"The Hunger Games" star Jennifer Lawrence, herself nominated for a best actress Oscar last year, helped announce the top nominees for this year's 84th annual Academy Awards.
[ Related: Full coverage from Oscar.com ]
A non-traditional movie about the transition from silent film to talkies in 1920s Hollywood, "The Artist" also landed a best actor nomination for its French lead Jean Dujardin and a best director nod for Michel Hazanavicius. Clooney, disheveled as a vulnerable dad in "The Descendants," claimed a best actor nomination as well, with filmmaker Alexander Payne following suit for best director. Both films revved up the Oscar race with best film and fest actor Golden Globes in drama and musical/comedy categories.
Other Oscar competition for best picture includes Woody Allen's literary comedy "Midnight in Paris," civil rights era '60s maid ensemble "The Help," Steven Spielberg's World War I fable "War Horse," Terrence Malick's experimental "Tree of Life," baseball tome "Moneyball" and post Sept. 11 drama "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."
Dujardin and Clooney face off in the best actor category against Brad Pitt in "Moneyball," Gary Oldman as an espionage vet in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and Demian Bichir as an East Los Angeles father in "A Better Life." Suave up-and-comer Ryan Gosling was left out for his roles in "Drive" and "The Ides of March," as was Leonardi DiCaprio for his title role in "J. Edgar."
The best actress category comes down to a head-to-head between frontrunners Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams, both nominees.
Streep's tight-lipped, nuanced take on Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady" goes up against normally demure Michelle Williams channeling the sexy swagger of Marilyn Monroe in "My Week with Marilyn." Both women snagged Golden Globe awards for their roles.
Other best actress nominees include Glenn Close as a gender-bending butler in "Albert Nobbs," Viola Davis as a mistreated maid in "The Help" and Rooney Mara as popular rebel Lisbeth Salander in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."
Malick, Allen and Scorsese also grabbed best director nods. Angelina Jolie's Bosnian film "In the Land of Blood and Honey" was snubbed from the best foreign film category.
The ceremony, held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, honors nominees in 24 film categories, voted on by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' roughly 6,000 members. Comic Billy Crystal is set to host the telecast for the ninth time.
[ More: Click for a full list of the nominees ]
Check out our complete Oscar coverage on Yahoo! and a running list of top nominees. The race is on.
- The Artist
- The Descendants
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
- The Help
- Midnight in Paris
- The Tree of Life
- War Horse
Best Supporting Actor
- Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
- Jonah Hill, Moneyball
- Nick Nolte, Warrior
- Christopher Plummer, Beginners
- Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Best Supporting Actress
- Berenice Bejo, The Artist
- Jessica Chastain, The Help
- Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
- Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
- Octavia Spencer, The Help
- 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
- Demian Bichir, A Better Life
- George Clooney, The Descendants
- Jean Dujardin, The Artist
- Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
- Brad Pitt, Moneyball
- Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
- Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
- Alexander Payne, The Descendants
- Martin Scorsese, Hugo
- Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Best Adapted Screenplay
- The Descendants, Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash
- Hugo, John Logan
- The Ides of March, George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
- Moneyball, Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. Story by Stan Chervin.
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Bridget O' Connor and Peter Straughan
Best Original Screenplay
- The Artist, Michael Hazanavicius
- Bridesmaids, Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig
- 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
- Arts & Entertainment
- Arts & Entertainment/Media/Movies
- George Clooney
- Martin Scorsese
- Jean Dujardin
- Terrence Malick
- Alexander Payne
- Oscar nominations
- Woody Allen