nominations on Tuesday morning, earning 12 nods including best picture and best lead actor for
as King George VI, who battles to eradicate his stammer before he unexpectedly takes the throne.
's spirited remake of the western
followed with 10 nominations for the 83rd annual Academy Awards, including best picture.
scored eight apiece.
Those four films are in the running for best picture with six other movies:
." "Toy Story 3" is also nominated in four more categories, including best animated feature.
The academy shared the wealth this year, doling out nominations in the major categories to movies big and small. Nominated alongside blockbusters such as "Inception," "Toy Story 3" and "True Grit" are such tiny indies as "Winter's Bone" and
-- two films that received acclaim but had limited release.
Firth, who won the
for his lead role in "The King's Speech," is joined in the lead actor race by Franco for "127 Hours," surprise nominee
for "The Social Network" and
, who won last year in this category for "Crazy Heart," for "True Grit."
, Golden Globe winner and mom-to-be, is nominated for lead actress in "Black Swan" along with fellow Globe winner
for "The Kids Are All Right,"
for "Winter's Bone" and
Supporting actor nominees are
in "The Fighter," surprise nominee
for "Winter's Bone,"
in "The Kids Are All Right" and
for "The King's Speech."
On the supporting actress side,
will duke it out for their roles in "The Fighter."
is nominated for "The King's Speech," 14-year-old
for "True Grit," and Jacki Weaver in "Animal Kingdom."
Although many of the nominees are no stranger to Oscar, Tuesday's nominations show a notable infusion of first-time nominees including Eisenberg, Lawrence and Steinfeld.
Notably missing from the performance list of nominees:
for lead actor in "Blue Valentine,"
for supporting actor in "The Social Network,"
for lead actor in "The Fighter" and
for supporting actress in "Black Swan."
There was also a surprise in the directing category.
, who is nominated for a Directors Guild of America Award for "Inception," failed to earn an Oscar nomination in that category. He did receive a nod for his screenplay for the surreal thriller.
Competing in the directing category are:
for "Black Swan,"
for "The Fighter," Tom Hooper for "The King's Speech,"
for "The Social Network" and brothers Joel and Ethan Coen for "True Grit." The siblings also were nominated for their adapted screenplay of Charles Portis' novel.
Two of the best picture nominees -- "The Kids Are All Right" and "Winter's Bone" -- were directed by women, neither of whom made the roster.
The dearth of women in the directing category is sure to disappoint those who saw
's win last year for
-- she became the first woman ever to win in the directing category -- as a sign that women would be more welcome in that marquee category.
Other nominations of note:
In contention for the foreign language film Oscar are "Biutiful" from Mexico, "Dogtooth" from Greece, Golden Globe winner
from Canada and
Joining "Toy Story 3" in the animated feature film category are
In the adapted screenplay category, the nominees are "127 Hours," "The Social Network," "Toy Story 3," "True Grit" and "Winter's Bone." Original screenplay contenders are
"The Fighter," "Inception," "The Kids Are All Right" and "The King's Speech."
With Tuesday's nominations, the talk in Hollywood shifts to who will win the big prizes.
Though "The Social Network" has been a front-runner this awards season, it's now looking over its shoulder.
"The King's Speech" is picking up momentum: It won the Producers Guild of America award on Saturday night over "The Social Network" and also leads the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards with 14 nominations. Now, it leads the Oscar nominations with 12. And "True Grit" is also coming on strong with its 10 nominations. That said, the academy and westerns are like oil and water. Only three sagebrush sagas have ever won the best picture Oscar, the last being 1992's "Unforgiven."
There's another bit of awards-season speculation that is already pinging about the Internet, centered on the
feature nominee "Exit Through the Gift Shop." That film was directed by the infamous British graffiti artist
, whose identify is a closely guarded secret. Is he ready to step out of the shadows to attend the Oscars? Or will he show up in disguise? Or skip it altogether?
All will be answered -- or not -- when the 83rd Academy Awards airs live at 5 p.m. Feb. 27 on
from the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland. Lead actor nominee Franco and
are the hosts.