LOS ANGELES — Torture. Terror. Depression. Revolt. Where’s Uggie the dog when you need him?
The 85th Academy Awards season jolted into place Thursday morning, as the heaviest number of Oscar nominations — including nods for best picture — went to “Lincoln," about a president’s struggle with civil war; “Life of Pi," about a shipwreck survivor and a tiger; “Silver Linings Playbook," a comedy, of sorts, about mental illness, and “Les Miserables," filled with songs of the oppressed.
Close behind were “Argo," about political captivity; “Amour," a French-language film about death, and “Django Unchained," about slavery and retribution.
“Beasts of the Southern Wild," about a child’s encounters with rising floodwaters in the South, and “Zero Dark Thirty," about the murky pursuit of a national enemy, also scored heavily and were nominated for best picture.
But the morning’s real surprise was a triple snub in the best director category: Neither Kathryn Bigelow, who directed “Zero Dark Thirty," nor Ben Affleck, who directed “Argo," nor Quentin Tarantino, who directed “Django Unchained," were included among the five directing nominees.
Those were Steven Spielberg for “Lincoln," Ang Lee for “Life of Pi," Michael Haneke for “Amour," David O. Russell for “Silver Linings Playbook" and Benh Zeitlin for “Beasts of the Southern Wild."
In all, nine films received best picture nominations, in a field that can include as many as 10 or as few as five, depending on how voters from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences spread their hand.
Hollywood now faces a somewhat longer-than-usual campaign period. A new digital voting system — despite its reported hitches — allowed the Academy to announce nominees two weeks earlier than last year, and more than six weeks before the awards ceremony, which ABC will broadcast Feb. 24.
“Lincoln," got 12 nominations, barely outpacing “Life of Pi," which beat the expectations by coming up second, with 11 nominations in all. “Zero Dark Thirty," an early favorite, got just five.
Spielberg’s directing nomination was his seventh, while Daniel Day-Lewis received his fifth best actor nomination, this time for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln. (He has won twice.) Sally Field was among the “Lincoln" nominees, as a supporting actress for playing Mary Todd Lincoln, as was Tony Kushner, for writing the film’s adapted script.
In Oscar terms, however, it remains to be seen if “Lincoln" is more like “The Artist," which last year established dominance (with help from its cheery Jack Russell terrier co-star, Uggie) and went on to win, or Spielberg’s own “Saving Private Ryan," which seemed to lead but watched “Shakespeare in Love" take the best picture Oscar in 1999.
Best Motion Picture
n Beasts of the Southern Wild
n Django Unchained
n Les Misérables
n Life of Pi
n Silver Linings Playbook
n Zero Dark Thirty
n Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
n Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
n Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
n Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
n Denzel Washington, Flight
n Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
n Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
n Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
n Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
n Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Best SUPPORTING ACTOR
n Alan Arkin, Argo
n Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
n Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
n Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
n Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Best SUPPORTING ACTRESS
n Amy Adams, The Master
n Sally Field, Lincoln
n Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
n Helen Hunt, The Sessions
n Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
n Michael Haneke, Amour
n Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
n Ang Lee, Life of Pi
n Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
n David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
See a complete list of the nominations at oscar.go.com.