Plenty of Aussie nominations, but only one likely to take the gong

WITH a nomination for make-up and hairstyling on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Rick Findlater (pictured) is Australia's best chance of an Oscar this year.

WITH a nomination for make-up and hairstyling on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Rick Findlater (pictured) is Australia's best chance of an Oscar this year.

A former waiter who went to make-up school then broke into film and television in Vancouver, he has admitted the exceptional make-up and hair on Lincoln deserves to win. But since that movie missed a nomination, Findlater's competition is Les Miserables and Hitchcock.

The other three Australian nominations continue the country's remarkable record in the acting categories — 22 nominations and four wins so far, in the past 15 years.

With Daniel Day-Lewis almost a certainty to win best actor for Lincoln, Hugh Jackman is expected to be out of luck for his emotional performance as prisoner-turned-saint Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.

Naomi Watts, who played a tsunami survivor in The Impossible, faces brutal competition for best actress from favourite Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) and possibly Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty).

And while Australians would love Jacki Weaver to win best supporting actress for playing the mother of a troubled former teacher in Silver Linings Playbook, Anne Hathaway looks unbeatable for her star turn as Fantine in Les Miserables.

When she thanks Jackman, we'll take that as an Australian win.