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Oscar nominations 2012: the Academy's picks for best films

Actress Jennifer Lawrence ("Winter's Bone," the upcoming "The Hunger Games") announced the Oscar nominees Tuesday morning in a ceremony that began at 8:38 a.m. EST. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences certainly kept things interesting this year – since there could be anywhere from five to 10 Best Picture nominees. And there were several upsets in the acting categories, with actors who had been ignored by other prizes such as the Golden Globes sneaking in for an Oscar nomination. Here are the nominees for the major categories that may have their names read on Oscar night on Feb. 26.

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Melissa McCarthy (l.) is nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Megan in 'Bridesmaids.'
Suzanne Hanover/HONS/Universal/AP
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1. Actress in a Supporting Role

– Bérénice Bejo, "The Artist"

Jessica Chastain, "The Help"

Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"

Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs"

Octavia Spencer, "The Help"

Upsets: This was the category that stuck with most critics' guesses. Some worried that McCarthy might get shut out because of the Academy's lack of love in the past for comedies, but she managed to score a nomination.

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