Beverly Hills: Martin Scorsese’s Paris adventure Hugo leads the Academy Awards with 11 nominations, among them best picture and the latest director nod for the Oscar-winning filmmaker.
Also nominated for best picture Tuesday: the silent film The Artist; the family drama The Descendants“; the 11 September 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 slot for Berenice Bejo.
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.
Dujardin, who won the Globe 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 winner 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 Bechir 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.
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 traumatised, vengeful computer genius in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
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.
Bejo, the romantic partner of The Artist creator Hazanavicius, was nominated for her role as a new star of the sound era in the late 1920s and early ’30s. The Help co-star Jessica Chastain also was nominated for her role as Spencer’s lonely, needy boss.
Also up for supporting actress are Melissa McCarthy as 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 rarely honor performances in mainstream comedies such as Bridesmaids.
Complete list of 84th Annual Academy Award nominations announced Tuesday:
1. Best Picture: The Artist, ‘The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, ‘Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse.
2. Actor: Demian Bichir, A Better Life; George Clooney, The Descendants; Jean Dujardin, The Artist; Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Brad Pitt, Moneyball.
3. Actress: Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs; Viola Davis, The Help; Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady; Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn.
4. Supporting Actor: Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn; Jonah Hill, Moneyball; Nick Nolte, Warrior; Christopher Plummer, Beginners; Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.
5. Supporting Actress: Berenice Bejo, The Artist; Jessica Chastain, The Help; Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids; Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs; Octavia Spencer, The Help.
6. Directing: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist; Alexander Payne, The Descendants; Martin Scorsese, Hugo; Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris; Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life.
7. Foreign Language Film: Bullhead, Belgium; Footnote, Israel; In Darkness, Poland; Monsieur Lazhar, Canada; A Separation, Iran.
8. Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants; John Logan, Hugo; George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon, The Ides of March; Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin, Moneyball; Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
9. Original Screenplay: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist; Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids; JC Chandor, Margin Call; Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris; Asghar Farhadi, A Separation.
10. Animated Feature Film: A Cat in Paris; Chico & Rita; Kung Fu Panda 2; Puss in Boots; Rango.
11. Art Direction: The Artist, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, ‘War Horse.
12. Cinematography: The Artist, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, The Tree of Life, War Horse.
13. Sound Mixing: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, Moneyball, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, War Horse.
14. Sound Editing: Drive, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, War Horse.
15. 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.
16. Original Song: Man or Muppet from The Muppets, Bret McKenzie; Real in Rio from Rio, Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett.
17. Costume: Anonymous, The Artist, Hugo, Jane Eyre, W.E.
18. Documentary Feature: Hell and Back Again, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Pina, Undefeated.
19. Documentary (short subject): The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, God Is the Bigger Elvis, Incident in New Baghdad, Saving Face, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom.
20. Film Editing: The Artist, ‘The Descendants, ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, Moneyball.
21. Makeup: Albert Nobbs, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Iron Lady.
22. Animated Short Film: Dimanche/Sunday, ‘The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, La Luna, A Morning Stroll, Wild Life.
23. Live Action Short Film: Pentecost, Raju, The Shore, Time Freak, Tuba Atlantic.
24. Visual Effects: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Hugo, Real Steel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.