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Updated: Tuesday, 24 Jan 2012, 12:06 PM CST
Published : Tuesday, 24 Jan 2012, 7:50 AM CST
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Martin Scorsese's Paris adventure "Hugo" leads the Academy Awards with 11 nominations, among them best picture and the latest director honor for the Oscar-winning filmmaker.
Also nominated for best picture Tuesday: the silent film "The Artist"; the family drama "The Descendants"; the Sept. 11 tale "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"; the Deep South drama "The Help"; the romantic fantasy "Midnight in Paris"; the sports tale "Moneyball"; the family chronicle "The Tree of Life"; and the World War I epic "War Horse."
The nominations set up a best-picture showdown between the top films at the Golden Globes: best musical or comedy recipient "The Artist" and best drama winner "The Descendants."
"The Artist" ran second with 10 nominations, among them writing and directing nominations for French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius, a best-actor honor for Jean Dujardin and a supporting-actress nod for Berenice Bejo.
"I can't believe that a year ago I was learning how to tap dance and today I am nominated for an Academy Award," said Bejo, the romantic partner of Hazanavicius, who plays a rising big-screen star of the sound era in "The Artist."
The film could become the first silent movie to win best picture since year one at the Oscars, when "Wings" took top honors for 1927-28.
Because of a rule change requiring films to receive a certain number of first-place votes, the best-picture field has only nine nominees rather than the 10 that were in the running the last two years.
Scorsese, who won the directing prize at the Globes for "Hugo," picked up his seventh Oscar nomination in the category. After decades of being overlooked for Hollywood's top filmmaking award, Scorsese finally won the directing Oscar for 2006's "The Departed," which also was named best picture.
Among the nominations for "Hugo" are adapted screenplay, cinematography, musical score and visual effects.
Dujardin, the Globe winner for best actor in a musical or comedy as a silent-era star whose career goes kaput with the arrival of talking pictures, will be up against Globe dramatic actor recipient George Clooney for "The Descendants," in which the Oscar-winning superstar plays a dad trying to hold his Hawaiian family together after a boating accident puts his wife in a coma.
Other best-actor contenders are: Demian Bichir as an immigrant father in "A Better Life"; Gary Oldman as British spymaster George Smiley in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"; and Brad Pitt as Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane in "Moneyball."
Pitt was preparing breakfast for his and Oscar winner Angelina Jolie's six children when he learned of his latest nomination, his third. He decided to make pancakes — and anything else the kids were craving.
"Whatever they want," Pitt said. "I don't care how sugared up they get for school."
Globe winners Meryl Streep (best dramatic actress as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady") and Michelle Williams (best musical or comedy actress as Marilyn Monroe in "My Week with Marilyn") scored Oscar nominations for best actress.
Two-time Oscar winner Streep padded her record as the most-nominated actress, raising her total to 17 nominations, five more than Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson, who are tied for second-place.
Streep went two-for-four on her first nominations, winning supporting actress for 1979's "Kramer vs. Kramer" and best actress for 1982's "Sophie's Choice." But she has lost her last 12 times, and the Globe win for her spot-on personification of Thatcher looks like her best chance yet to break that losing streak.
Along with Streep and Williams, best-actress nominees are: Glenn Close as a 19th century Irishwoman masquerading as a male butler in "Albert Nobbs"; Viola Davis as a black maid going public with tales of white Southern employers in "The Help"; and Rooney Mara as a traumatized, vengeful computer genius in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."
"I am honored to be in company with such beautiful artists, and touched deeply by my fellow actors for their generosity in giving me this acknowledgment," Streep said.
Octavia Spencer's win at the Globes as supporting-actress for "The Help," in which she plays a fiery maid whose mouth continually gets her in trouble, could give her front-runner status for the same prize at the Oscars. The same may hold true for supporting-actor nominee Christopher Plummer, who won a Globe for his role as an elderly dad coming out as gay in "Beginners."
An esteemed film and stage actor, Plummer went most of his 60-year career unacknowledged at the Oscars until earning a supporting-actor nomination two years ago as Leo Tolstoy in "The Last Station." If he wins this time, the 82-year-old Plummer would become the oldest acting recipient ever; Jessica Tandy now holds that position for her best-actress win in "Driving Miss Daisy" at age 80.
