Oscar Nominations 2013: Snubs and Surprises (VIDEO)

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Much of Hollywood may be toasting the 85th Academy Awards nominations, but many buzzed-about frontrunners aren’t, as they were notably unnamed in this year’s crop of contenders.

Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi and Les Miserables each earned multiple nods when the show’s host, Seth MacFarlane, and actress Emma Stone announced the nominees in a pre-dawn ceremony in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Thursday. But the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences failed to hail everyone.

Oscar race watchers surely raised eyebrows with the directing nominees: Ben Affleck, who helmed Argo, a thriller chronicling a real-life covert operation to rescue six Americans abroad; Kathryn Bigelow, who directed the Osama bin Laden hunt-down film, Zero Dark Thirty; Quentin Tarantino, the mind behind the bloody Civil War-era film, Django Unchained; and Tom Hooper, who transformed musical Les Misérables for the big screen, were all conspicuously missing.

Instead, Steven Spielberg, for Lincoln, Michael Haneke, for Amour, David O. Russell, for Silver Linings Playbook, Ang Lee, for Life of Pi, and Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild filled the five slots in the category.

And the snubs didn’t end there. While Helen Hunt nabbed a Best Supporting Actress nod for The Sessions, John Hawkes was overlooked as Best Actor for his performance as a man in an iron lung who longs to lose his virginity. Former Oscar winner Marion Cotillard was shut out of the Best Actress race despite her acclaimed performance in the harrowing French art film, Rust and Bone. And while Nicole Kidman pulled out a Screen Actors Guild nod for The Paperboy, the Academy showed her no love in the Best Supporting Actress category.

But a few surprises brought applause in the nomination announcement. Though Beasts of the Southern Wild was ignored by the Golden Globes voters, the Academy acknowledged the critically acclaimed indie with four nods.

Not only did Ben Zeitlin earn an ever-coveted spot in the Best Director competition, but Quvenzhane Wallis, 9, became the youngest to ever be nominated for Best Actress for her performance as Hushpuppy, a fiercely independent girl who lives in the Louisiana bayou with her father. Fittingly, the category also has its oldest nominee ever in history: Emmanuelle Riva, 85, for her turn in the French-language film about death, Amour.

Though Jacki Weaver in Silver Linings Playbook wasn’t widely anticipated in the Best Supporting Actress contest, her nomination makes sense in light of the Academy showing love for the film: Not only is it up for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, but David O. Russell earned a Best Director nod and Bradley Cooper will vie for Best Actor.

And tongues were certainly left wagging with Joaquin Phoenix’s Best Actor nomination for The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic inspired by the life of L. Ron Hubbard, for which Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams also earned supporting nods. Just months ago, Phoenix came under fire for blasting the Oscars as the “the stupidest thing in the whole world.”

“I’m just saying that I think it’s bulls***. I think it’s total, utter bulls***,” he told Interview magazine. “I don’t want to be a part of it. I don’t believe in it….It’s the stupidest thing in the whole world. It was one of the most uncomfortable periods of my life when Walk the Line was going through all the awards stuff and all that. I never want to have that experience again.”

The Oscar telecast will air on Feb. 24 on ABC at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT.

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