Oscar Nominations: Hollywood Loves Hollywood

When it comes to Academy Award season, you can’t deny Hollywood’s own infatuation with itself. Hence two movies that celebrate filmmaking and film history are the most nominated in the list released this morning.

“Hugo,” based on the life of film pioneer Georges Melies, lead all nominees with 11; “The Artist,” a film about the advent of talkies, done in black and white and in silent movie style, is up for 10. Both are among the Best Picture candidates, of which there are nine.

Familiar Hollywood names abound in the list; Meryl Streep is up for her 17th nomination for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady” (though she’s only won two overall and hasn’t won in 29 years); Martin Scorsese is up for best director again in “Hugo”; so is Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris.” And while Stephen Spielberg got a nomiation for “War Horse,” his “The Adventures of Tintin” was shut out of the animation category, in part by a couple of European imports few have seen.

Mostly the list of nominees are filled with the kind of titles that have not caught on with the public. The finale of the “Harry Potter” series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2,” last year’s most popular film, is represented only in three technical categories — art direction, makeup and visual effects. That means the possibility of a lower-rated Oscars telecast Feb. 26 than it was the last time this year’s host Billy Crystal was on hand. That year, the box office champ, “Titanic,” also swept nominations and awards.

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