Denzel Washington, Quvenzhané Wallis Nab Oscar Nods

Denzel Washington and Quvenzhané Wallis — who has made history as the youngest Oscar nominee ever — are the only African-American actors who made the list of 2013 Academy Award contenders.

Washington earned a best actor Oscar nod for his role as a troubled airline pilot in Flight, according to the list of nominees released on Thursday. And 9-year-old Wallis was nominated for best actress in a leading role for her portrayal as Hushpuppy in the critically acclaimed film Beasts of the Southern Wild, according to the Huffington Post.

Quvenzhané Wallis just made history. With the announcement of the nominees for the 85th annual Academy Awards this morning, the Louisiana-born Wallis, just 9 years old, is now the youngest ever nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role. 

Wallis, who was just 5 when she auditioned for the role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” has received major recognition and critical acclaim for her portrayal of the character Hushpuppy.

She beat out former record-holder Keisha Castle-Hughes who was nominated for “Whale Rider” at age 13. Wallis is up for the Best Actress honor against Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty,” Jennifer Lawrence for “Siver Linings Playbook,” Naomi Watts for “The Impossible,” and Emmanuelle Riva for “Amour.” In an interesting twist, at age 85, Riva is now the oldest nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role. (Riva will turn 86 on Feb. 24, which is Oscar night.)

AJC.com reports:

Denzel Washington earned a best-actor Oscar nomination for his role as troubled airline pilot Whip Whitaker in the drama “Flight,” which was filmed in and largely set in Atlanta.

“Flight” is a sobering tale about an alcoholic pilot. After Washington’s character manages a heroic landing of a doomed airplane, questions arise about his condition in the cockpit. Delta assisted the project with technical issues but the airline Washington’s character works for is fictitious.

Atlanta is very recognizable in the movie. A key scene was filmed at the St. Regis hotel. Details on that here.

Washington faces a formidable roster of fellow nominees. Here’s the entire list. And here’s a link to a gallery of nominees as well as a video of nominees.

Read more at the Huffington Post and AJC.com.

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