Quvenzhané Wallis Makes History – Youngest Actress Nominated For Best Actress Oscar

Quvenzhané Wallis Makes History - Youngest Actress Nominated For Best Actress Oscar

Ok, let's see. First, a huge congrats to Quvenzhané Wallis who, as the title of this post states, has made history, becoming the youngest actress ever to be nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actress category. She's just 9 years old. The previous record holder in that category was Keisha Castle-Hughes, who was nominated for Whale Rider in 2003. She was 14.

Congrats are also in order for Rebelle (aka War Witch), which is nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category – a film that was on our best of 2012 list. Hat-tip to director Kim Nguyen, and star Rachel Mwanza, whom I would have loved to see get a Best Actress nomination.

As expected, Denzel Washington was nominated for his work in Flight, in the Best Actor category – an award that I think he actually could win, given the competition.

Also of note, in addition to Wallis' Best Actress nom, Beasts of the Southern Wild did fairly well, as the little indie that could, amongst some stalwarts. It was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture.

Biggest surprises? I'm really shocked that Kathryn Bigelow isn't nominated for Best Director. Zero Dark Thirty is nominated in other categories, like Best Actress, and Best Picture, as you'd expect, but how the heck does Bigelow get left out?

No Oscar love for The Central Park Five or Detropia in the Best Documentary category – 2 solid documentaries that we've covered quite extensively here on S&A.

Django Unchained did pick up 3 noms – Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture. The surprise there is that Christoph Waltz got the Best Supporting Actor nom over Leonardo DiCaprio, who I thought delivered the best performance in that movie.

Ben Affleck's Argo picked up a few nominations, but he was also left out of the Best Director category. But that's actually fine with me, because, as I noted in a previous post, I think the movie is a bit over-rated. But it did get a Best Picture nom.

Quentin Tarantino was also left out of the Best Director noms. But I'm ok with that too.

And finally, Harvey Weinstein does it again! He has 2 movies that are very well represented on this year's list – Silver Linings Playbook and Django Unchained. Silver alone is nominated in at least 7 of the major categories. I guess I should see it.

But the rest of the story is pretty much as expected. No other major surprises.


Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)

Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)

Alan Arkin (Argo)

Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)


Sally Field (Lincoln)

Ann Hathaway (Les Miserables)

Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)

Helen Hunt (The Sessions)

Amy Adams (Lincoln)




War Witch

A Royal Affair



Beasts Of The Southern Wild



Silver Linings Playbook

Life of Pi



Zero Dark Thirty

Django Unchained


Moonrise Kingdom


David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

Ang Lee (Life of Pi)

Steven Speilberg (Lincoln)

Michael Haneke (Amour)

Behn Zeitlin (Beasts Of The Southern Wild)


Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln)

Denzel Washington (Flight)

Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)

Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)

Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)


Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)

Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)

Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts Of The Southern Wild)


Beasts Of The Southern Wild

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty


Les Miserables

Life of Pi


Django Unchained



5 Broken Cameras

The Gatekeepers

How to Survive a Plague

The Invisible War

Searching for Sugar Man





The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Wreck-It Ralph

This Article is related to: Awards



I don't know why black people put so much weight on the Oscars. The Academy obviously doesn't care about us, or else we would be nominated for positive, non-stereotypical roles more often and our best movies would have all walked away with an award. It's all political anyway, and at worst, a mindless popularity contest not worth a damn.

jenn brissett

I think the youngest to be nominated until now was Tatum O'Neal for Paper Moon (1973). She was 10. She also won the Oscar.


You really think big "D" or any cat can beat double "D" in the Lincoln thing?

Mark & Darla

Congratulation babygirl you are one in a million, crossing my fingers.


Count me as one of those who liked "Beasts of the Southern Wild" but did not love it. It gets kudos for its unique story but I don't get the hype by people in some quarters. But, hey, different strokes for different folks. Wallis was pretty good but I don't think it was as revelatory as many folks made it out to be. I think her nomination comes in part as a result of how great a story it is for her to get that nomination and because, once again, the field of actresses to choose from is relatively weak (not that many great roles for women in general in this biz). Congrats to Wallis anyway. As for Zeitlin, the movie isn't good enough IMO for the Academy to skip Affleck and Bigelow who produced better work this time out. I will say Samuel L Jackson has been getting obverlooked by everyone (not just the Oscars) for what may be his best work in decades. Say what you want about his character and the film Django Unchained, but Jackson's performance will be remembered and appreciated for a long time down the road IMO.


