Lincoln Poster*Lincoln and Life of Pi emerged as the early favorites in the Academy Award Sweepstakes with 12 and 11 nominations respectively.

But don’t forget that just a year ago this critic warned of irrational exuberance when Hugo landed the most, only to ultimately be beaten by The Artist on Oscar night, thanks in part to an ad campaign carefully orchestrated by Harvey Weinstein.

And the Weinstein Company has a few horses in this year’s race, most notably, Silver Linings Playbook, which has netted a nomination in every major category. So, don’t be surprised to see that picture’s stock rise considerably in the coming weeks. Another dark horse which might blossom into the favorite is Zero Dark Thirty, a film which suffered from political controversy and the fact that it only went into wide release on January 11th.

In terms of the acting categories, most of the buzz surrounds cutie-pie Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and grand dame Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) as the youngest and oldest actresses ever to be nominated, at 9 and 85 years of age, respectively. A lot of attention is being been paid to the contenders in the Best Supporting Actor category, too, since they all are former winners.

But practically overshadowing the nominees is the conspicuous absence of Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), Ben Affleck (Argo) and Kathryn Bigelow) in the Best Director category. Joining them in the snub club are actors John Hawkes (The Sessions) and Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi), as well as actresses Rachel Weisz (The Deep Blue Sea) and Ann Dowd (Compliance).

Regardless, the 85th Academy Awards show is set to air live on ABC on Sunday, February 24th at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, and will be hosted by the ever-irreverent Seth MacFarlane.

 
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Amour
Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables)
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
Denzel Washington (Flight)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan Arkin (Argo)
Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams (The Master)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)
Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)
Best Achievement in Directing
Michael Haneke (Amour)
Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Amour: Michael Haneke
Django Unchained: Quentin Tarantino
Flight: John Gatins
Moonrise Kingdom: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty: Mark Boal
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Argo: Chris Terrio
Beasts of the Southern Wild: Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin
Life of Pi: David Magee
Lincoln: Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook: David O. Russell
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Brave
Frankenweenie
ParaNorman
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph
Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Amour (Austria)
War Witch (Canada)
No (Chile)
A Royal Affair (Denmark)
Kon-Tiki (Norway)
Best Achievement in Cinematography
Anna Karenina
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall
Best Achievement in Editing
Argo
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Best Achievement in Production Design
Anna Karenina
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Best Achievement in Costume Design
Anna Karenina
Les Misérables
Lincoln
Mirror Mirror
Snow White and the Huntsman
Best Achievement in Makeup
Hitchcock
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Misérables
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Anna Karenina
Argo
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Chasing Ice: J. Ralph(“Before My Time”)
Les Misérables: Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer(“Suddenly”)
Life of Pi: Mychael Danna, Bombay Jayshree(“Pi’s Lullaby”)
Skyfall: Adele, Paul Epworth(“Skyfall”)
Ted: Walter Murphy, Seth MacFarlane(“Everybody Needs a Best Friend”)
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Argo
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall
Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Argo
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Skyfall
Zero Dark Thirty
 
Best Achievement in Visual Effects
The Avengers
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Prometheus
Snow White and the Huntsman
 
Best Documentary, Features
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man
 
Best Documentary, Short Subjects
Inocente
Kings Point
Mondays at Racine
Open Heart
Redemption
Best Short Film, Animated
Adam and Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head Over Heels
Paperman
The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare
Best Short Film, Live Action
Asad
Buzkashi Boys
Curfew
Death of a Shadow
Henry