"Hugo" has the chance to take home 11 Oscars this year, while director Michel Hazanavicius' "The Artist" earned 10 nominations.
Both films are up for best picture, along with "The Descendants," "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," "The Help," "Midnight in Paris," "Moneyball," "Tree of Life" and "War Horse."
The best picture category only has nine nominees because of a rule change requiring films to receive a certain number of first-place votes.
Jean Dujardin, who won at the Golden Globes for best actor in a musical or comedy for his role in "The Artist," will be up against Globe dramatic actor winner George Clooney for "The Descendants." Other best-actor nominees are Demian Bechir for "A Better Life," Gary Oldman for "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and Brad Pitt for "Moneyball."
Clooney and Pitt are each up for two awards. Along with their acting nods, Clooney is up for a screenplay award for "The Ides of March," and Pitt as producer for "Moneyball."
Supporting actor nominees include Kenneth Branagh for "My Week with Marilyn," Jonah Hill for "Moneyball," Nick Nolte for "Warrior," Christopher Plummer for "Beginners" and Max von Sydow for "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."
Two-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep added to her record as the most-nominated actress ever, raising her total to 17 nominations. She's up this year for "The Iron Lady." Also nominated are Michelle Williams for "My Week With Marilyn," Glenn Close for "Albert Nobbs," Rooney Mara for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and Viola Davis for "The Help."
Davis has walked down the Oscars red carpet before for her work in the drama, "Doubt." What she learned from her first experience is that the attention can be life changing.
"The life of the actor is all about work, always looking for the work, always wanting a job ... awards are wonderful, but the awards are only wonderful because people thinking it's the key that unlocks the door to the work," she said.
Another thing she knows is that all the nominees are already winners.
"To me, I am not in competition with Meryl Streep. I'm standing side by side with Miss Meryl Streep," she said.
Supporting actress nominees include Berenice Bejo for "The Artist," Jessica Chastain for "The Help," Melissa McCarthy for "Bridesmaids," Janet McTeer for "Albert Nobbs" and Octavia Spencer for "The Help."
Jennifer Lawrence of "The Hunger Games" and Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, announced the nominations for the 84th Academy Awards on Tuesday morning.
The 2012 Academy Awards ceremony takes place on Feb. 26 at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles and will air live on ABC7.
The event will be hosted by actor Billy Crystal in what will mark his ninth such stint.