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Four Aussies pick up Oscar nods

Four years ago, Hugh Jackman sang, danced and joked as host of the Academy Awards. Now he is heading back as a best actor nominee for his stirring role in Les Miserables. The Australian star, who once described himself as the dunce of his first acting course, has graduated to his first Oscar nomination for playing the reformed prisoner Jean Valjean in the musical.

Also nominated for the 85th Academy Awards is Naomi Watts, who plays a tsunami survivor in The Impossible, and Jacki Weaver, who plays the mother of a troubled teacher in Silver Linings Playbook and Rick Findlater for make-up and hairstyling on The Hobbit.

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Four Oscar nominations for Aussies

Actors Hugh Jackman and Naomi Watts have been nominated for best acting Oscars, Jacki Weaver for best supporting actress and Rick Findlater for Achievement in hair and makeup.

Lincoln, director Steven Spielberg’s bio-pic of Abraham Lincoln as he battles to abolish slavery and end the Civil War, leads the nominations with 12.

Jackman, who is currently filming in Georgia, has the chance to complete a rare acting triple crown by adding an Oscar to his Tony and Emmy awards.

In a strong field for best actor, he will be up against Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln), Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) and Denzel Washington (Flight). 

Adding to his triumph, Jackman sings Suddenly in Les Miserables, which is up for best original song.


The musical is one of nine nominees for best picture alongside Lincoln, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained and two surprises - Beasts of the Southern Wild, a small-scale indie film set in a Louisiana swamp called The Bathtub, and Amour, an emotional German-Austrian-French collaboration about an elderly couple dealing with a health crisis.

Watts, who has been nominated once previously for 21 Grams, is vying with both the youngest and oldest actors to be nominated for best actress at the Oscars.

Quvenzhane Wallis, who is nine now, was just six when she played a sparky swamp dweller named Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Emmanuelle Riva, a French actress who turns 86 on the day of the Oscars, plays a retired music teacher who suffers a stroke in Amour.

Also up for best actress are Jennifer Lawrence as a not-so-merry widow in Silver Linings Playbook and Jessica Chastain as a driven CIA officer in Zero Dark Thirty.

It is Weaver’s second Oscar nomination after her first, for playing crime matriarch ‘Smurf’ Cody in Animal Kingdom, led to a thriving Hollywood career.

She is up for best supporting actress against Amy Adams (The Master), Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) and Helen Hunt (The Sessions).

I honestly wasn't expecting it and it did take me quite by surprise. I yelled out a rude word.

Jacki Weaver

Tom Hooper, who triumphed at the Oscars with The King’s Speech before making Les Miserables, was overlooked for best director as nominations went to Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Michael Haneke (Amour) and little-known Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild).

Seth MacFarlane, who received a nod for the lyrics for the song Everybody Needs A Best Friend from Ted, announced the nominations with Emma Stone in Los Angeles.

Jackman said he had not planned to listen live to the announcement but his driver had it on in the car as he headed to work.

"To be honest, it's very exciting but all a bit surreal and it hasn't fully sunk in yet," he said. "This is a brilliant awards year that has been defined by an eclectic list of stories that have been told by incredibly talented and courageous filmmakers and it's an honour to be mentioned in the same sentence as the other nominees in the best actor category.

"Having hosted the show, I have seen so many different sides of the Oscars but to be an actual nominee is something I never would have dreamed possible."

Weaver  learned of her nomination while watching TV "in my Qantas pyjamas" after flying into Los Angeles on the way to Texas to play Lee Harvey Oswald's mother in Parkland.

"I wasn't sleeping so well so I turned on the TV," she told Movieline. "I honestly wasn't expecting it and it did take me quite by surprise. I yelled out a rude word."

Weaver added that the word began with "f as in Freddie" and "it sounded like the way Australians say park."

Watts said she was "thrilled and humbled with this morning's wonderful news," adding that "the journey of telling Maria Belon's miraculous story of survival has been an incredible experience and I am so grateful for this acknowledgement of our film. I am truly honoured."

Findlater, who has worked on The Lord of the Rings movies, Avatar and Naomi Watts’s make-up for The Impossible, read of his nomination online just before 1am at his home in Georgica, near Lismore in northern NSW.

He was alone except for his black labrador Diesel.

‘‘I was a bit bleary-eyed at that stage because you’ve been sitting there killing time, killing time, killing time,’’ he said. ‘‘It was good.’’

Rather than crack open a bottle of champagne, Findlater just went to bed.

‘‘It was kind of just this release of relief,’’ he said.

‘‘Because I live in the country, there’s just a different kind of perspective.

