The Madeleine Brand Show

The Madeleine Brand Show is a daily, two-hour program that looks at news and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Madeleine Brand

'Hugo,' 'The Artist' and 'The Help' dominate Oscar noms

by The Madeleine Brand Show

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Actress Jennifer Lawrence (L) and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak speak onstage during the 84th Academy Awards announcement held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Samuel Goldwyn Theater on January 24, 2012 in Los Angeles. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their list of nominations for the 84th Academy Awards Tuesday morning. It included a couple films about Paris, cinema history, some familiar names and a few surprises.

Martin Scorcese's homage to film history, "Hugo," received the most nominations with 11, while the black and white silent film, "The Artist," followed with 10 nominations. Alexander Payne's "The Descendants" and the best-seller based "The Help" also dominated the field with several nominations each.

George Clooney looks to be the frontrunner among lead actor nominees, which also included The Artist star Jean Dujardin, who took the Golden Globe for acting in a Musical or Comedy. Brad Pitt was also nominated for his work in "Money Ball," and Gary Oldman for "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy."

Michael Fassbender and Leonardo DiCaprio were passed over for their work in "Shame" and "J. Edgar." But there was a surprise shake-up with the nomination of Demian Bichir for the mostly Spanish language, "A Better Life."

Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady" and Viola Davis for "The Help" lead the pack in the best actress race, which also includes Michelle Williams for her role in "My Week with Marilyn" and Glenn Close for "Albert Nobbs." Rooney Mara's nod for best actress was one of a few nominations to go to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," which had been a favorite going into awards season.

Christopher Plummer is a clear favorite for Best Supporting Actor for his role of an aging father who comes out of the closet at 75 in "Beginners." And "The Help" leads the Supporting Actress category with two nominations for Golden Globe-winner Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain, who has had a banner year with critically lauded performances in "The Tree of Life" and "Take Shelter."

See the full list of nominations here.


John Horn, film writer for the Los Angeles Times

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