And the 2012 Oscar Nominations Are....

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...almost exactly as we predicted, as it turns out.

Announced just this morning, The Academy has recognized the best films of the past year with its award nominations, and the surprises are few. Martin Scorcese's Hugo is the big winner, with 11 nominations in everything from Best Picture to Sound Mixing. Close on its tail is The Artist, with 10.

There is one film we didn't expect to make quite as big a splash, though: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which nabbed an unexpected Best Picture nod as well as a Suppporting Actor nom for Max von Sydow.

Other contests worth watching this year are shaping up to be Actor in a Leading Role, which pits megastar George Clooney in The Descendants against the relatively unknown Jean Dujardin for his role in The Artist. On one hand, Dujardin doesn't have any lines to deliver. On the other hand, the Academy might be a little weary of Clooney by now.

The Actress in a Leading Role could be even trickier, with Viola Davis a pop culture favorite for The Help, Michelle Williams a decent shot for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe, and two powerhouses, Glen Close and Meryl Streep, also in the running.

Mostly, though, you're going to have to rely on the lesser-known categories like Sound Editing and the short films if you're planning to dominate your office's Oscars pool this year.

For a full list of nominees, visit the Oscars website.

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