I also meant to add that this is a good look for both Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. They can both say that they are Oscar nominated now. Maybe Chris Tucker can finally get the vehicle he needs to show his range since the ensemble was nominated for a Golden Globe also.


Bigelow's diss was the main surprise for me. I knew Adele would be nominated, because the industry is in love with her. Congrats to Quvenzhane. My only other wish was that Emayatzy would have received a nomination for "Middle of Nowhere", but that was too much like right.


Gina Montana, the spirited school teacher in Beasts of the Southern Wild HAS to be a relative of Phyllis Montana (When the Levees Broke, God Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise). They look so similar.


As I have said before, I'd adopt that lil girl if I could. She's a winner in my book, no matter the outcome. Love her. Go Quvenzhane! And smdh @ the rest of you Negroes trying to steal her thunder with all these "qualifying" comments. Let her have this moment w/o the usual negativity.

Justin W



Oh, YAY! Congratulations to her and the movie!!! So happy to see Quvenzhane. She was incredible in the movie. She has natural talent that is difficult to come by. I will be rooting for her and the movie.


In the last may i was the first person in France to talk about Quvenzhané Wallis, they was nothing about her, i penned a beautiful article in our website black movie entertainment.

In this article i talk about the Oscars and i say she was in a very close list to nab an Oscar nomination, i'm not surprised, the first time i saw Beast Of The Southern Wild i marvel by Hushpuppy play Wallis, because she acting extremely very well, she have the ability to act, and she understand what she played very well, and she didn't overact, she just did what is necessary and natural, and that is the reason why people love her. She's just an exceptional kid, she's a unique kid, and she made me say you can not learn everything for everything, you need to have brilliantly in yourself, and she has got all of that.

I hear people say she's too young for win an Oscar, i say she can not be discriminated because she too young, she's amazing and made us say talent have nothing to see with the age, i hope she gonna win the Oscar because she's a great actress simply.


In a comment (down the page) I spoke about the elements of Django that I enjoyed and why I would chose it over Beasts Of The Southern Wild for Best Picture. So now I'll speak on Beast and why I need y'alls help. First, to me, BOTSW was a sad and depressing film. And, I didn't enjoy the shaky camera shots. Nor did I completely understand the relevance or the messages (subtle or overt) of the film? Also, I am not going to front, I didn't quite understand the significance of the large wild boars. Maybe I am slower than slow, but I am sure there are great minds… big thinkers here a S&A who can relieve me of my confusion. I also didn't like watching the squalor-ed conditions the habitats of the bathtub had to endure. I mean, although I understood their predicament and their love for their homefront, I nevertheless didn't enjoy feeling their pain and misery. More importantly, I did not like Hushpuppie's daddy. His heart may have been in the right place and his intentions may have been "good", but he was a mean alcoholic father who subjected his daughter to a life of pain and misery. I guess I can say he was a fool. Having said that, and although I loved Quvenzhane's performance, I can't say I "enjoyed" the film. So again, maybe someone can enlighten me on what I may have missed?


(((Quvenzhané Wallis))) I'm rooting hard for her Lead Actress win already. Life of Pi has already stolen my heart for almost every other category.


Congrats Little Miss Quvenzhane Wallis!! I knew the Academy couldn't deny the depth of talent that lies in this beautiful little girl's bones. What a gift God has given her. My prediction is that she wins the Best Actress category and that BSW wins best picture. Congrats to Benh Z. too. Really good guy and the picture was really beautiful. So sorry Ms. DuVernay didn't get recognized. She was truly deserving for a best director and best original screenplay, as were her actresses.


Let's not forget to give a shout out to our brother, Reginald Hudlin, for his Best Picture nomination for Django.


