The Steven Spielberg epic drama "Lincoln" leads the nominees for the Academy Awards, Hollywood's top honors, which are also known as the Oscars. Nominees were announced in Los Angeles and the story of the Civil War U.S. president garnered 12 nominations, including for Best Picture.
"Lincoln" earned Spielberg a nomination for Best Director, and Daniel Day-Lewis, who plays the 16th American president, another for Best Actor. Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones earned nominations for their supporting roles, and playwright Tony Kushner for his adapted screenplay.
President Abraham Lincoln was determined to enact the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which when ratified by the states, would end slavery in the country. In one scene, Secretary of State William Seward, played by David Strathairn, tries to dissuade him from the political battle.
Seward: “Imagine the possibilities peace will bring. Why tarnish your invaluable luster with a battle in the House [of Representatives]? It's a rat's nest in there. It's the same gang of talentless hicks and hacks who rejected the amendment 10 months ago. We'll lose.”
Lincoln: “I like our chances now.”
"Life of Pi," a fantasy about a young Indian man stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger, earned 11 nominations, including one for director Ang Lee. The film will also compete for Best Picture.
Other top Oscar contenders include "Les Miserables," a film based on the popular stage musical of the same name; "Argo," a film about the effort to rescue U.S. diplomats caught in Tehran during the 1979 Iranian revolution; and "Zero Dark Thirty," about the hunt for terrorist Osama bin Laden.
"Silver Linings Playbook," about a Philadelphia family and a son's efforts to cope with bipolar disorder, earned Oscar nominations for Bradley Cooper as Best Actor, Jennifer Lawrence as Best Actress, and Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver for their supporting roles.
This year's nominees for Best Actress include the oldest-ever nominated in the category, 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva for the French-language film "Amour." It also includes the youngest, nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis, who stars in the fantasy drama "Beasts of the Southern Wild."
The actor, producer and singer who will host this year's award show, Seth MacFarlane, helped announce the nominees at an early morning news event.
Nine films will compete for Best Picture this year, including "Django Unchained," the Quentin Tarantino tale of slavery and retribution in the American South before the Civil War.
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Best foreign-language film nominees include "Amour" from Austria, which will also compete for Best Picture; and "Kon-Tiki" from Norway, 'No" from Chile, "A Royal Affair" from Denmark and "War Witch" from Canada.
The Oscars will be presented February 24 in a ceremony broadcast around the world from Hollywood.