Oscar nominations 

Best motion picture of the year

*   "Amour" Nominees to be determined
*   "Argo" Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers
*   "Beasts of the Southern Wild" Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers
*   "Django Unchained" Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers
*   "Les Misérables" Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh,  Producers
*   "Life of Pi" Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers
*   "Lincoln" Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers
*   "Silver Linings Playbook" Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
*   "Zero Dark Thirty" Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers

Performance by an actor in a leading role

*   Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook"
*   Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln"
*   Hugh Jackman in "Les Misérables"
*   Joaquin Phoenix in "The Master"
*   Denzel Washington in "Flight"

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

*   Alan Arkin in "Argo"
*   Robert De Niro in "Silver Linings Playbook"
*   Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master"
*   Tommy Lee Jones in "Lincoln"
*   Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained"

Performance by an actress in a leading role

*   Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty"
*   Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook"
*   Emmanuelle Riva in "Amour"
*   Quvenzhané Wallis in "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
*   Naomi Watts in "The Impossible"

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

*   Amy Adams in "The Master"
*   Sally Field in "Lincoln"
*   Anne Hathaway in "Les Misérables"
*   Helen Hunt in "The Sessions"
*   Jacki Weaver in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Best animated feature film of the year

*   "Brave" Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
*   "Frankenweenie" Tim Burton
*   "ParaNorman" Sam Fell and Chris Butler
*   "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" Peter Lord
*   "Wreck-It Ralph" Rich Moore

Achievement in cinematography

*   "Anna Karenina" Seamus McGarvey
*   "Django Unchained" Robert Richardson
*   "Life of Pi" Claudio Miranda
*   "Lincoln" Janusz Kaminski
*   "Skyfall" Roger Deakins

Achievement in costume design

*   "Anna Karenina" Jacqueline Durran
*   "Les Misérables" Paco Delgado
*   "Lincoln" Joanna Johnston
*   "Mirror Mirror" Eiko Ishioka
*   "Snow White and the Huntsman" Colleen Atwood

Achievement in directing

*   "Amour" Michael Haneke
*   "Beasts of the Southern Wild" Benh Zeitlin
*   "Life of Pi" Ang Lee
*   "Lincoln" Steven Spielberg
*   "Silver Linings Playbook" David O. Russell

Best documentary feature

*   "5 Broken Cameras"
Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
*   "The Gatekeepers"
Nominees to be determined
*   "How to Survive a Plague"
Nominees to be determined
*   "The Invisible War"
Nominees to be determined
*   "Searching for Sugar Man"
Nominees to be determined

Best documentary short subject

*   "Inocente"
Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
*   "Kings Point"
Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider
*   "Mondays at Racine"
Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan
*   "Open Heart"
Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
*   "Redemption"
Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill

Achievement in film editing

*   "Argo" William Goldenberg
*   "Life of Pi" Tim Squyres
*   "Lincoln" Michael Kahn
*   "Silver Linings Playbook" Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
*   "Zero Dark Thirty" Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg

Best foreign language film of the year

*   "Amour" Austria
*   "Kon-Tiki" Norway
*   "No" Chile
*   "A Royal Affair" Denmark
*   "War Witch" Canada

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

*   "Hitchcock"
Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
*   "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
*   "Les Misérables"
Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

*   "Anna Karenina" Dario Marianelli
*   "Argo" Alexandre Desplat
*   "Life of Pi" Mychael Danna
*   "Lincoln" John Williams
*   "Skyfall" Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

*   "Before My Time" from "Chasing Ice"
Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
*   "Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from "Ted"
Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
*   "Pi's Lullaby" from "Life of Pi"
Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
*   "Skyfall" from "Skyfall"
Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
*   "Suddenly" from "Les Misérables"
Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Achievement in production design

*   "Anna Karenina"
Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
*   "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
Production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright
*   "Les Misérables"
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson
*   "Life of Pi"
Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
*   "Lincoln"
Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Best animated short film

*   "Adam and Dog" Minkyu Lee
*   "Fresh Guacamole" PES
*   "Head over Heels" Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly
*   "Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare"" David Silverman
*   "Paperman" John Kahrs

Best live action short film

*   "Asad" Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura
*   "Buzkashi Boys" Sam French and Ariel Nasr
*   "Curfew" Shawn Christensen
*   "Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)" Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele
*   "Henry" Yan England

Achievement in sound editing

*   "Argo" Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn
*   "Django Unchained" Wylie Stateman
*   "Life of Pi" Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton
*   "Skyfall" Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers
*   "Zero Dark Thirty" Paul N.J. Ottosson

Achievement in sound mixing

*   "Argo"
John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia
*   "Les Misérables"
Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes
*   "Life of Pi"
Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin
*   "Lincoln"
Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins
*   "Skyfall"
Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson

Achievement in visual effects

*   "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
*   "Life of Pi"
Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
*   "Marvel's The Avengers"
Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
*   "Prometheus"
Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
*   "Snow White and the Huntsman"
Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson

Adapted screenplay

*   "Argo" Screenplay by Chris Terrio
*   "Beasts of the Southern Wild" Screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
*   "Life of Pi" Screenplay by David Magee
*   "Lincoln" Screenplay by Tony Kushner
*   "Silver Linings Playbook" Screenplay by David O. Russell

Original screenplay

*   "Amour" Written by Michael Haneke
*   "Django Unchained" Written by Quentin Tarantino
*   "Flight" Written by John Gatins
*   "Moonrise Kingdom" Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
*   "Zero Dark Thirty" Written by Mark Boal