The 13 Most Surprising Stories From The Oscar Nominations

Ben AffleckThe Academy likes Ben Affleck’s movies — they just don’t like him.

Photo: Getty

On Thursday, Oscar host Seth MacFarlane and actress Emma Stone arose at 5:30 AM to announce who made 2013’s list of Oscar contenders.As the comedic pair read the nominees, we couldn’t help but notice the A-list names that were left out of this year’s top honours in film.

Somewhere in Hollywood, Ben Affleck probably reacted like this when he wasn’t nominated for Best Director for his passion project, “Argo” — although the film did get a Best Picture nod.

But Affleck was in good company, as many top Hollywood talents were also majorly snubbed by the Academy, while Steven Spielberg was celebrated.

With 12 nods, 'Lincoln' leads the pack with the most nominations of any film.

Steven Spielberg was nominated for Best Director, Daniel Day-Lewis for Performance by an actor in a leading role, Tommy Lee Jones for Performance by an actor in a supporting role AND Sally Field for Performance by an actress in a supporting role.

Not to mention, a Best Picture nomination.

The film also got nods for excellence in Cinematography, Costume design, Film editing, Original score, Production design, Sound mixing and Adapted screenplay.

Here's how the competition is stacking up:

  • Amy Adams in 'The Master.'
  • Sally Field in 'Lincoln.'
  • Anne Hathaway in 'Les Misérables.'
  • Helen Hunt in 'The Sessions.'
  • Jacki Weaver in 'Silver Linings Playbook.'

While Hathaway only appeared in 'Les Misérables' for about half of the film, she is an Academy favourite, as she even hosted the awards show in 2011.

Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck get snubbed!

Kathryn Bigelow's 'Zero Dark 30' -- an account of the hunt for Osama bin Laden -- has received plenty of critical acclaim, but the CIA is not happy with the creative liberties taken by the director.

Bigelow defends her film, but an endorsement from the Academy would be a controversial move -- something they don't usually do.

And despite winning an Oscar for 'Good Will Hunting' in 1998, it seems the Academy is not ready to take Ben Affleck seriously as a director. He did star in 'Gigli' with Jennifer Lopez, after all.

So were directors Tom Hooper and Christopher Nolan!

Acclaimed directors Tom Hooper and Christopher Nolan also surprisingly didn't make the 2013 cut.

While Nolan has been nominated for two Oscars in the past for 2002's 'Memento' and 2011's 'Inception,' 'The Dark Knight Rises' director was left off this year's list. But not surprising, as the Academy very rarely takes popular superhero films into account.

But Nolan isn't crying, 'The Dark Knight Rises' raked in over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office.

'Les Misérables' director, Hooper, meanwhile, also just won a Best Director Oscar in 2011 for 'The King's Speech,' so perhaps it's time to give someone else a turn.

All of the Supporting Actor nominees have been nominated before.

  • Alan Arkin in 'Argo' -- won in 2007 for 'Little Miss Sunshine.'
  • Robert De Niro in 'Silver Linings Playbook' -- won in 1981 for 'Raging Bull' and 1975 for 'The Godfather: Part II.'
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in 'The Master' -- won in 2006 for 'Capote.'
  • Tommy Lee Jones in 'Lincoln' -- won in 1994 for 'The Fugitive.'
  • Christoph Waltz in 'Django Unchained' -- won in 2010 for 'Inglorious Basterds.'

Weinstein Company and Columbia Pictures Production's 'Django Unchained' was nominated for Best Picture, excellence in Cinematography, Sound editing and Original screenplay.

Actor Christoph Waltz received a Supporting Actor nod, but Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio's names were noticeably absent from the list of nominees -- as was director Quentin Tarantino's, who, despite his films' successes at the box office, has only won one Oscar in 1995 for Best Screenplay for 'Pulp Fiction.'

Tarantino was last nominated in 2010 for 'Inglorious Basterds, which ironically won Christoph Waltz the Oscar for his role as a Nazi 'Jew Hunter.'

Beasts of the Southern What?!

First time director Benh Zeitlin's shoestring-budgeted but critically acclaimed 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' stars first-time actors and has only taken in $11.2 million at the box office, but managed to sneak by big-budget films like 'Skyfall' -- which couldn't manage a Best Picture nod despite it's $200 million (!) production budget.

The Best Actress category nominated both the oldest and youngest actresses in Oscar history.

Well, second youngest, despite what Oscar nominees announcer Emma Stone would like you to believe.

Nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis was just five years old when she was among 4,000 girls to audition for the role of Hushpuppy in Benh Zeitlin's 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' -- and now the Louisiana native is among five females in competition for Best Actress at the Oscars.

85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva is the oldest woman to be nominated in the category for her role as a retired music teacher in 'Amour.'

The young and older ladies' competition includes Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence and Naomi Watts.

Helen Hunt gets a Best Actress nod for playing a sex surrogate for a man with polio.

In 'The Sessions,' Helen Hunt takes the virginity of a 38-year-old man afflicted with polio.

The film, based on the autobiographical writings of California-based journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, tells the story of a man confined to an iron lung who is determined to lose his virginity.

Hunt, who completely strips down in the film, portrays real life sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen-Greene, who worked with the polio-stricken O'Brien in real life.

Despite critical acclaim for lead actor John Hawkes, who did earn Golden Globe, SAG and Critics' Choice nominations, neither he nor the film received nods.

Hunt's competition includes Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Emmanuelle Riva, Quvenzhané Wallis and Naomi Watts.

This morning's nominations announcer and Oscar host Seth MacFarlane got a nod for 'Best Orginal Song' for writing the lyrics to 'Everybody Needs A best Friend' for his hit R-rated comedy, 'Ted.'

MacFarlane joked during the nominations announcement, 'That's cool I'm nominated, I get to go to the Oscars now.'

Listen to Norah Jones sing MacFarlane's lyrics here:

Despite the power to nominate 10 films in the Best Picture category, the Academy only chose to nominate 9.

Best Picture nominees include: 'Amour,' 'Argo, 'Beasts of the Southern Wild,' 'Django Unchained,' 'Les Misérables,' 'Life of Pi,' 'Lincoln,' 'Silver Linings Playbook' and 'Zero' Dark 30.'

What? No room for 'Skyfall,' 'Moonrise Kingdom,' 'The Dark Knight Rises,' 'The Hobbit,' or 'The Intouchables'?

To see a full list of the 2013 Oscar nominations ...

Now that you know who's nominated (and who's not) in films from 2012 ...

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