Scorsese’s Hugo leads Oscar race with 11 nominations

'The Artist' is second with 10 nominations; Two-time winner Streep turns most-nominated actress.

Written by Associated Press | Beverly Hills | Published: January 25, 2012 12:35:59 am

Martin Scorsese’s Paris adventure Hugo leads the Academy Awards with 11 nominations,among them best picture and the latest director nod for the Oscar-winning filmmaker.

Also nominated for best picture Tuesday: the silent film The Artist; the family drama The Descendants; the September 11 tale Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; the Deep South drama The Help; the romantic fantasy Midnight in Paris; the sports tale Moneyball; the family chronicle The Tree of Life; and the World War I epic War Horse.

The nominations set up a best-picture showdown between the top films at the Golden Globes: best musical or comedy recipient The Artist and best drama winner The Descendants.

The Artist ran second with 10 nominations,among them writing and directing nominations for French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius,a best-actor honour for Jean Dujardin and a supporting-actress slot for Berenice Bejo. Because of a rule change requiring films to receive a certain number of first-place votes,the best-picture field has only nine nominees rather than the 10 that were in the running the last two years.

Dujardin,who won the Globe for best actor in a musical or comedy,will be up against Globe dramatic actor winner George Clooney for The Descendants,in which the Oscar-winning superstar plays a dad trying to hold his Hawaiian family together after a boating accident puts his wife in a coma.

Other best-actor contenders are Demian Bechir as an immigrant father in A Better Life; Gary Oldman as British spymaster George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; and Brad Pitt as Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane in Moneyball.

Globe winners Meryl Streep (best dramatic actress as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady) and Michelle Williams (best musical or comedy actress as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn) scored Oscar nominations for best actress.

Two-time Oscar winner Streep padded her record as the most-nominated actress,raising her total to 17 nominations,five more than Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson,who are tied for second-place. Streep went two-for-four on her first nominations,winning supporting actress for 1979’s Kramer vs. Kramer and best actress for 1982’s Sophie’s Choice. But she has lost her last 12 times. Along with Streep and Williams,best-actress nominees are Glenn Close as a 19th century Irishwoman masquerading as a male butler in Albert Nobbs; Viola Davis as a black maid going public with tales of white Southern employers in The Help; and Rooney Mara as a vengeful computer genius in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

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