Also in contention for supporting actor: Kenneth Branagh as Laurence Olivier in "My Week with Marilyn"; Jonah Hill
as a statistics whiz in "Moneyball"; Nick Nolte as a derelict dad making amends in "Warrior"; and Max von Sydow as a mute mystery man in "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close."
Also up for supporting actress are "The Help" co-star Jessica Chastain as Spencer's lonely, needy boss; Melissa McCarthy as a crude but caring member of the wedding in "Bridesmaids"; and Janet McTeer as a woman posing as a male laborer in "Albert Nobbs."
McCarthy is a rare funny lady competing at the Oscars, which seldom honor performances in mainstream comedies such as "Bridesmaids."
The nomination for McCarthy was a small surprise next to some other startling turns among the nominations.
Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock's "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," which got mixed reviews and has not been much of a factor at earlier Hollywood awards, was a very unexpected best-picture nominee. There were gasps and cheers of surprise from the crowd of publicists and Hollywood insiders at academy headquarters when the film's nomination was announced. Von Sydow's supporting-actor nomination also was a surprise.
Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" also had been considered a bit of a best-picture longshot. The movie, which won top honors at last May's Cannes Film Festival but was a love-it-or-hate-it drama among audiences, also picked up a directing nomination for Malick.
Oscar heavyweight Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar" was shut out entirely, including for best actor, where Leonardo DiCaprio had been a strong prospect as FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover.
Other surprises included best-actor contender Bichir, who gave a terrific performance in "A Better Life," a film few people have seen.
Bichir beat out not only DiCaprio but also such actors as Ryan Gosling for two films, "Drive" and "The Ides of March," and Michael Fassbender for "Shame," who both had been high on Oscar forecasters' lists.
Also missing out on nominations were Tilda Swinton for "We Need to Talk About Kevin," Albert Brooks for "Drive" and Shailene Woodley for "The Descendants."
Along with Mara for best actress, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" had five other nominations but missed out on best picture and director for David Fincher, who had been among the favorites a year earlier with "The Social Network."
The best-director roster is loaded with past winners and nominees, including Scorsese for "Hugo," Malick for "The Tree of Life," Woody Allen for "Midnight in Paris" and Alexander Payne for "The Descendants."
"Midnight in Paris," Allen's biggest hit in decades, was the filmmaker's first best-picture nominee since 1986's "Hannah and Her Sisters" and first directing nomination since 1994's "Bullets Over Broadway." With his 15th honor for original screenplay, Allen also extended his lead as record-holder for most writing nominations (Billy Wilder is second with 12).
The lone newcomer is Hazanavicius for "The Artist," a critical darling that has stacked up an impressive list of honors and nominations at earlier awards since its debut last year at Cannes.
While Steven Spielberg's best-picture contender "War Horse" picked up six nominations, the Oscar-winning filmmaker missed out in the directing category, a prize he has won twice. His first cartoon feature, the Golden Globe-winning "The Adventures of Tintin," also did not make the list for best animated film.
Another animated snub was "Cars 2," the first feature-length cartoon from Disney's Pixar Animation that failed to earn a nomination since the category was added in 2001. Pixar films including "Toy Story 3," ''Up" and "WALL-E" had won the last four animation Oscars.
This time, the animated nominees are "A Cat in Paris," ''Chico & Rita," Kung Fu Panda 2," ''Puss in Boots" and "Rango."
Winners at the 84th annual Oscars will be announced at a Feb. 26 ceremony aired live on ABC from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre, with Billy Crystal returning as host for the first time in eight years.
The most-beloved Oscar host of the last two decades, Crystal agreed to lead the show for the ninth time after Eddie Murphy bowed out in support of his pal, filmmaker Brett Ratner, who quit as Oscar producer amid the uproar over a gay slur he uttered in front of an audience at a screening of his and Murphy's comedy "Tower Heist."
Crystal's return could bump up the TV ratings for the show, which have been on a general decline over the last few decades.
What usually results in big TV ratings, though, is a blockbuster such as eventual Oscar champs "Titanic" or "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" in the thick of the best-picture contest. More fans tune in because they have a stake in the outcome.
There are no colossal films such as that in the mix this time. "The Help" is a solid hit, taking in $169 million domestically. So far, other best-picture nominees are well under that level, ranging from $75 million for "Moneyball" to $12 million for "The Artist."
Germain reported from Park City, Utah. AP Entertainment Writers Derrik J. Lang and Anthony McCartney contributed
to this report.
