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'Gravity' may exert force in Oscar nominations

By By JAKE COYLE

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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