Academy Awards Nominations for 2014

'Hustle,' '12 Years' are among top Oscar nominees

  • "Gravity, " "American Hustle" top all films with 10 Oscar nods
  • Divisive "Wolf of Wall Street" has things go its way
  • Oprah Winfrey, Robert Redford, Tom Hanks snubbed
  • Oscars will take place March 2

Two stories of America - one about its sometimes perverse capacity for reinvention, the other about the most tragic period in the country's history - were among the leaders Thursday for the nominations for the 86th Academy Awards.

"American Hustle, " a story about con artists based loosely on the late 1970s Abscam scandal, tied for the lead with 10 nominations. The movie was nominated in several major categories, including picture, director (David O. Russell), actor (Christian Bale), actress (Amy Adams), supporting actor (Bradley Cooper), supporting actress (Jennifer Lawrence) and adapted screenplay.

And "12 Years a Slave, " based on Solomon Northup's 19th-century narrative about being taken from freedom into slavery, earned nine nods, including picks for best picture, best director (Steve McQueen), best actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), best supporting actor (Michael Fassbender) and best supporting actress (Lupita Nyong'o).

"This has been an amazing ride, and to receive nine nominations from the academy is testament to all of the hard work. And for that I am truly grateful, " McQueen said.

"Gravity, " about a space mission gone wrong, also received 10 nominations, including picks for best picture, best director (Alfonso Cuaron) and best actress (Sandra Bullock).

"I am particularly moved by Sandy's nomination, " said Cuaron in a statement. "She is the heartbeat of our film. I thank her for her grace, her trust and her dedication to finding the truth of this character."

The academy nominated nine films for best picture overall. They are "American Hustle, " "Captain Phillips, " "Dallas Buyers Club, " "Gravity, " "Her, " "Nebraska, " "Philomena, " "12 Years a Slave" and "The Wolf of Wall Street."

"The Wolf of Wall Street" had divided critics - and, more to the point, industry audiences - with its relentless depiction of hedonism among financial traders in 1990s New York. In one instance, according to a story that quickly gained currency in Hollywood, an academy member heckled director Martin Scorsese after a screening.

But Oscar sided with the film, giving it five nominations, all in big categories: best picture, best director, best actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), best supporting actor (Jonah Hill) and best adapted screenplay (Terence Winter).

Love for 'Dallas Buyers Club'

There was also good news for "Dallas Buyers Club, " the story of an HIV-positive man in the 1980s who rallies others to battle the AIDS crisis. The low-budget film, which cost $5 million, received six nominations, tying it with "Nebraska" and "Captain Phillips."

Matthew McConaughey, who won a Golden Globe for a performance that required him to lose 45 pounds, was among the best actor nominees. The film was also nominated for best supporting actor (Jared Leto, another Globe winner) and best original screenplay, along with best picture.

The academy also smiled on director Alexander Payne, a two-time Oscar winner whose films include "Sideways, " "The Descendants" and "About Schmidt." His "Nebraska, " the story of a curmudgeon and his son who make a trip to the Cornhusker State in the possible vain pursuit of a sweepstakes prize, included nominations for picture, director, original screenplay, supporting actress (June Squibb) and best actor. The last went to 77-year-old film veteran Bruce Dern, whose only other nomination was for 1978's "Coming Home."

Another sleeper, "Philomena, " received nominations for picture, adapted screenplay and star Judi Dench as well as music (original score).

As expected, Cate Blanchett also was nominated for best actress as a modern-day Blanche DuBois in "Blue Jasmine." She already has won the Golden Globe (drama), National Society of Film Critics Award and New York Film Critics Circle Award for her role in the Woody Allen film.

The tireless Meryl Streep was recognized yet again by the academy, receiving a best actress nomination for "August: Osage County." It's Streep's 18th nomination. She has three wins, for "Kramer vs. Kramer, " "Sophie's Choice" and "The Iron Lady."

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