Oscars 2014 nominations: Gravity and American Hustle emerge as frontrunners

Alfonso Cuaron's space thriller and David O Russell's con comedy score 10 nods apiece compared with 12 Years a Slave's nine

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Oscars 2014 nominations: Gravity and American Hustle emerge as frontrunners
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Susanna Lazarus

Gravity and American Hustle have taken an early lead in the race for Oscars glory, scoring 10 nominations apiece including nods for the prestigious Best Picture prize. The two films have edged ahead of Steve McQueen's slavery epic 12 Years a Slave which was shortlisted nine times and will also compete for the night's highly coveted award. 

The three films look set to enter into a three-way contest for the top gongs, each scoring nominations in major acting categories with the trio of directors also in contention for the Best Director prize. 

American Hustle's starry cast have earned a slew of nods from the Academy with Christian Bale (leading actor), Amy Adams (leading actress), Bradley Cooper (supporting actor) and Jennifer Lawrence (supporting actress) all up for the night's top honours.

Gravity's Sandra Bullock will compete against Adams in the best actress category alongside Judi Dench (Philomena), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) and Meryl Streep (August: Osage County). 

Meanwhile, 12 Year's a Slave's Chiwetel Ejiofor - one of the shock upset's at last Sunday's Golden Globe Awards - has been shortlisted for leading actor, with his co-stars Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o both named in their respective supporting categories. 

Hot on the heels of the main three pictures are Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street and Alexander Payne's Nebraska, each with five nominations. Both Scorsese and Payne are up for Best Director, with their leading men Leonardo DiCaprio and Bruce Dern going head-to-head with Bale, Ejiofor and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyer's Club) in the Best Actor category. 

The Wolf of Wall Street's Jonah Hill earns his second nomination for best supporting actor while Nebraska's June Squibb is up for best supporting actress, competing against Lawrence, Nyong'o, Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) and Julia Roberts (August: Osage County). 

Also in the mix is British film Philomena which picked up best adapted screenplay (Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope) and best picture along with Dench's acting nomination, while Dallas Buyers Club exceeded expectations, adding to McConaughey's acting nod with a deserved supporting nomination for Golden Globe winner Jared Leto, plus a chance to compete for best screenplay and best picture. 

But early contender August: Osage County walked away disappointed, scoring just two nominations for Streep and Roberts in the acting categories, while Joaquin Phoenix missed out on an accolade from the Academy for his role in Spike Jonze's Her.

The nominations were announced this afternoon by Chris Hemsworth - the star of Rush and Thor - alongside Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs. The ceremony will take place on 2 March at Hollywood's Dolby theatre with chat show host Ellen DeGeneres compering the show.


 


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