation has heavily favoured Steven Spielberg's historical drama Lincoln as an Oscar frontrunner, together with the Bin-Laden-hunt-thriller Zero Dark Thirty by the Oscar-winning director of The Hurt Locker, Katherine Bigelow.
Other films expected to garner multiple nominations include Les Miserables, Life of Pi, and Argo, all of which have done well at the box office.
Also tipped for a place in the best film category is the indie romantic comedy Silver Linings Playbook, while the latest James Bond movie Skyfall is gaining momentum as a popular favourite.
The Oscar nominations kick the Hollywood awards season into high gear, and will be followed three days later by the Golden Globes ceremony. The Oscar show will take place on February 24 in Los Angeles.
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