"Biutiful" is nominated for best foreign film, with Bardem up for the best actor prize.
Bardem said he's thrilled with all the attention his film is now receiving.
"There are movies where you don't kind of need that because the movies are out there in a big position, place, but "Biutiful" is a different kind of movie, so these two nominations ... really helps the people to have knowledge about it and and look for it," Bardem said.
In "Biutiful," Javier Bardem plays a strong, affectionate father who is also a strong, powerful criminal. But his life takes a turn, and that story plays out in the dark drama.
Bardem's first Oscar nomination came with his lead role in the 2000 film "Before Night Falls, and he won the Oscar for supporting actor for 2007's "No Country For Old Men," but he said this nomination feels like his first time.
"You keep on being overwhelmed by it," he said. "You pretend you're not, but you are overwhelmed by it, and also overwhelmed by the people with so many talent in that room."
If Bardem wins, it'll only be the sixth time an actor has done so speaking in a language other than English. He says that makes his nomination feel special.
His movie delves into some difficult material, but Bardem says it's a journey worth taking.
"It's very emotional, very deep, but also very rewarding at the very end," he said.