The nominees are in and the surprises are few and far between, in my opinion (though others seem to be picking their jaws up off the floor this morning). As I mentioned yesterday, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" caught fire with voters down the stretch and was very much on their lips. The film turned up in the nine-film Best Picture category today, despite being critically disassembled, and that was pretty much the only eyebrow-raiser of the major categories. The film only showed up in one other category: Best Supporting Actor for Max Von Sydow.

"Hugo" led the way with a whopping 11 nominations while "The Artist" wasn't far behind with 10. But what's interesting is that there is a big gap between those two films and the next tier, as "Moneyball" and "War Horse" (which made it into the Best Picture field and was clearly popular throughout, despite its paltry guild showing) landed six each. "The Descendants," meanwhile, landed five (and Shailene Woodley was indeed snubbed, following suit with the indications of SAG last month), as did "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," which was snubbed in the Best Picture field after a really strong guild showing.

Speaking of which: no Albert Brooks. The man worked the circuit. He was a huge favorite along the critics' circuit. And after SAG clued us into the fact that the actors might not be all that hot on the performance (or, indeed, the film), he got smacked down today. "Drive" was only nominated in one category: Best Sound Editing.

I'm most happy about "The Tree of Life" showing up in both the Best Picture and Best Director fields. Since "Margaret" is (naturally) nowhere to be found, at least I have a passionate spot on which to place my chips. The film was, however, slighted in the Best Visual Effects category, which is bogus. I'm also over the friggin' moon that Gary Oldman is finally an Oscar nominee, recognized for his subdued, brilliant work in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." The film itself didn't do nearly as well as it did with BAFTA, of course, only showing up in Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score otherwise, but I'm just happy for Oldman. That feels like a massive wrong righted.

As I look out over the rest of the nominees, I have very little else to say. The Best Original Song category is an absolute joke. There's no two ways about it. "The Help" is extremely weak, landing zero nominations below the line and coming in with just four total: three for acting, one for Best Picture. (Though did anyone else notice that the pic they chose when announcing Jessica Chastain as a nominee for the film was of "The Tree of Life?" Odd.)

As for predictions, I went 74/104 throughout the categories I predicted. I went a perfect 5/5 in the Best Supporting Actress, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score fields. I was massacred in the Best Animated Feature Film and Best Documentary Feature categories, only nailing two in the former (which featured snubs of "The Adventures of Tintin" and "Cars 2") and a pathetic one in the latter.

And...that's about all I have to say. I think the morning panned out in a very understandable way, for the most part. Now it's on to the second phase, which will obviously be a knock-down, drag-out fight between "The Artist" (the likely winner) and "Hugo" (which will NOT go gently into that good night -- just you watch). Check back later this morning for some thoughts from Guy on all of this, as well as special editions of Tech Support (featuring Gerard's analysis of the below-the-line categories) and Oscar Talk (in which Anne and I will discuss the nominees and I will gloat about the fact that, indeed, Michael Fassbender and Tilda Swinton were weak in their fields -- okay, I won't gloat...too much).

Check out the full list of Oscar nominees below. And as always, keep up with the ups and downs of the 2011-2012 film awards season via The Circuit.

Best Picture
"The Artist"
"The Descendants"
"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"
"The Help"
"Hugo"
"Midnight in Paris"
"Moneyball"
"The Tree of Life"
"War Horse"

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Alexander Payne, "The Descendants"
Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"
Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
Terrence Malick, "The Tree of Life"

Best Actor
Demián Bichir, "A Better Life"
George Clooney, "The Descendants"
Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
Gary Oldman, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
Brad Pitt, "Moneyball"

Best Actress
Viola Davis, "The Help"
Glenn Close, "Albert Nobbs"
Rooney Mara, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Michelle Williams, "My Week With Marilyn"

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, "My Week With Marilyn"
Jonah Hill, "Moneyball"
Nick Nolte, "Warrior"
Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
Max Von Sydow, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"

Best Supporting Actress
Bérénice Bejo, "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain, "The Help"
Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer, "The Help"

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
"The Descendants"
"Hugo"
"The Ides of March"
"Moneyball"
"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
"The Artist"
"Bridesmaids"
"Margin Call"
"Midnight in Paris"
"A Separation"

Best Art Direction
"The Artist"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
"Hugo"
"Midnight in Paris"
"War Horse"

Best Cinematography
"The Artist"
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
"Hugo"
"The Tree of Life"
"War Horse"

Best Costume Design
"Anonymous"
"The Artist"
"Hugo"
"Jane Eyre"
"W.E."

Best Film Editing
"The Artist"
"The Descendants"
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
"Hugo"
"Moneyball"

Best Makeup

"Albert Nobbs"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
"The Iron Lady"

Best Music (Original Score)
"The Adventures of Tintin"
"The Artist"
"Hugo"
"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
"War Horse"

Best Music (Original Song)
"Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets"
"Real in Rio" from "Rio"

Best Sound Editing
"Drive"
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
"Hugo"
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
"War Horse"

Best Sound Mixing
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
"Hugo"
"Moneyball"
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
"War Horse"

Best Visual Effects
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
"Hugo"
"Real Steel"
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"

Best Animated Feature Film
"A Cat in Paris"
"Chico and Rita"
"Kung Fu Panda 2"
"Puss in Boots"
"Rango"

Best Documentary Feature
"Hell and Back Again"
"If a Tree Falls: The Story of the Earth Liberation Front"
"Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory"
"Pina"
"Undefeated"

Best Foreign Language Film
"Bullhead" - Belgium
"Monsieur Lazhar" - Canada
"A Separation" - Iran
"Footnote" - Israel
"In Darkness" - Poland

Best Documentary (Short Subject)
"The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement"
"God is the Bigger Elvis"
"Incident in New Baghdad"
"Saving Face"
"The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom"

Best Short Film (Animated)
"Dimanche/Sunday"
"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore"
"La Luna"
"A Morning Stroll"
"Wild Life"

Best Short Film (Live Action)
"Pentecost"
"Raju"
"The Shore"
"Time Freak"
"Tuba Atlantic"

For year-round entertainment news and awards season commentary follow @kristapley on Twitter.

Sign up for Instant Alerts from In Contention!