BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. —
"Lincoln" also has good chances on acting nominations for three past winners: two-time Oscar recipients Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, and supporting actor recipient Tommy Lee Jones as abolitionist firebrand Thaddeus Stevens.
"Zero Dark Thirty" star Jessica Chastain, a supporting-actress nominee last season for "The Help," is in the running for a best-actress slot this time as a CIA operative relentlessly pursuing bin Laden.
Two past Oscar ceremony hosts have strong shots at nominations for "Les Miserables": Hugh Jackman for best actor as Victor Hugo's tragic hero Jean Valjean and Anne Hathaway for supporting actress as a doomed single mother forced into prostitution.
Other acting possibilities include Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro for the oddball romance "Silver Linings Playbook; Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz for "Django Unchained"; Affleck and Alan Arkin for "Argo"; John Hawkes and Helen Hunt for the sex-surrogate story "The Sessions"; Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams for the 1950s cult tale "The Master"; Bill Murray for the Franklin Roosevelt comic drama "Hyde Park on Hudson"; Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren for the filmmaking chronicle "Hitchcock"; Marion Cotillard for the French-language drama "Rust and Bone"; and Denzel Washington for the airliner-crash saga "Flight."
Winners for the 85th Oscars will be announced Feb. 24 at a ceremony aired live on ABC from Hollywood's Dolby Theatre.
"Family Guy" creator and vocal star Seth MacFarlane — a versatile performer whose work includes directing and voicing for the title character of last summer's hit "Ted" and a Frank Sinatra-style album of standards — is the Oscar host.
Thursday's nominees will be announced at 8:40 a.m. EST by "The Amazing Spider-Man" star Emma Stone and MacFarlane, the first time that an Oscar show host has joined in the preliminary announcement since 1972, when Charlton Heston participated on nominations day.