RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And this morning here in Los Angeles the nominations for the 85th Academy Awards were announced. The movie with the most nominations: Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," with 12 nods.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "LINCOLN")
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "LIFE OF PI")
MONTAGNE: We heard Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln and then just now the movie "Life of Pi," directed by Ang Lee, the second-most nominated movie with 11 nominations. The winners will be announced on February 24 at the Academy Awards. And joining us for a closer look is Linda Holmes, who writes NPR's pop culture blog, Monkey See. Any surprises, Linda? So far these two could have been expected.
LINDA HOLMES, BYLINE: Those two were widely expected to do very well, and they did. I think the biggest surprises came in the director category, where Ben Affleck was not nominated for directing "Argo," and especially Katherine Bigelow was not nominated for directing "Zero Dark Thirty." She in particular, I think, was considered to be a lock and a very strong contender for the win. She wasn't nominated.
Instead of those two, you got essentially two directors of films that were not necessarily as much frontrunners - Michael Haneke, who is the director of the film "Amour," and also Benh Zeitlin, who is the director of a movie called "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which has not gotten as much publicity but is also very beloved.
MONTAGNE: Now, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Amour" did well overall in these nominations, as did another smaller movie, "Silver Linings Playbook."
HOLMES: "Silver Linings Playbook" did very well. The film was nominated. The director was nominated. The screenplay was nominated. And it was nominated in all four acting categories - lead actor and actress and supporting actor and actress. That's a pretty impressive sweep. So those three all did well. They were all nominated for Best Picture, along with "Argo," "Django Unchained," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi," and "Lincoln," as you mentioned, and "Zero Dark Thirty."
MONTAGNE: And let's talk momentarily about the actor/actress category - a pretty cool actress category, both the oldest and the youngest actresses ever nominated. I think that's right.
HOLMES: That is absolutely right. The oldest and youngest actresses ever. The oldest is Emmanuelle Riva, who is 85-years-old and is nominated for "Amour," and the youngest is Quvenzhane Wallis, nominated for "Beasts of the Southern Wild." She is nine years old now. She was five when she auditioned for the film. And there are some other actors who were nominated for widely decorated films, including Philip Seymour Hoffman is nominated for "The Master," Joaquin Phoenix is nominated for "The Master," Christoph Waltz for "Django Unchained," not Jamie Foxx, unfortunately.
And probably the biggest lock of this Oscars is Daniel Day-Lewis for "Lincoln."
MONTAGNE: Who is actually obviously nominated as predicted for best actor.
MONTAGNE: So is there a takeaway from this year's roundup of nominations about the Academy Awards?
HOLMES: I think there is. When they originally expanded the field, it used to be five best picture nominees. It can now be anywhere between five and 10. I think the expectation was it would benefit bigger, more popular films. "The Dark Knight" was one of the ones that motivated that change in a lot of people's minds.
MONTAGNE: The original "Dark Knight."
HOLMES: Right. It's actually turned out to benefit, I think, some very small films, including "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Amour," both of which are a little off the beaten path for the Academy.
MONTAGNE: Linda, thanks very much.
HOLMES: Thank you.
MONTAGNE: Linda Holmes writes NPR's pop culture blog Monkee See.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
But let's not waste any more time on acclaimed movies. We have news of the Razzies, the annual spoof of the Academy Awards highlighting the year's worst movies and performances.
MONTAGNE: Razzie winners are announced the night before the Oscars and the nominations came out this week. They went to some movies you might have forgotten, including "Battleship" and "That's My Boy." Acting nominations go to Adam Sandler, Tyler Perry and Katherine Heigel.
INSKEEP: Leading the pack is "Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2." It is to the Razzies what "Gone With The Wind" or "Avatar" have been to the Oscars. The vampire flick is up for 11 awards this year, including worst picture, worst director and worst screenplay.
MONTAGNE: "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson is up for worst actor, but he didn't do as well, or maybe we should say as badly, as his co-star, Kristen Stewart. She is nominated twice for worst actress in both "Twilight" and "Snow White and the Huntsman." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.