THE Civil War saga "Lincoln" leads the Academy Awards with 12 nominations, including best picture, director for Steven Spielberg and acting honors for British-born Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones.
Also among the nine nominees yesterday for best picture: the love story "Amour;" the Iran hostage thriller "Argo;" the independent hit "Beasts of the Southern Wild;" "Django Unchained;" the musical "Les Miserables;" the shipwreck story "Life of Pi;" "Silver Linings Playbook;" and "Zero Dark Thirty."
Oscar winners will be announced on February 24.
"Life of Pi" surprisingly ran second in nominations with 11, ahead of "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Les Miserables," which had both been considered potential front-runners.
More surprising were snubs in the directing category, where three favorites missed out: Ben Affleck for "Argo" and past Oscar winners Kathryn Bigelow for "Zero Dark Thirty" and Tom Hooper for "Les Miserables."
The best-picture category also had surprising omissions. The acclaimed first-love tale "Moonrise Kingdom" was left out and only got one nomination, for original screenplay. Also snubbed for best-picture was "The Master".