And this isn't even noting the new e-voting....
Two quick nomination thoughts before the list:
1) Two movies that hit it big were Beasts of the Southern Wild and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK! Beasts is the little movie that could. It got a best actress nomination (including the youngest actress ever nominated), along with screenwriting and directing. Love it, love it, love it. And my personal favorite all along has been Silver Linings Playbook. SLP scored the sextuplet of nominations at the top. SLP has someone from ALL FOUR acting categories. SLP got a directing nod. And it got a Best Picture nod. This is a feat that has not been matched in more than three decades. And, in nearly every case (all but one in the history of The Academy), the film went on to win Best Picture.
2) Where are the big name directors? Sure, Spielberg got a nod for Lincoln, but Kathryn Bigelow didn't get a nom for Zero Dark Thirty. Tom Hooper didn't get one for Les Miserables. Ben Affleck didn't get one for Argo. The chances of a film winning Best picture fall VERY dramatically when the film's director doesn't get nominated. In fact, it has been so long since a film won Best Picture without having its director nominated that it is considered a "death knell" for a film's chances.
So. On to the nominees. This will include the list of nominees in the top categories and my CURRENT thoughts on the CURRENT front-runners:
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"--- Could be a dark house. Watch out SLP!
"Silver Linings Playbook" --- Not only is the my favorite, but getting a nod in every top category vaults it to the front.
"Zero Dark Thirty"
"Lincoln"--- Another dark horse. A historical Spielberg film has to be in the mix until the end.
"Life of Pi"
David O'Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook" ---- He has to be the frontrunner now with no Bigelow, Affleck or Hooper.
Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"--- Could be a dark horse because of the technical achievements in the film.
Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"
Michael Haneke, "Amour"
Benh Zeitlin, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Daniel Day Lewis, "Lincoln"--- Dark horse one because he becomes Lincoln.
Denzel Washington, "Flight" --- Dark horse two because he is simply amazing.
Hugh Jackman, "Les Miserables"
Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook" --- Hands down the favorite for the moment.
Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"
Naomi Watts, "The Impossible"
Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"--- Dark horse one. She is very good; very versatile.
Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"--- Frontrunner. Not because of SLP's nomination haul, but because she is just that good.
Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"
Quvenzhané Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"--- Who could say no to the youngest Oscar nominee ever?
Best Supporting Actor:
Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"
Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook" --- He is irresistible here. Hilarious, infuriating, sad.
Alan Arkin, "Argo"
Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"
Best Supporting Actress:
Sally Field, "Lincoln"
Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables" --- She should have this in the bag.
Jacki Weaver, "Silver Linings Playbook"--- But SLP could run the table.
Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"
Amy Adams, "The Master"