POSTED: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 5:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 9:32pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — The chase for Oscar is officially on.
The Academy Award nominations were announced this morning.
Martin Scorsese's family adventure "Hugo" came out on top with 11 nominations overall, including Best Picture and Best Director.
"The Artist" will be one of eight films vying against "Hugo" for best picture.
"Chances are, the best picture will be one of these two love letters to American cinema," says The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg.
That homage to silent film grabbed ten nominations, including Best Actor for Jean Dujardin
and Best Supporting Actress for Berenice Bejo.
"We made this film by passion, and with our hearts, and we never thought it was possible to go so high with an Oscar nomination," said director Michel Hazanavicius.
Golden Globe winner "The Descendants" is also in the Best Picture hunt, along with the baseball tale "Moneyball".
Those films also brought Best Actor nominations for George Clooney as well as Brad Pitt.
The September 11th tale "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" is also among the Best Picture contenders, as well as the ensemble drama "The Help", the romantic comedy "Midnight in Paris", the family story "The Tree of Life" and the World War I epic "War Horse".
Meryl Streep earned her record 17th Oscar nomination, Best Actress for "The Iron Lady".
The two-time Oscar winner goes up against Viola Davis from "The Help", Glenn Close from "Albert Nobbs", Rooney Mara from "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and Michelle Williams from "My Week With Marilyn".
"Meryl Streep does have two Academy Awards, but it's been almost 30 years since she's won. A lot of people think she's overdue for another Oscar," says Entertainment Weekly's Dave Karger.
Gary Oldman's role in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" brought him a Best Actor nomination.
He'll compete against Clooney, Pitt and Dujardin, as well as Damian Bachir for "A Better Life".