In some ways, it's a quiet acting race

Every year, Oscar nominations feature some oddities and notable achievements.

In some ways, it’s a quiet acting race: Berenice Bejo, Jean Dujardin and Max von Sydow utter only two words among their three performances.

Michelle Williams was nominated for playing an actress (Marilyn Monroe) who never earned an Oscar nom.

Alexander Payne is a triple nominee for “The Descendants.” Lead actor contenders George Clooney and Brad Pitt also were given an adapted screenplay nom for “Ides of March,” and a producer bid for “Moneyball,” respectively. Cited in two races were Woody Allen, Michel Hazanavicius and Martin Scorsese. Allen’s noms for “Midnight in Paris” broke Billy Wilder’s record by making him a seven-time double nominee on the same film in the directing and writing categories.

For their sound work, Gary Rydstrom scored two noms, after 14 previous bids; Greg P. Russell earned his 15th career nomination; Ren Klyce earned his fourth and fifth noms this year.

“A Separation,” written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, is the first Farsi-language screenplay to earn a writing nom.

John Williams’ twin noms bring his total to 47, making him second in Oscar history to Walt Disney, who earned 59 during his lifetime.

Meryl Streep continues her record-breaking run, with a 17th overall nom for “The Iron Lady.”

Supporting actor nominee Kenneth Branagh has now been nominated five times in five different categories; others are for lead actor and directing in 1989 for “Henry V,” live-action short in 1992 for “Swan Song” and adapted screenplay in 1996 for “Hamlet.”

All five films in the animated feature category earned first-time noms for their directors. Since the animation category started in 2001, the only times Pixar has missed out on a nom were in 2002, 2005 and this year.

Wim Wenders’ “Pina” is the first 3-D film to be nominated in the documentary category.

Scott Rudin (“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”) and Michael DeLuca (“Moneyball”) received best picture noms last year for “The Social Network.”

There is a French accent this year: Paris serves as the backdrop for “Hugo,” “Midnight in Paris” and the animated “A Cat in Paris,” while Parisians produced, directed and starred in L.A.-set “The Artist.”

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