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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Steven Spielberg has matched his personal best at the Academy Awards: 12 nominations for his Civil War saga Lincoln, including best picture, director and acting honors for Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones.

That ties the 12 nominations for his 1993 drama Schindler's List, which won seven Oscars, including best picture and director.

Also among the nine nominees for best picture Thursday: the old-age love story Amour ; the Iran hostage thriller Argo ; the independent hit Beasts of the Southern Wild ; the slave-revenge narrative Django Unchained ; the musical Les Miserables ; the shipwreck story Life of Pi ; the lost-souls romance Silver Linings Playbook ; and the Osama bin Laden manhunt chronicle Zero Dark Thirty.

Life of Pi surprisingly ran second with 11 nominations, ahead of Zero Dark Thirty and Les Miserables, which had been considered potential front-runners.

I thought we'd get a few, so this is really great for us, said Life of Pi director Ang Lee. Eleven really surprised me. But it's a good surprise. I'm very happily surprised.

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. Bigelow was the first woman ever the win the directing Oscar for 2009's The Hurt Locker, while Hooper won a year later for The King's Speech.

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, a critical favorite that did manage three acting nominations, for Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Two-time winner Spielberg earned his seventh directing nomination, and also in the mix are past winner Lee for Life of Pi and past nominee David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook. The other slots went to surprise picks who are first-time nominees: Michael Haneke for his French-language Amour and Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Oscar directing contenders often are identical or at least usually line up closely with those for the Directors Guild of America Awards. But only Spielberg and Lee made both lists this time. The Directors Guild also nominated Affleck, Bigelow and Hooper, but not Haneke, Russell or Zeitlin.

Haneke's Amour also was a best-picture surprise. The film, which won the top prize at last May's Cannes Film Festival, mainly had been considered a favorite in the foreign-language category, where it also was nominated. Amour had five nominations, including original screenplay and best-actress for Emmanuelle Riva.

It is fulfilling to discover that a film has found the audience and critical acclaim that `Amour' has garnered, Haneke said. I have been very fortunate on both those fronts, but it is especially rewarding to discover that a film has found favor among one's industry peers who know, in particular, the effort that goes into getting a film -- any film -- made.

The year's second-biggest box-office hit, The Dark Knight Rises, was shut out entirely, even for visual effects. The omission of its predecessor, The Dark Knight, from best-picture consideration for 2008 was largely responsible for the expansion of the Oscar category from five nominees to 10 the following year. The Dark Knight had earned eight nominations and won two Oscars.

Chronicling Abraham Lincoln's final months as he engineers passage of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, Lincoln stars best-actor contender Day-Lewis in a monumental performance as the 16th president, supporting-actress nominee Field as the notoriously headstrong Mary Todd Lincoln and supporting-actor prospect Jones as abolitionist firebrand Thaddeus Stevens.

Joining Day-Lewis in the best-actor field are Bradley Cooper as a psychiatric patient trying to get his life back together in Silver Linings Playbook ; Hugh Jackman as Victor Hugo's tragic hero Jean Valjean in Les Miserables ; Phoenix as a Navy vet who falls in with a cult in The Master ; and Denzel Washington as a boozy airline pilot in Flight.

Cooper had been a bit of a longshot. John Hawkes, a potential best-actor favorite, missed out for his role as a man in an iron lung aiming to lose his virginity in The Sessions.

Nominated for best actress are Jessica Chastain as a CIA operative hunting bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty ; Jennifer Lawrence as a troubled young widow struggling to heal in Silver Linings Playbook ; Riva as an ailing woman tended by her husband in Amour ; Quvenzhane Wallis as a spirited girl on the Louisiana delta in Beasts of the Southern Wild ; and Naomi Watts as a mother caught up in a devastating tsunami in The Impossible.

Best actress had a wild age range: Riva is the oldest nominee ever in the category at 85, while Wallis is the youngest ever at 9.

Along with Field, supporting-actress nominees are Adams as a cult leader's devoted wife in The Master ; Anne Hathaway as an outcast mother reduced to prostitution in Les Miserables ; Helen Hunt as a sex surrogate in The Sessions ; and Jacki Weaver as an unstable man's doting mom in Silver Linings Playbook.

Besides Jones, the supporting-actor contenders are Alan Arkin as a wily Hollywood producer in Argo ; Robert De Niro as a football-obsessed patriarch in Silver Linings Playbook ; Hoffman as a dynamic cult leader in The Master ; and Christoph Waltz as a genteel bounty hunter in Django Unchained.

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, who will host the Feb. 24 Oscars, joined Emma Stone to announce the Oscar lineup, and he scored a nomination himself. He's up for original song for Everybody Needs a Best Friend, the tune he co-wrote for his big-screen directing debut Ted.

That's kind of cool I got nominated, MacFarlane deadpanned at the announcement. I get to go to the Oscars.

