The final countdown is on for the ultimate in Hollywood glitz and glamour.
The red carpet is out, and the Oscar statue replica vendors are ready for their annual moment of glory.
Of the major awards, Best Picture is the most coveted. Cheryl Boone Isaacs is the first African-American president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and its third female president in 86 years.
She says this year’s selection is exceptional: “This year represents quite a few films that give us a different voice, a more diverse voice. The themes of the nine films nominated for Best Picture are really a wide range.”
Here is a list of the nine nominees:
Front-runner ‘American Hustle’ got 10 nominations including Best Actor and Actress in a Leading Role for Christian Bale and Amy Adams, and Best Supporting nods for Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.
Also nominated in 10 categories is Alfonso Cuarón’s 3D space thriller ‘Gravity’, which has also earned Sandra Bullock a nomination for Best Actress – a trophy she already picked up in 2010 for her role in ‘The Blind Side’.
‘12 Years a Slave’, British director Steve McQueen’s brutal depiction of pre-civil war American slavery, is another favourite with nine nominations including Best Actor for Britain’s Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Best Supporting nods for Michael Fassbender and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o.
One of the few surprises this year came from Alexander Payne’s bitter-sweet black-and-white road movie ‘Nebraska’, with six nominations, including Best Actor for Bruce Dern, who picked up the gong at the Cannes Film Festival last year.
Best acting nominations has favored some acclaimed actors with long careers, like 79-year-old Dame Judi Dench for her role as an Irish mother looking for the son she was forced to give up in ‘Philomena’, nominated in four categories. Dench is also up against Cate Blanchett and Hollywood sweetheart Meryl Streep.
Piracy drama ‘Captain Phillips’, starring Tom Hanks, received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Supporting Actor for newcomer Barkhad Abdi.
AIDS drama ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ got six nods including Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for Matthew McConaughey and co-star Jared Leto, both of whom went through dramatic weight loss for the movie.
Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ has five nominations including Best Actor in a Leading Role for Leonardo di Caprio, his fourth in that category.
Spike Jonze’s quirky computer-age romance ‘Her’, the story of a love affair between a writer – played by Joaquin Phoenix – and a computer operating system – voiced by Scarlett Johansson – has received five nominations including Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
In the Foreign Language category, Italy’s ‘The Great Beauty’ is up against Danish drama ‘The Hunt’, Belgium’s ‘The Broken Circle Breakdown’, Palestinian film ‘Omar’ and Cambodia’s ‘The Missing Picture’.
Join us on Euronews on March 3rd for our Special Oscars Edition.