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Oscar Noms: Lights, Cameras, Action!

The big daddy of award shows, the Oscars, is a month away. Today came the nominations for the 84th outing…

It's a mixed bag, with some of the expected titles and actors getting their place in the spotlight and a few surprises, but it's also a decent turn-out for projects with an action element.

Here's a rundown of some of the notable categories:

BEST FILM:   War Horse, The Artist, Moneyball, The Descendants, The Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris, The Help, Hugo, Extremely Loud and Incredibley Close

BEST ACTOR: Demian Bashir (A Better Life), George Clooney (The Descendants), Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Gary Oldman (Tinker-Tailor-Soldier-Spy), Brad Pitt (Moneyball).

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christopher Plummer (Beginners), Jonah Hill (Moneyball), Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn), Nick Nolte (Warrior), Max Von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)

BEST ACTRESS: Glenn Close (Albert Noobs), Viola Davis (The Help), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Berenice Bejo (The Artist), Jessica Chastain (The Help), Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs), Octavia Spencer (The Help)

BEST DIRECTOR: Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Martin Scorsese (Hugo), Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris), Terrence Malik (The Tree of Life)

BEST ANIMATED: A Cat in Paris, Chico & Rita, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots, Rango

BEST VISUAL FX: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Hugo, Real Steel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Spielberg's War Horse and The Artist were clearly shoe-ins and it's interesting to see that George Clooney maintains his momentum as an actor who can turn his hand to almost any genre and come up trumps and he must be a serious contender for the 84th outing – though close friend Brad Pitt and his baseball movie Moneyball are also visible. It's also welcoming that a slower-paced thriller like the very British Tinker-Tailor-Soldier-Spy getting recognition with Gary Oldman's nomination. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's US remake gets a nod with Rooney Mara's brave performance being acknowledged.  Interesting to see veteran Nick Nolte getting nominated for Warrior and also good to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes gettign recognsied in the VFX category (hopefully Andy Serkis getting more recognition for his performance capture talents!)

And who knew that Kung Fu Panda 2 would get acknowledged?

The actual ceremony on February 26th will once again be hosted by mainstay Billy Crystal who stepped in after Eddie Murphy stepped down after the Brett Ratner controversy.


UPDATED: Gary Oldman responds to nomination…

“This afternoon in Berlin I have learned that I was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Actor. You may have heard this before, but it has never been truer than it is for me today, it is extremely humbling, gratifying, and delightful to have your work recognized by the Academy, and to join the celebrated ranks of previous nominees and colleagues. Amazing.”