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And The Nominees For The Best Picture Oscar Are...

posted 26 Feb 2014, 09:51 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 26 Feb 2014, 09:52 ]

A look at scenes from the nine films nominated in the best picture category at the 86th Annual Academy Awards.

(SONY PICTURES RELEASING) - The nine films nominated for best picture this year are: "American Hustle," "Captain Phillips," "Dallas Buyers Club," "Gravity," "Her," "Nebraska," "Philomena," "12 Years a Slave," and "The Wolf of Wall Street."

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Leading the pack alongside "Gravity" with ten nominations is "American Hustle," about a con man and woman forced to work for an unconventional FBI agent, depicts the 1970s ABSCAM scandal in a cheeky, sexy period piece. Directed by David O. Russell, who is nominated for directing and for original screenplay, "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).

Nominated for six Oscars is "Captain Phillips," the true story of an American cargo ship captain and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the Maersk Alabama, directed byPaul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks. Although Hanks was not nominated for an Oscar for his performance, his co-star, Somali actor Barkhad Abdi, got his breakout role with the film and was nominated in the best supporting actor category.

Also nominated for six Oscars is "Dallas Buyers Club," a biopic set in 1985 Dallas, starring Matthew McConaughey as electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof, who works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease. The film has been a breakout success story, garnering awards and attention from various film festivals, and Oscar nods for its stars McConaughey (best actor nominee) and Jared Leto (best supporting actor nominee). Both McConaughey and Leto are the front-runners in their categories.

With ten nominations, "Gravity," Alfonso Cuaron's groundbreaking interstellar thriller, depicts the harrowing survival story of two astronauts after an accident leaves them adrift in open space. The film was one of 2013's biggest blockbusters, earning over $700 million dollars (USD) at the box office. It stars Sandra Bullock, who is nominated for best actress, and George Clooney. Cuaron is the front-runner for the best director Oscar, and the film is expected to win trophies for special effects and sound design.

Nominated for five Oscars is "Her," Spike Jonze's touching commentary about technology's grasp on human life, tells the story of a lonely writer in futuristic Los Angeles who develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that's designed to meet his every need. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix andScarlett Johansson as the sultry-voiced computer operating system. Jonze is nominated for best original screenplay, and the film has two music nominations, for best original score (by Arcade Fire's Win Butler and Owen Pallett), and best original song, for "The Moon Song," by Yeah Yeah Yeahs lead singer Karen O. and Jonze, who penned the song's lyrics.

Nominated for six Oscars is "Nebraska," about an aging, booze-addled father who makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar prize. The film is directed by Oscar-winner Alexander Payne, who is nominated this year, and stars Bruce Dern (nominated for best actor), Will Forte, andJune Squibb (nominated for best supporting actress).

Nominated for four Oscars is "Philomena," based on the touching true story of a world-weary political journalist who picks up the story of an Irish woman's search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent. Dame Judi Dench stars in the title role and is nominated for best actress, and Steve Coogan, who also stars in the film, is nominated for co-writing the film's adapted screenplay.

Nominated for nine Oscars is "12 Years A Slave," set in the antebellum United States, which 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) and directed by Steve McQueen, who is nominated for best director. Also nominated from the film are its stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (best actor nominee), Michael Fassbender (best supporting actor nominee) andLupita Nyong'o (best supporting actress).

And rounding out the category is "The Wolf of Wall Street," based on the true story ofJordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government. The film is nominated for five Academy Awards including nods for best director, for Martin Scorsese, best actor, forLeonardo DiCaprio, and best supporting actor, for Jonah Hill.

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.