WRITTEN BY JUSTIN WORSLEY

Martin Scorcese’s 1930s mystery film Hugo has been nominated for 11 Academy Awards by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday morning, including Best Picture and a seventh Best Director Nomination for Scorcese.

The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius’ film about a 1927 romance between a silent movie star and a dancer, was a close second, with 10 nominations. War Horse and Moneyball had the third-most with five nominations.

After having 10 Best Picture nominees in the past two years, only nine films were nominated for the Academy Award’s top prize. No animated film received a nod for Best Picture, ending a two-year run led by Pixar-produced films.

Along with Hugo and The Artist, other Best Picture nominees include: The Descendants, which won the Golden Globe award for Best Picture – Drama, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival last year and Steven Spielberg’s newest film, War Horse.

Scorcese will have to compete with former Oscar winner Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris) as well as Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life) and Alexander Payne (The Descendants) for the Best Director award as well as first-time nominee Hazanavicius.

The Best Picture award and the Best Director award are closely tied together. Of the 83 previous Best Picture winners, 61 of the directors also took home the Best Director award. Only three films have won Best Picture without it’s director being nominated as well, the most recent of which was in 1989 (Driving Miss Daisy.)

George Clooney (The Descendents) and Jean Dujardin (The Artist) lead the way for the Best Actor award. Both took home the prize at the Golden Globes, however, the Golden Globes separate the awards into two categories, Drama and Musical or Comedy. Brad Pitt (Moneyball) received his fourth Oscar nomination while Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Demian Bichir (A Better Life) received their first nominations.

Along with Pitt, Jonah Hill also received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Moneyball. He will compete with Golden Globe winner Christopher Plummer (Beginners) as well as Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn,) Nick Nolte (Warrior) and Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.) For von Sydow, it is his first nomination since 1987 (Pelle the Conquerer.)

Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) received her sixth Academy Award nomination, but she will have to compete with Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) who is poised to make history this year. Streep, the current favorite to win the Best Actress after winning the award at the Golden Globes, received her 17th Academy Award nomination. If she does win, it would be her third Oscar. Only Katherine Hepburn has won more Academy Awards, with four. Along with Close and Streep, Viola Davis (The Help,) Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Michelle Williams (My Weekend With Marilyn) were also nominated.

Along with Davis, two other women also received a nomination from The Help, a movie about an aspiring author who writes about African-American maids who work for white families during the Civil Rights movement. Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer were both nominated for Best Supporting Actress, the first time a film has received two acting nominations int he same category since 2008 (Doubt, which, coincidentally, Davis was also a nominee for.)

Berenice Bejo (The Artist,) Melissa McCarthy (Bridemaids) and Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs) were also nominated for Best Supporting Actress. All are first-time nominees except for McTeer who was nominated in 2000 for Tumbleweeds.

Puss in Boots, a spin-off of the Shrek film franchise received a nomination for Best Animated Film, the third in the series. It will compete with Kung Fu Panda 2, whose prequel was also nominated for the same award in 2009 as well as A Cat in Paris, Chico & Rita and Rango.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the final film in the Harry Potter franchise, received three technical award nominations as well as Transformers 3: The Dark Side of the Moon.

For a complete list of the nominees for the 84th Academy Awards, go to http://www.imdb.com/oscars/nominations/. The awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, Feb. 26 on ABC.

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