Three Oscar nominations for 'The Hobbit'

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey may not be in the running for best picture, but the Peter Jackson epic has picked up three Oscar nominations.

The first film in the Hobbit trilogy was nominated for makeup and hairstyling, production design and visual effects at a ceremony overnight.

Civil War saga Lincoln led the Academy Awards nominations with 12, followed by Life of Pi with 11.

Hobbit director Jackson told Entertainment Weekly last month he didn't expect nominations in the high profile categories. However, he felt the film had "great possibilities in the below the line categories".

"I wish it was a year where we could celebrate Ian McKellen as supporting actor, or Martin Freeman - or Andy Serkis, for that matter - as a supporting actor. The acting awards seem to elude us, at least for these types of films. I don't know why."

Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy picked up a total of 17 Oscars, with the final film in the series, The Return of the King, picking up 11 in 2004.

The 85th Oscars will be held on February 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

- by Paul Harper of

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