Walt Disney predictably dominated the animated-feature category with three of the five nominees: Brave, Frankenweenie and Wreck-It Ralph. Also nominated were ParaNorman and The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

I'm absolutely blown away, Wreck-It Ralph director Rich Moore said. It is weird at 5:30 in the morning to hear Emma Stone say your name. It's surreal.

Lincoln is Spielberg's best awards prospect since his critical peak in the 1990s, when he won best-picture and directing Oscars for Schindler's List and a second directing Oscar for Saving Private Ryan.

Spielberg's latest film could vault him, Day-Lewis and Field to new heights among Hollywood's super-elite of multiple Oscar winners.

A best-picture win for Lincoln would be Spielberg's second, while another directing win would be his third, a feat achieved only by Frank Capra and William Wyler, who each earned three directing Oscars, and John Ford, who received four.

Lincoln also was the ninth best-picture nominee Spielberg has directed, moving him into a tie for second-place with Ford. Only Wyler directed more best-picture nominees, with 13.

Day-Lewis and Field both have two lead-acting Oscars already, he for My Left Foot and There Will Be Blood and she for Norma Rae and Places in the Heart. A third Oscar for either would put them in rare company with previous triple winners Ingrid Bergman, Walter Brennan, Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. Katharine Hepburn is the record-holder with four acting Oscars.

An Oscar for Jones would be his second supporting-actor prize; he previously won for The Fugitive.

Lincoln composer John Williams -- whose five Oscars include three for the music of three earlier Spielberg films, Jaws, E.T. the Extra-terrestrial and Schindler's List -- earned his 43rd nomination for best score, extending his all-time record in the category.

The Oscars feature a best-picture field that ranges from five to 10 films depending on a complex formula of ballots from the 5,856 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Nominations in most categories are decided by ballots from members of specific academy branches -- such as directors, writers or actors. All members are eligible to vote for best-picture nominees, and the entire academy can vote in every category for the actual Oscars, whose balloting begins Feb. 8.

Winners for the 85th Oscars will be announced Feb. 24 at a ceremony aired live on ABC from Hollywood's Dolby Theatre.

Complete list of 85th Annual Academy Award nominations announced Thursday:

1. Best Picture: Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty.

2. Actor: Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook ; Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln ; Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables ; Joaquin Phoenix, The Master ; Denzel Washington, Flight.

3. Actress: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty ; Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook ; Emmanuelle Riva, Amour ; Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild ; Naomi Watts, The Impossible.

4. Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, Argo ; Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook ; Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master ; Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln ; Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained.

5. Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, The Master ; Sally Field, Lincoln ; Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables ; Helen Hunt, The Sessions ; Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook.

6. Directing: Michael Haneke, Amour ; Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild ; Ang Lee, Life of Pi ; Steven Spielberg, Lincoln ; David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook.

7. Foreign Language Film: Amour, Austria; Kon-Tiki, Norway; No, Chile; A Royal Affair, Denmark; War Witch, Canada.

8. Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, Argo ; Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild ; David Magee, Life of Pi ; Tony Kushner, Lincoln ; David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook.

9. Original Screenplay: Michael Haneke, Amour ; Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained ; John Gatins, Flight ; Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom ; Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty.

10. Animated Feature Film: Brave ; Frankenweenie ; ParaNorman ; The Pirates! Band of Misfits ; Wreck-It Ralph.

11. Production Design: Anna Karenina, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln.

12. Cinematography: Anna Karenina, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Skyfall.

13. Sound Mixing: Argo, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Skyfall.

14. Sound Editing: Argo, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Skyfall, Zero Dark Thirty.

15. Original Score: Anna Karenina, Dario Marianelli; Argo, Alexandre Desplat; Life of Pi, Mychael Danna; Lincoln, John Williams; Skyfall, Thomas Newman.

16. Original Song: Before My Time from Chasing Ice, J. Ralph; Everybody Needs a Best Friend from Ted, Walter Murphy and Seth MacFarlane; Pi's Lullaby from Life of Pi, Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayashri; Skyfall from Skyfall, Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth; Suddenly from Les Miserables, Claude-Michel Schonberg, Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil.

17. Costume: Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, Lincoln, Mirror Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsman.

18. Documentary Feature: 5 Broken Cameras, The Gatekeepers, How to Survive a Plague, The Invisible War, Searching for Sugar Man.

19. Documentary (short subject): Inocente, Kings Point, Mondays at Racine, Open Heart, Redemption.

20. Film Editing: Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty.

21. Makeup and Hairstyling: Hitchcock, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Les Miserables.

22. Animated Short Film: Adam and Dog, Fresh Guacamole, Head over Heels, Maggie Simpson in `The Longest Daycare, ' Paperman.

23. Live Action Short Film: Asad, Buzkashi Boys, Curfew, Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw), Henry.

24. Visual Effects: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Life of Pi, Marvel's The Avengers, Prometheus, Snow White and the Huntsman.

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