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And The Nominees For The Academy Award For Best Director Are...

posted 26 Feb 2014, 09:11 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 26 Feb 2014, 09:12 ]

The Oscar nominated directors of 2013 are David O. Russell for "American Hustle,"Alfonso Cuaron for "Gravity," Alexander Payne for "Nebraska," Steve McQueen for "12 Years a Slave," and Martin Scorsese for "The Wolf of Wall Street."

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES  (UNRESTRICTED POOL) - The Oscar nominated directors of 2013 are David O. Russell for "American Hustle," Alfonso Cuaron for "Gravity," Alexander Payne for "Nebraska," Steve McQueen for "12 Years a Slave," and Martin Scorsese for "The Wolf of Wall Street."

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Russell, 55, received two Oscar nominations this year for "American Hustle," including best director and best original screenplay, and was previously nominated as director for his 2010 film "The Fighter," and last year's "Silver Linings Playbook" for which he was also nominated for screenplay. Leading the nominations with a total of ten (tied with "Gravity"), "American Hustle" is about a con man and woman forced to work for an unconventional FBI agent, and depicts the 1970s ABSCAM scandal in a cheeky, sexy period piece. "American Hustle" has also garnered nods for its four lead actors - Christian Bale (best actor nominee), Amy Adams (best actress nominee), Bradley Cooper (best supporting actor nominee) and Jennifer Lawrence (best supporting actress nominee).

The front-runner for this year's best directing Oscar is Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, 52, who has won all the major directing prizes, including the DGA Award (Directors Guild of America), always a leading indicator of who might take home Oscar gold. Critics have marveled at the technical aspects of the film - a groundbreaking interstellar thriller depicting the harrowing survival story of two astronauts after an accident leaves them adrift in open space. It stars Sandra Bullock, who is nominated for best actress, and George Clooney. In addition to his directing nomination for "Gravity," Cuaron is also nominated for two others, best editing and best picture, as a producer of the film. He was previously nominated for best adapted screenplay and best editing for 2006's "Children of Men," and best original screenplay for 2003's "Y tu mama tambien."

Alexander Payne, 53, is nominated this year for "Nebraska," a black-and-white film about an aging, booze-addled father who makes the trip from Montana to Nebraskawith his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar prize. The film stars Bruce Dern (nominated for best actor), Will Forte, and June Squibb (nominated for best supporting actress). It is Payne's seventh Academy Award nomination, having previously won two Oscars for adapted screenplay for 2011's "The Descendants" and 2004's "Sideways," two films for which he was also nominated for best director.

Nominated for helming the historical period piece "12 Years a Slave" is British director Steve McQueen, 44. The film, which received a total of nine nominations, is set in the antebellum United States and tells the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, who is abducted and sold into slavery. The film is based on Northup's account and was produced by Brad Pitt (who appears briefly in the film). Also nominated from the film are its stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (best actor nominee), Michael Fassbender (best supporting actor nominee) and Lupita Nyong'o (best supporting actress). McQueen, whose previous films include 2008's "Hunger" and 2011's "Shame," is also nominated for an Oscar as a producer for "12 Years a Slave."

And rounding out the category is veteran filmmaker Martin Scorsese, whose film "The Wolf of Wall Street" brought his nominations tally to twelve throughout his career. The film is based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and thefederal government, and is nominated for five Academy Awards including best actor, for Leonardo DiCaprio, and best supporting actor, for Jonah Hill. This year, Scorsese, 71, is nominated twice, for best director and as a producer in the best picture category. This is his seventh nomination for best director, having one the prize once, for 2007's "The Departed."

The 86th Annual Academy Awards will be handed out in a live telecast ceremony held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, March 2nd.