How did you do in the Oscars pool?

"The Artist" competes with "Hugo" for best art direction, cinematography, costume design, film editing and original music score.
  • Golden Globe, SAG wins boost "Artist" and "Help" Oscar chances
  • Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" leads with 11 Academy Award nominations
  • Best actor contender Jean Dujardin spoke only two words in "The Artist"
  • Billy Crystal hosts the Academy Awards for a ninth time Sunday night

Los Angeles (CNN) -- The 84th Academy Awards features a showdown between a black-and-white silent film, a civil-rights-era film about Mississippi maids and a 3-D film based on the earliest days of the movie industry.

Billy Crystal, who hosts the Oscars for a ninth time, promises a rousing song and dance opening and plenty of comedy between presentation of 24 awards during Hollywood's biggest night.

"The Artist," with 10 Oscar nominations, leads in pre-show media buzz, but "The Help," nominated four times, was bolstered in the best picture competition when it dominated the Screen Actors Guild awards two weeks ago.

Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," is also in the running for best pic with 11 Academy Award bids, but none of its actors were nominated.

Other best picture nominees include Brad Pitt's "Moneyball," contending for six awards; Steven Spielberg's "War Horse," nominated in six categories; George Clooney's "The Descendants," up for five; Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," up for four Oscars; "The Tree of Life" with three; and "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," competing in two categories.

While Pitt and Clooney are nominated for best actor, French actor Jean Dujardin, who spoke only two words in "The Artist," appeared to be the favorite after his wins at the Golden Globes and at the SAG awards.

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The other best actor nominees are Demián Bichir for "A Better Life" and Gary Oldman for "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy."

The Oscar best actress race includes Viola Davis, whose portrayal of a civil rights-era maid in "The Help" earned the SAG's best actress trophy, and Meryl Streep, who won the drama film best actress Golden Globe for her role as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady."

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Michelle Williams, who played Marilyn Monroe in "My Week With Marilyn," is also considered a best actress contender after winning the comedy film best actress Golden Globe last month.

Other best actress nominees include Glenn Close, who played a woman passing as a 19th-century man in "Albert Nobbs," and Rooney Mara for her title role in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

Christopher Plummer, who won best supporting actor at the Golden Globe and SAG Awards for his role as an aging gay man in "Beginners," leads the race for the supporting actor Oscar.

Other best supporting actor nominees include "Moneyball" co-star Jonah Hill, Nick Nolte in "Warrior," Kenneth Branagh in "My Week With Marilyn" and Max von Sydow in "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close."

"The Help" co-star Octavia Spencer, who won for best supporting actress at both the Globes and SAG awards, is considered the top contender for the supporting actress Oscar. Other nominees are "Help" co-star Jessica Chastain, "The Artist" actress Berenice Bejo, Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids" and Janet McTeer in "Albert Nobbs."

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While "Hugo" is not up for any acting honors, Scorsese's 3-D film dominates elsewhere with nominations for best art direction, cinematography, costume design, film editing, original music score, sound editing, sound mixing, visual effects and adapted screenplay. Scorsese is also nominated for best director, an honor he won at the Golden Globes.

Along with the best actor and supporting actress nominations, "The Artist" earned a best director and original screenplay bids for Michel Hazanavicius.

His movie competes with "Hugo" for best art direction, cinematography, costume design, film editing and original music score. Unlike "Hugo," "The Artist" was not nominated for best sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects -- not surprising considering it is a black-and-white silent movie.

Woody Allen is up for best director and original screenplay Oscars for his film about a time-traveling American writer, "Midnight in Paris." He won the Golden Globe for best screenplay. His film is also nominated for best art direction.

Other best director contenders include Alexander Payne for "The Descendants," which carried home the best drama film at the Golden Globes, and Terrence Malick for "The Tree of Life."

The animated feature film category is proof that Golden Globe wins don't make for an automatic Oscar nominee. Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin" won at the Globes last month, but it was not among the five films nominated for an Academy Award.

The Oscar nominees in that category include "A Cat in Paris," "Chico & Rita," "Kung Fu Panda 2," "Puss in Boots" and "Rango." Only the latter two were nominated for Golden Globes.

The 84th annual Academy Awards will be televised live Sunday night from the Hollywood & Highland Center, formerly Hollywood's Kodak Theatre.

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