BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) - The director of "Zero Dark Thirty," about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, had been expected to pick up her second nomination as best director -- and perhaps even repeat her historic win in 2009 for "The Hurt Locker."
But when the names were read today, Kathryn Bigelow was not among the nominees. And that is leading to speculation that she and the film are feeling the heat from the many objections to its depiction of torture.
Foes of harsh treatment of detainees have denounced the film for suggesting that those techniques led to the information that brought about the death of bin Laden.
But Bigelow's wasn't the only name missing from the list of nominated directors. Many expected it to include Ben Affleck for "Argo," Quentin Tarantino for "Django Unchained" and Tom Hopper for "Les Miserables." None of them received a nomination.
Without a directing nomination, "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Argo" are no longer considered the main competitors to "Lincoln" for the Best Picture prize. That status may now belong to "Silver Linings Playbook," with eight nominations, and "Life of Pi," which was nominated 12 times.