Full list of nominations for the 84th Academy Awards
Actor in a Leading Role
• Demián Bichir in "A Better Life"
• George Clooney in "The Descendants"
• Jean Dujardin in "The Artist"
• Gary Oldman in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
• Brad Pitt in "Moneyball"
Actor in a Supporting Role
• Kenneth Branagh in "My Week with Marilyn"
• Jonah Hill in "Moneyball"
• Nick Nolte in "Warrior"
• Christopher Plummer in "Beginners"
• Max von Sydow in "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"
Actress in a Leading Role
• Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs"
• Viola Davis in "The Help"
• Rooney Mara in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
• Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady"
• Michelle Williams in "My Week with Marilyn"
Actress in a Supporting Role
• Bérénice Bejo in "The Artist"
• Jessica Chastain in "The Help"
• Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids"
• Janet McTeer in "Albert Nobbs"
• Octavia Spencer in "The Help"
Animated Feature Film
• "A Cat in Paris" Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
• "Chico & Rita" Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
• "Kung Fu Panda 2" Jennifer Yuh Nelson
• "Puss in Boots" Chris Miller
• "Rango" Gore Verbinski
• "The Artist" Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
• "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
• "Hugo" Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
• "Midnight in Paris" Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
• "War Horse" Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales
• "The Artist" Guillaume Schiffman
• "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Jeff Cronenweth
• "Hugo" Robert Richardson
• "The Tree of Life" Emmanuel Lubezki
• "War Horse" Janusz Kaminski
• "Anonymous" Lisy Christl
• "The Artist" Mark Bridges
• "Hugo" Sandy Powell
• "Jane Eyre" Michael O'Connor
• "W.E." Arianne Phillips
• "The Artist" Michel Hazanavicius
• "The Descendants" Alexander Payne
• "Hugo" Martin Scorsese
• "Midnight in Paris" Woody Allen
• "The Tree of Life" Terrence Malick
• "Hell and Back Again" Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
• "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front" Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
• "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
• "Pina" Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
• "Undefeated" TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas
Documentary (Short Subject)
• "The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement" Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
• "God Is the Bigger Elvis" Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
• "Incident in New Baghdad"James Spione
• "Saving Face" Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
• "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom" Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen
• "The Artist" Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
• "The Descendants" Kevin Tent
• "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
• "Hugo" Thelma Schoonmaker
• "Moneyball" Christopher Tellefsen
Foreign Language Film
• "Bullhead" Belgium
• "Footnote" Israel
• "In Darkness" Poland
• "Monsieur Lazhar" Canada
• "A Separation" Iran
• "Albert Nobbs" Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
• "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
• "The Iron Lady" Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland
Music (Original Score)
• "The Adventures of Tintin" John Williams
• "The Artist" Ludovic Bource
• "Hugo" Howard Shore
• "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" Alberto Iglesias
• "War Horse" John Williams
Music (Original Song)
• "Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets" Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
• "Real in Rio" from "Rio" Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett
• "The Artist" Thomas Langmann, Producer
• "The Descendants" Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
• "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" Scott Rudin, Producer
• "The Help" Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
• "Hugo" Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
• "Midnight in Paris" Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
• "Moneyball" Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
• "The Tree of Life" Nominees to be determined
• "War Horse" Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers
Short Film (Animated)
• "Dimanche/Sunday" Patrick Doyon
• "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
• "La Luna" Enrico Casarosa
• "A Morning Stroll" Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
• "Wild Life" Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby
Short Film (Live Action)
• "Pentecost" Peter McDonald and Eimear O'Kane
• "Raju" Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
• "The Shore" Terry George and Oorlagh George
• "Time Freak" Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
• "Tuba Atlantic" Hallvar Witzø
• "Drive" Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
• "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Ren Klyce
Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
• "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
• "War Horse" Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom
• "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
• "Hugo" Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
• "Moneyball" Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
• "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
• "War Horse" Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson
• "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
• "Hugo" Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
• "Real Steel" Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
• "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
• "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
• "The Descendants" Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
• "Hugo" Screenplay by John Logan
• "The Ides of March" Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
• "Moneyball" Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. Story by Stan Chervin
• "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" Screenplay by Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan
Writing (Original Screenplay)
• "The Artist" Written by Michel Hazanavicius
• "Bridesmaids" Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
• "Margin Call" Written by J.C. Chandor
"Midnight in Paris" Written by Woody Allen
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