Oscar nominations held few surprises

I was up and out of bed, but still waking up, at 7:30 Thursday morning, so I watched through decreasingly bleary eyes as the nominees for the 85th Academy Awards were announced by this year’s host, Seth MacFarlane, and actress Emma Stone.

As I do every year, I was hoping the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would throw a complete curveball to the world and nominate something out of left field for Best Picture. I thought a comic book movie like “The Avengers,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” or “The Dark Knight Rises” would have been fun choices, but it was not to be. There were some surprises, but nothing on the level I really wanted to see — voters thinking they were voting for Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” but mistakenly checking “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”

The surprises that did take place weren’t really that shocking — like Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor and 9-year-old Quzenzhané Wallis becoming the youngest nominee ever for Best Actress — but I think everyone who’d been paying attention assumed Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck would receive Best Director nominations for “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Argo,” respectively. Bigelow won the award in 2009 for “The Hurt Locker,” and I always felt Affleck was overlooked two years ago for “The Town.”

Of course, the directors who were nominated are each quite deserving, so there can’t really be that much controversy.

The part of the announcements I liked the best was the charm and humor Stone and MacFarlane displayed at what was 5:30 a.m. in Los Angeles. Having seen several of her movies, I wasn’t as surprised at Stone coming off that way — because she’s just flat-out funny. However, MacFarlane was able to reign his humor in enough that I think the show on Feb. 24 could actually be one of the best in recent years.

Happy birthday Friday to Kevin Jerome Smith Jr., Thad Walters and Terry Myers, all of Denison; Ashlund Carson, Dr. James Harrison, Johnny Waldrip, Anna Laura Page, Hope Hill, Willa Pruitt, Becky Hagan Diaz and Chris Hawthorne, all of Sherman; Tammy Cecil of Houston; Kristi Servati of Van Alstyne; Mike Conine of Woodward, Okla.; Joan Rogers of Pottsboro; Airiana Luper of Whitewright; Catelyn Armstrong of Howe.

Happy birthday Saturday to Dianna Eldredge of Pflugerville; Verna Cage of Van Alstyne; Lucy Prazza of Denison; T.A. Tredway, Ronnie Van Vandt and Lloyd Vierling, all of Sherman; Jerry Don Mask of Blue Creek; Frank Dockery of Trenton.

Happy anniversary Saturday to Bobby and Linda Wilson of Sherman, 44 years; Randy and Nancy Shirley of Sadler, 40 years; Mark and Teresia Marti of Denison, 40 years; Clarence and Beverly Davis of Whitewright.