Hugo (11 nominations) and The Artist (10 nods) lead the nominations for the 84th Academy Awards, as announced Tuesday morning in Beverly Hills at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences headquarters.
Moneyball and War Horse each received six nominations and The Descendants and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo each received five.
With the new rules, five to 10 Best Picture nominees could be on the list for the best of the year, if the movie receives enough of a percentage of votes from the 5,783 voting members. This year there are nine nominations, including smaller films such as Tree of Life, The Help and the newly-released Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.
Audible gasps from the press crew (about 400 journalists from more than 30 countries) came during the live announcement at the Academy, especially when when Jonah Hill was named as Best Supporting Actor for Moneyball and Melissa McCarthy was named for Bridesmaids (as well as applause for the comedy’s nomination for Best Original Screenplay).
Applause also came for Max von Sydow, nominated for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and for Tree of Life director Terrence Malick.
It was hard to tell if it was gasps or congrats when Brad Pitt was named as one of the five Best Actor nominees for Moneyball.
s The Descendants won him a Best Actor nod along with Best Picture, director, film editing and adapted screenplay.
This is Clooney's second time to get nominations in two different categories for two different movies in the same year. This time he is nominated for Best Actor in The Descendants and as a writer for Adapted Screenplay for The Ides of March. In 2005, he was named Best Supporting Actor for Syriana and was nominated in the Original Screenplay category for Good Night, and Good Luck.
The biggest snubs seem to be for Leonardo DiCaprio, for J. Edgar, and Tilda Swinton for We Need to Talk About Kevin, and a nod for Ryan Gosling for any of his strong roles in Drive, Ides of March or Crazy Stupid Love. And, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part II received three nominations for make-up, art direction and visual effects. It's the last chance a film in the Harry Potter franchise could have made it in any of the major categories.
(For the complete list of nominees, click here.)
From a personal view of someone who has covered these events since Jodie Foster was nominated for Silence of the Lambs, this nominations process seemed far more crowded and frenetic.
The breakfasts before the 5:38 a.m. announcements are legendary, but gone is the fresh lox and mimosas. (The alcohol ceased about four years ago.)
Academy President Tom Sherak and last year's Best Actress nominee (for Winter's Bone) Jennifer Lawrence read off the announcements in a live broadcast.
"Whew, that was more stressful than I thought," Lawrence said after reading off the nominees.
The award nominations were held in the auditorium of the Academy, and since it was well before rush hour, press was able to park along the usually-packed Wilshire Boulevard. The cars were gone and the Academy stage was being struck even before the sun came up.
The Academy Awards ceremonies will be held Sunday, Feb. 26 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.
Click here for a printable list of all the nominees.
When did the Best Pictures come out? How many nominations is that for Meryl Streep? Click the Oscar Fun Facts here.