‘Gravity’ may exert force in Oscar nominations

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The force of “Gravity” may be about to exert itself on Hollywood’s awards season.

When Academy Award nominations are announced Thursday morning from Beverly Hills, Calif., Alfonso Cuaron’s 3-D space adventure will likely rival “12 Years a Slave” and “American Hustle” in a close contest for most-nominated film.

Though much of the season has been a see-saw between Steve McQueen’s heavy historical epic and David O. Russell’s lighter Abscam melodrama, “Gravity” should emerge Thursday as an equally strong Oscar contender.

All three are locks for a best picture nomination. And while “Gravity,” with a cast of just a few, won’t reap the acting nods that the acclaimed ensembles of “American Hustle” and “12 Years a Slave” will, the box-office hit holds an edge in technical categories.

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