By ELIZABETH MARCELLINO
City News Service
Director David O. Russell's American Hustle and Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity led the pack of Oscar contenders today with 10 nominations each, and Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave was fast on their heels with nine nods.
All three directors also received a nomination for their work and the films were all among those listed for best picture. The other best picture nominees include Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club and Nebraska. each garnering another five nominations, and Philomena, Her and The Wolf of Wall Street. The Academy chose to nominate only nine films this year although its rules allow 10.
Leading actors with a chance to take home the coveted gold statuette are Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave, Christian Bale for American Hustle, Bruce Dern for Nebraska, Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club and Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street. The category was particularly competitive this year and veterans Robert Redford and Tom Hanks were not nominated despite critically praised performances.
For best actress, the nominees include Amy Adams for American Hustle, Sandra Bullock for Gravity, Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, Judi Dench for Philomena and Meryl Streep for August: Osage County.
In the supporting categories, nods were given to actresses Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine, Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle, Lupita Nyong'o in 12 Years a Slave, Julia Roberts in August: Osage County and June Squibb in Nebraska.
The supporting actor nominees are Barkhad Abdi in Captain Phillips, Bradley Cooper in American Hustle, Michael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave, Jonah Hill in The Wolf of Wall Street and Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club.
Actor and sometime superhero Chris Hemsworth and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs made the traditional early morning announcement at the Academy's Beverly Hills headquarters.
The Oscars will be presented March 2 at the Dolby Theater at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. Ellen DeGeneres will make her second appearance as host. She also hosted in 2007.