Two Long Island-based films about financial fraud made strong showings when nominations for the 86th annual Academy Awards were announced Thursday morning, as "The Wolf of Wall Street" and "American Hustle" earned several nods in major categories, including best picture.
"The Wolf of Wall Street," about Lake Success wheeler-dealer Jordan Belfort, earned nods for Leonardo DiCaprio as best actor and turned Jonah Hill into a two-time nominee for supporting actor (he was also a contender for "Moneyball" in 2012). "American Hustle," inspired by the infamous Abscam sting operation based in Hauppauge, earned nominations for lead stars Christian Bale and Amy Adams, and for supporting actress Jennifer Lawrence and supporting actor Bradley Cooper.
The multiple nods for "American Hustle" were expected, given the movie's glowing reviews and its dominance at the Golden Globes, where it won three awards. "Wolf," however, was more of a surprise, given its mixed notices and only one Globe, for DiCaprio as best comedic actor. Oscar nods for "Wolf" also went to director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Terence Winter.
In the major categories, that puts "Wolf" nearly on a par with "12 Years a Slave," which also earned nods for best picture, actor and director.
There were several notable absences in this year's list of nominees, including Emma Thompson, once considered a contender for playing the author P.L. Travers in "Saving Mr. Banks." Tom Hanks, who played a real-life merchant marine in "Captain Phillips," did not show up in the best actor category; that film's director, Paul Greengrass, also went unrecognized. Oprah Winfrey, who played the wife of a humble White House staffer in "Lee Daniels' The Butler," and Robert Redford, the only star of the critically acclaimed drama "All Is Lost," received no nominations.