Hollywood is gearing up for the announcement of the 2013 Academy Award nominations ahead of the Oscars ceremony on February 24.
Films expected to make the best picture shortlist include Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty and Steven Spielberg’s presidential drama, Lincoln.
Ben Affleck’s drama Argo and Quentin Tarantino’s western Django Unchained could also be in the running.
Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone will announce the nominations on Thursday.
The announcement will take place at 05:30 Los Angeles time at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
Tom Hooper’s musical Les Miserables, David O Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook and Ang Lee’s Life of Pi could also make the cut for best picture.
In the acting categories, Daniel Day-Lewis is hotly tipped for his portrayal of the 16th president of the United States in Lincoln, while Jessica Chastain is expected to be recognized for her role as a CIA agent hunting down Osama Bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty.
Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Denzel Washington (Flight) and John Hawkes (The Sessions) could also be in contention for best actor.
Possible best actress nominees include Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook, Marion Cotillard for Rust and Bone, Emmanuelle Riva for Amour and Naomi Watts for The Impossible.
British hopes could lie with Dame Helen Mirren, who may be nominated for best actress for her portrayal of Alfred Hitchcock’s wife Alma Reville in Hitchcock.
Bond movie Skyfall could also sneak in with a best picture nod, which would a first for the 007 franchise, while Dame Judi Dench could be nominated for her turn as M.
Dame Judi Dench may also be recognized for her role as an adventurous widow in British comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
The Oscars ceremony – which will take place on February 24 – will feature a tribute to 50 years of Bond films.
“We are very happy to include a special sequence on our show saluting the Bond films on their 50th birthday,” said the producers of the Oscars show, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.
The nominations are selected by a ballot of 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
A total of 24 categories will be announced, including the best acting performances of the year and technical awards in areas such as editing, design and music.
Nominations for this year’s awards are being announced two weeks earlier than usual.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said the move would “provide members and the public a longer period of time to see the nominated films”.
The BAFTA nominations were announced on Wednesday with Lincoln leading the way in 10 categories.