The 2012 Oscars nominations have just been announced and, as usual, following the Golden Globes and plenty of speculation, there aren’t that many surprises. Here are the main category nominees:

Best Picture
The Artist
War Horse
The Descendants
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
The Help
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Director
Michel HazanaviciusThe Artist
Martin ScorseseHugo
Alexander PayneThe Descendants
Terrence MalickTree of Life
Woody AllenMidnight in Paris

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Demian BachirA Better Life
George ClooneyThe Descendants
Jean DujardinThe Artist
Brad PittMoneyball
Gary OldmanTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Meryl StreepThe Iron Lady
Rooney MaraThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Glenn CloseAlbert Nobbs
Viola DavisThe Help
Michelle WilliamsMy Week with Marilyn

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Christopher PlummerBeginners
Jonah HillMoneyball
Kenneth BranaghMy Week with Marilyn
Nick NolteWarrior
Max von Sydow Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Bérénice BejoThe Artist
Jessica ChastainThe Help
Melissa McCarthyBridesmaids
Janet McTeerAlbert Nobbs
Octavia SpencerThe Help

Best Original Screenplay
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumolo – Bridesmaids
JC Chandor – Margin Call
Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris
Asghar Farhadi – A Separation

Best Animated Feature
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots

Best Foreign Language Film
In Darkness
Monsieur Lazhar
A Separation

Best Cinematography
Guillaume Schiffman – The Artist
Jeff Cronenweth – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Robert Richardson – Hugo
Emmanuel Lubezki – The Tree of Life
Janusz Kaminski – War Horse

Movie Talk is now officially on Oscars watch until the ceremony, which takes place at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday 26 February, so make sure to check in with us on the latest developments leading up to the big night.

We’re incredibly pleased that Eddie Murphy pulled out of the hosting job because that means that Oscars presenter extraordinaire Billy Crystal is back – for the ninth time! Not that it will be difficult (for anyone) to beat the cringeworthy efforts of Anne Hathaway and James Franco last year.