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It’ll be an American film set in Paris against a French film set in Hollywood for Oscar’s top honors.

AND THE WINNERS ARE…

Scorsese’s Hugo Leads With 11 Nominations, The Artist is Next with 10, Moneyball and War Horse Grab Six Apiece
It’ll be an American film set in '20s Paris and a French film with an early Hollywood backdrop vying with one another for Oscar’s top honors.

Hugo, Martin Scorsese’s 3D rumination on the halcyon days of silent cinema, topped the list of Oscar nominees with 11, while Michel HazanaviciusThe Artist, his own ode to filmmaking’s dawn, was next with 10, as both nabbed nods for Picture and Director for the ceremony set for Feb. 26 at the Kodak Theatre. Moneyball and yet another legendary director, Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, were next with six apiece, including Best Picture nods.

There were nine Best Picture nominations in all; in addition to Hugo, The Artist, Moneyball and War Horse, they were The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Midnight in Paris and The Tree of Life. Most notable in their absence: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Bridesmaids and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Aside from Scorsese and Hazanavicius, directing nods went to Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris) and Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life), with the likes of Spielberg, Dragon Tattoo's David FincherMoneyball’s Bennett Miller and Extremely Loud’s Stephen Daldry getting snubbed.

For Actor in a Leading Role, The DescendantsGeorge Clooney and The Artist’s Jean Dujardin have to be considered the co-leaders after both winning Golden Globes in a field that also includes Moneyball’s Brad Pitt, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’s Gary Oldman and long shot Demian Bichir (from Weeds) for the illegal immigrant drama A Better Life. Among the notable omissions: Leonardo DiCaprio for his controversial performance as J. Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood’s biopic and Michael Fassbender’s searing sexual addict in Shame.

The Actress in a Leading Role race looks like a three-way battle between The Help’s Viola Davis, The Iron Lady’s Meryl Streep and My Week with Marilyn’s Michelle Williams, the latter two having won Golden Globes, along with Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs). Among those missing in action: former winner Charlize Theron in Young Adult.

Beginners’ veteran Christopher Plummer is the front-runner in Best Supporting Actor alongside fellow long timer Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close), Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn), Jonah Hill (Moneyball) and Nick Nolte (Warrior). Drive’s Albert Brooks, Young Adult's Patton Oswalt and J.Edgar's Armie Hammer were among the snubs.

The Help’s Octavia Spencer would seem to have the edge in the Best Supporting Actress category as the Golden Globe winner, where she will go against her cast mate Jessica Chastain, Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Berenice Bejo (The Artist) and Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs). Among the overlooked: the delightful Shailene Woodley of The Descendants.

This weekend's Screen Actors Guild Awards should help clear up the favorites in these categories.

In the Adapted Screenplay race, it’ll be The Descendants (Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash), Hugo (John Logan), The Ides of March (George Clooney  & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon), Moneyball (Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin) and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan).

For Original Screenplay: The Artist (Hazanavicius) will go head to head with Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, Bridesmaids (Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig), Margin Call (J.C. Chandor) and Foreign Film nominee A Separation (Asghar Farhad).

In Original Score, it will be John Williams (The Adventures of Tintin), Ludovic Bource (The Artist), Howard Shore (Hugo), Alberto Iglesias (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and John Williams (War Horse).

There are only two entries in the Original Song category, including Flight of the Conchords member Bret McKenzie’s “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets and Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown’s “Real in Rio” from Rio (lyrics by Siedah Garrett). Well, at least there won’t be too many of those interminable musical performances on the Oscar telecast.

For the full list of nominees, go to www.oscar.com.

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