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Voters from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are making the usual headlines for “snubs” and surprises. Among the most extraordinary shockers, however, is 9-year-old African American actress, Quvenzhané Wallis—the youngest nominee for Best Actress in a leading role, ever.

Wallis is being recognized for playing six-year-old Hushpuppy in the Benh Zeitlin directed film, “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which has garnered rave reviews.

“Beasts” was nominated for a total of four awards. In addition to Wallis’ nod for Best Actress, the film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The New York Times says of Wallis’ role in Beasts that she “holds the camera’s attention with a charismatic poise that might make grown-up movie stars weep in envy.”

So formidable is she as an actress, Wallis is up for the Best Actress honor against Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty,” Jennifer Lawrence for “Siver Linings Playbook,” Naomi Watts for “The Impossible,” and Emmanuelle Riva for “Amour.”

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