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Oscar voting closes after big-spending campaigns

Voting for the Oscars has closed after a big spending campaign by Hollywood studios.

Voting for the Oscars closed on Tuesday after a big-spending campaign by Hollywood studios and the first online balloting system in the Awards' 85-year history.

More than 5,800 movie industry professionals, who are members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, were invited to vote in 24 Oscar categories.

The results will be tallied at a secret location by the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, which produces the envelopes with the winners' names.

With the races for Best Picture, Director, Actress and Supporting Actor considered too close to call by awards pundits, the movie studios have been blasting newspapers, radio, trade publications and television with promotions for their nominees.

The Los Angeles Times estimated that Warner Bros, the studio behind Argo, and Walt Disney Co, which is distributing Lincoln, had spent about US$10 million (Dh37m) each in Oscar campaigns in recent weeks. The two movies are locked in a tight contest for the top prize - Best Picture.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Lincoln has a leading 12 nominations, followed by Life of Pi with 11, Les MisÚrables and Silver Linings Playbook with eight apiece, and Argo with seven.

artslife@thenational.ae

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