STANDING IN APPLAUSE! She's not only one of the youngest to receive such an honor, in my opinion, her performance was the best EVER by a child actor. Since I've been "away", I just saw the film last night, so my emotional journey is fresh in my mind. That scene in which she and her father (on his death bed) dropped tears… tore through my soul. That reminds me, I have to give big props to the director, Benh Zeitlin. I've often said I don't believe a white director can or should direct black actors in films in which the characters have to display emotions, mannerisms and the small nuances that are unique to the black experience (I shouldn't have to explain what they are. Not to this audience). But in this case, this was not about being "black", this was a story of a child's journey (she could have been a "he", black or white). My point being, this child, Quvenzhané Wallis, took me on an emotional journey that few actors have ever taken me. How can a child of 9 years old own and evoke all the emotions she displayed? And, do it in such a convincing fashion? I am not easily convinced or impressed, nor moved by the performances of actors on the screen, but I believed and felt Quvenzhané's despair, courage, hatred, hope, longing for love, fear of losing a loved one, fear of being alone, joy, triumph, rejection, confusion, bewilderment, perseverance and emptiness (missing her mother). Yes, she projected all those emotion (I felt them) and I can't help but believe the director and the supporting cast played a pivotal part in taking her there. That reminds me, Hushpuppy's voice-overs/narration also, imo, played an integral role in letting me "feel" and understand what she may have been going through. Again, kudos to the director. But damn, I can't say enough about Quvenzhane's performance. Aside from her spoken words, her facial expressions, eye and body movements… those non-verbal forms of communication were spot on. The best I've ever seen by a child actor.


Quvenzhane's got skills, and The Academy noticed! I'll completely lose it if she wins. #TEAMWALLIS all the way!! However, I'm bummed that Bigelow was snubbed.


Not going to lie, I teared up a little bit at the news. Rooting for Beasts all the way.


Go Quvenzhané, it's your birthday. SHE was the film and this nomination was very well deserved. I was worried that they would snub her and her film. So happy.


Aside from its semi amusing pageantry, this is why the Oscars will continue to become irrelevant: Take a look at the Best Director category. Sure, Beasts was an indie triumph — and I enjoyed as much as anybody — but can you honestly say Zeitlin's direction was "better" than Tarantino, Affleck, Wes Anderson, Bigelow — who juggled infinitely more complex pictures, larger budgets, etc? Clearly, the "auteur theory" is dead in Hollywood. Nobody will remember most of the pictures in a few years' time (Tom Hooper's win over Fincher only validates this.)


Wow! With Argo and Zero Dark Thirty not getting director nominations, you can count those films out for Best Picture. Well, there's a slight chance they could become the new Driving Miss Daisy but—I doubt it.


Riva makes history as well.


Wallis shouldn't be nominated. Cotillard deserved more

Bohemian princess

So very proud of her but she's not the youngest in history to get nominated. That honor belongs to Jack Henry, the kid from Kramer vs. Kramer who was nominated at age 8 (best supporting actor) Quvenzhane is 9. Jackie Cooper won for Skippy (best actor) in 1931. He was 9. Quvenzhane is however the youngest best actress nominee. If she wins she will be the second youngest to ever win. At the time of Jackie Cooper's win in 1931 he was less than 2 months past his 9th birthday. Although to Quvenzhane's credit she was only 6 at the time she gave her brilliant performance in Beasts. That accomplishment is unmatched. She should be proud.

Adam Scott Thompson

None of the announcements surprised me except in the Best Director category. I felt that Anderson did a great job with "The Master," as did Affleck with "Argo." If you're going to have ten slots for Best Picture, why not do the same for Best Director? In any case, I like how the race is shaping. It's always more exciting when you can't say for sure who will win for what.


So thrilled for Beasts of Southern Wild!


Te previously youngest actress to be nominated was not Keisha Castle-Hughes; it was Tatum O'Neal for Paper Moon. She won, and was 10 at the time.

Peter G

No nominations for Ava Duvernay's "Middle of Nowhere"? had my fingers crossed!


This is child exploitation, I can't understand how you are happy for this.


So happy that Wallis got the nom and that Bigelow was left out. Both extremely well deserved.


Whoo hoo! Congrats to Ms. Quvenzhane!


It'll be a battle for best picture between Lincoln, representing, as Lincoln himself said, our better angels, or Zero Dark Thirty, the torturing soul of America.


1st, I wanna say how proud I am of Lil Miss Wallis for not only being the youngest person in history to be nominated in this category and the 1st African American child nominated for an Oscar! 2nd I'm so glad to see Django to be nominated for Best Picture, because even if it doesn't win — it reflects a new climate for the industry and the Oscars, where a film that shows the attitudes of previous filmmakers like Melvin Van Pebbles and Gordon Parker's can be considered as the best picture.

Peace Seaker

So proud of that little girl from BEAST OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. She's the youngest ever in that category I believe. Will definitely be watching for her on Oscar night.

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