2012 Oscar nominations: Hollywood looks back in time as Hugo and The Artist lead the way

With just over a month until the 84th Academy Awards -- which take place on Sunday, February 26th -- the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (via Academy President Tom Sherak and Oscar-nominated actress Jennifer Lawrence) announced this year's Oscar nominations early this morning.

The Academy certainly saw 2011 as The Year of the Forgotten Film, with Hugo (a love letter to early filmmaking and film restoration) taking home eleven nominations and The Artist (the first broadly-released silent film in ages) right behind at ten. Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, which also jumps back in time to the days of old films and early 20th century literary greats is also up for several major awards. More modern fare wasn't completely ignored, however, as Moneyball (with six nominations) and The Descendants (with five) are in the running in most of the major categories, including Best Picture.

As is the case every year, there were some surprises. Glaring omissions include Golden Globe winner The Adventures of Tintin not even being up for Best Animated Feature, and only one major nomination for The Ides of March (Adapted Screenplay). Besides Ryan Gosling not getting a Best Actor nom for Ides, it's also strange to see perennial Oscar favourite Leonardo DiCaprio not nominated for his title role in J. Edgar, even if the five eventual nominees in the category are certainly deserving.

A bit less surprising, but still not anticipated, were major award nominations for Bridesmaids (Melissa McCarthy is up for Best Supporting Actress and the script from Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo is up for Best Original Screenplay), Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor), or The Tree of Life (Best Picture and Best Director) -- even if they were deserving, they didn't seem to have any traction throughout awards season.

The past two years, the Academy has stretched the Best Picture category from five to ten films, but they noted that this year films would have to receive a certain number of first place votes in order to be considered. As it turned out, nine films ended up getting nominations, with only one moderate box office hit amongst the bunch (The Help). I'm always curious why movies that are popular with moviegoers and also receive widespread critical acclaim, such as The Muppets, Harry Potter, and Bridesmaids can't ever seem to crack the Oscars' top prize.

Below you can find the complete list of nominations for the 84th Academy Awards. Be sure to tune into ABC and CTV on Sunday, February 26th @ 8E/5P for the show, and also keep your browsers pointing to ShowbizMonkeys.com -- we'll have plenty of Oscars coverage leading up to the big day, and will once again be down in Hollywood reporting live from the Red Carpet!

Best Picture

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

Best Actor

  • Demian 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

Best Actress

  • 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

Best Supporting Actor

  • 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

Best Supporting Actress

  • Bérénice Bejo in The Artist
  • Jessica Chastain in The Help
  • Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids
  • Janet McTeer in Albert Nobbs
  • Octavia Spencer in The Help

Best Director

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

Best Screenplay (Adapted)

  • The Descendants (Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash)
  • Hugo (John Logan)
  • The Ides of March (George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon)
  • Moneyball (Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin)
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan)

Best Screenplay (Original)

  • The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)
  • Bridesmaids (Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo)
  • Margin Call (J.C. Chandor)
  • Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen)
  • A Separation (Asghar Farhadi)

Best Animated Feature

  • A Cat in Paris
  • Chico & Rita
  • Kung Fu Panda 2
  • Puss in Boots
  • Rango

Best Foreign Feature

  • Bullhead (Belgium)
  • Footnote (Israel)
  • In Darkness (Poland)
  • Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
  • A Separation (Iran)

Best 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)

Best Original Song

  • "Man or a Muppet" from The Muppets (Music and Lyrics: Bret McKenzie)
  • "Real in Rio" from Rio (Music: Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown; Lyrics: Siedah Garrett)

Best Documentary Feature

  • Hell and Back Again
  • If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
  • Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
  • Pina
  • Undefeated

Best Documentary Short

  • 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

Best Animated Short

  • Dimanche
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  • La Luna
  • A Morning Stroll
  • Wild Life

Best Live-Action Short

  • Pentecost
  • Raju
  • The Shore
  • Time Freak
  • Tuba Atlantic

Best Cinematography

  • 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)

Best Editing

  • The Artist (Anne-Sophie Bion, Michel Hazanavicius)
  • The Descendants (Kevin Tent)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter)
  • Hugo (Thelma Schoonmaker)
  • Moneyball (Christopher Tellefsen)

Best 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)

Best Costume Design

  • Anonymous (Lisy Christl)
  • The Artist (Mark Bridges)
  • Hugo (Sandy Powell)
  • Jane Eyre (Michael O'Connor)
  • W.E. (Arianne Phillips)

Best Makeup

  • Albert Nobbs (Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston, Matthew W. Mungle)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk, Yolanda Toussieng)
  • The Iron Lady (Mark Coulier, J. Roy Helland)

Best Sound Editing

  • Drive (Lon Bender, Victor Ray Ennis)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Ren Klyce)
  • Hugo (Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty)
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Ethan Van der Ryn, Erik Aadahl)
  • War Horse (Richard Hymns, Gary Rydstrom)

Best Sound Mixing

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, Bo Persson)
  • Hugo (Tom Fleischman, John Midgley)
  • Moneyball (Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco, Ed Novick)
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush, Peter J. Devlin)
  • War Horse (Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson, Stuart Wilson)

Best Visual Effects

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler, John Richardson)
  • Hugo (Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman, Alex Henning)
  • Real Steel (Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor, Swen Gillberg)
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White, Daniel Barrett)
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler, John Frazier)

Tags: Oscars, 84th Academy Awards, awards shows, nominations, Hugo, The Artist, The Descendants, Moneyball, Midnight in Paris, The Tree of Life

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Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of ShowbizMonkeys.com. When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found putting on and promoting music and comedy events with The Purple Room in Winnipeg, or co-producing the live comedy game shows Pants on Fire and The Great Patio Showdown. (@comedygeek)

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