And the 2012 Oscar Nominees Are...

George Clooney, Meryl Streep and The Artist lead the nominations at the 84th Academy Awards
And the 2012 Oscar Nominees Are...
Jennifer Lawrence and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams are among the stars nominated in the top acting categories at the 2012 Oscar awards - making for much the same list which has been in the focus this awards season.      

The Help and The Artist both landed nods for Best Picture, competing against War Horse, Moneyball, The Descendants, Hugo, The Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. In terms of most number of nominations though, Hugo beat out The Artist, scoring 11 to the latter's 10.

The Help also scooped acting honors for Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis and Jessica Chastain, while silent film The Artist picked up nominations for Berenice Bejo and Jean Dujardin and a nod in the Best Director category for Michel Hazanavicius.

Usually, a list of 10 nominees vie for the Best Picture prize but this year only nine made the cut. It's part of a recent rule change, which went went into effect for the first time in 2012. In June 2011, Academy executives decided to "add a new twist" to the 2011 Best Picture race by no longer guaranteeing spots for 10 films in the category and instead reserving spaces for as few as five.

The organisation then adopted a preferential voting system, which eliminates movies that did not receive at least five per cent of the first-place votes on the nominations ballot - leaving only the most well-liked films in contention.

The award nominations were announced at a press conference in LA today (24 January) by Winter's Bone star Jennifer Lawrence and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak

The 84th annual Academy Awards ceremony will take place on 26 February 2012 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, and will be hosted by Billy Crystal. For now, check out all the nominees right here:

BEST PICTURE
War Horse
The Artist
Moneyball
The Descendants
The Tree of Life
Midnight in Paris
The Help
Hugo
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

LEAD ACTOR
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

LEAD 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

BEST DIRECTOR
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, 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

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Bullhead Belgium
Footnote Israel
In Darkness Poland
Monsieur Lazhar Canada
A Separation Iran

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)
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

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

ART DIRECTION
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

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist
Jeff Cronenweth, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Robert Richardson, Hugo
Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life
Janusz Kaminski, War Horse

COSTUME DESIGN
Lisy Christl, Anonymous
Mark Bridges, The Artist
Sandy Powell, Hugo
Michael O'Connor, Jane Eyre
Arianne Phillips, W.E

FILM EDITING
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

MAKEUP
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

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