The other nominees for best picture are "Gangs of New York," "The Hours," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," and "The Pianist."
"Chicago" -- a musical about a murderess with dreams of stardom -- earned a Best Actress nomination for Renée Zellweger, Supporting Actress nominations for Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta-Jones and a Supporting Actor nomination for John C. Reilly. It was also nominated for Best Director -- for Rob Marshall in his feature film directing debut -- and adapted screenplay, original song, art direction, cinematography, costume design, film editing and sound.
"Gangs of New York," Martin Scorsese's 19th century gang war epic, earned 10 nominations -- including Best Actor for Daniel-Day Lewis, Best Director for Scorsese, original screenplay, original song, art direction, cinematography, costume design, film editing and sound.
"The Hours," based on the best-selling novel by Michael Cunningham, received nine nominations -- including Best Actress for Nicole Kidman, Supporting Actress for Julianne Moore, Supporting Actor for Ed Harris and Best Director for Stephen Daldry. It was also nominated for adapted screenplay, film editing, music score and costume design.
"The Pianist," Roman Polanski's account of a Polish Jew who eludes capture by the Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto, earned seven nominations -- including Best Actor for Adrien Brody, Best Director for Polanski and best adapted screenplay, cinematography, costume design and film editing.
"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," the second of writer-director Peter Jackson's film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's literary classic, received five nominations in addition to Best Picture -- for art direction, film editing, sound, sound editing and visual effects.
Nicholson has now been nominated 12 times for the acting Oscar, making him the most nominated male performer in academy history. A win would place him in a tie with Katharine Hepburn as the only performers with four Oscars.
The other nominees for Best Actress are Salma Hayek ("Frida"), Diane Lane ("Unfaithful") and Julianne Moore ("Far from Heaven"). If Moore wins for both Best Actress and Supporting Actress, she will be the first performer ever to win two competitive Oscars in one year.
The other nominees for Supporting Actor are Chris Cooper ("Adaptation"), Paul Newman ("Road to Perdition") and Christopher Walken ("Catch Me If You Can"). The other nominees for Supporting Actress are Kathy Bates ("About Schmidt") and Meryl Streep ("Adaptation").
Streep is now the most-nominated performer in academy history with 13 nominations. If she wins, Streep will join a list of three-time Oscar winners that includes Nicholson, Ingrid Bergman and Walter Brennan.
Pedro Almodóvar of Spain was nominated for Best Director for "Talk to Her," a story about two men caring for two comatose women at a private hospital.
The nominees for the second ever Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film are "Ice Age," "Lilo & Stitch," "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron," "Spirited Away" and "Treasure Planet." The nominees for Best Foreign-Language Film are "El Crimen del Padre Amaro" (Mexico), "Hero" (People's Republic of China), "The Man without a Past" (Finland), "Nowhere in Africa" (Germany) and "Zus & Zo" (The Netherlands)
Composer John Williams logged his 42nd nomination in the music categories -- for his score for "Catch Me If You Can" -- pulling him to within one of Alfred Newman's record lifetime total for music nominations.
Paul Simon, U2 and Eminem scored nominations for Best Original Song.
Simon was nominated for "Father and Daughter" from "The Wild Thornberrys Movie." U2 was singled out for "The Hands That Built America" from "Gangs of New York." Eminem and co-writers Jeff Bass and Luis Resto were nominated for "Lose Yourself" from "8 Mile."
The other nominees in the category are Elliot Goldenthal and Julie Taymor for "Burn It Blue" from "Frida" and John Kander and Fred Ebb for "I Move On" from "Chicago."
The biggest box-office hit of 2002, "Spider-Man," received two nominations, for sound and visual effects.
The academy previously announced that it will present an honorary Oscar to seven-time Best Actor nominee Peter O'Toole
The 75th Academy Awards will be presented Sunday, March 23, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, in ceremonies to be hosted by Steve Martin and televised live on ABC.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]