BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Feb. 12 (UPI) -- As usual, the announcement of the nominees for the Academy Awards provided a blend of fulfilled expectations, mild surprises and the occasional eyebrow-raising choice -- but mostly, the nominations ran pretty much as advertised.
Best picture nominee "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" became the seventh movie in Oscar history to receive 13 nominations -- and it managed that with just one acting nomination, for Ian McKellen as best supporting actor.
The record is 14, shared by "Titanic" and "All About Eve."
In addition to best picture and supporting actor, the screen adaptation of the first book of J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy about valor and idealism in Middle Earth was also nominated for best director (Peter Jackson), adapted screenplay, art direction, cinematography, costume design, film editing, makeup, original score, original song, sound and visual effects.
"A Beautiful Mind" and "Moulin Rouge" -- both nominated for best picture -- each came in with eight nominations, but "Moulin Rouge" made news for a nomination it didn't get.
Baz Luhrmann -- who was nominated for the Directors Guild of America's top prize for feature directing -- was left off the list of Oscar nominees. Luhrmann's exclusion was as stunning as the nomination of David Lynch -- the only mention for Lynch's inscrutable drama, "Mulholland Drive."
Ron Howard is widely regarded as a strong favorite to win both the Oscar and the DGA prize for his direction of "A Beautiful Mind," based on the life of schizophrenic Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr.
Russell Crowe earned his third straight best actor nomination for his portrayal of Nash, and stands to join Luise Rainer, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Jason Robards and Tom Hanks as the only actors ever to win back-to-back Oscars.
Crowe won best actor last year for "Gladiator."
Jennifer Connelly, who plays Nash's impossibly patient and loving wife, is up for supporting actress, and the movie is up for film editing, makeup, original score (James Horner, who won the Oscar for "Titanic") and adapted screenplay. Akiva Goldsman has already won a Golden Globe and a USC Scripter Awards for "A Beautiful Mind," based on the book by Sylvia Nasar.
"Moulin Rouge" -- set against the dance hall culture of Paris at the dawn of the 20th century -- collected nominations for best actress (Nicole Kidman), art direction, cinematography, costume design, film editing, makeup and sound.
"Gosford Park," with seven nominations, has been steadily burnishing its Oscar credentials since the beginning of the year. Along with its best picture nomination, the amusing whodunit -- set at a British country estate in the 1930s -- is up for best director (Robert Altman) and has two supporting actress contenders, Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith.
It's also up for art direction and costume design, and for Julian Fellowes' original screenplay.
Altman's nomination was by no means a sure thing, since the 76-year-old iconoclast had been left off of the DGA's list of nominees. As a general rule, the DGA winner takes the directing Oscar -- and only very rarely will a director receive an Oscar nomination without at least being nominated by the DGA.
This is Altman's fifth Oscar nomination.
"In the Bedroom" -- featuring best actress and actor nominees Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson as a professional couple whose lives are shattered by the violent murder of their only child -- also earned nominations for supporting actress (Marisa Tomei), director (Todd Field) and adapted screenplay (Field and Rob Festinger).
The list of Oscar nominees for best picture is close to, but not entirely consistent with, the list of nominees for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award -- the Producers Guild of America's best picture award. The PGA nominated "A Beautiful Mind," "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," "Moulin Rouge" and "Shrek."
"Shrek" may have won the box-office battle and collected more nominations and honors than "Monsters, Inc." during the awards season so far, but the Academy rewarded "Monsters, Inc." with twice as many nominations -- four -- as "Shrek" got.
Both are up for the new category, best animated feature, along with "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius." "Shrek" is nominated for best adapted screenplay, while "Monsters, Inc." is up for sound editing and for Randy Newman's score and song, "If I Didn't Have You."
Newman has been nominated for best song eight times, and best score five times, but has never won an Oscar.
John Williams bagged two Oscar nominations this time around -- one for "A.I. Artificial Intelligence," and one for "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." With 41 nominations, Williams is the most nominated living person. Only Walt Disney with 64 and Alfred Newman (Randy's uncle) with 45 earned more Oscar nominations than Williams.
"Black Hawk Down" was limited to four nominations -- one of those for best director for Ridley Scott. The others are for the technical categories of cinematography, film editing and sound.
"Ali," which arrived in theaters at Christmas amid considerable Oscar buzz, was held to just two nominations -- a best actor mention for Will Smith as legendary heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, and a supporting actor nomination for Jon Voight's uncanny performance as the legendary broadcaster Howard Cosell.
"Training Day," a rogue cop story that helped restore vitality to the U.S. box office soon after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, earned two nominations -- best actor for Denzel Washington as an unorthodox cop, and supporting actor for Ethan Hawke as his new, fresh-faced partner. It's Washington's nomination, and his third for best actor. He won the supporting actor Oscar in 1989 for "Glory."
Kate Winslet and Judi Dench were nominated for playing the same character at different stages of life -- the writer Iris Murdoch in "Iris." The only other time that two actresses were nominated for playing the same character in the same film was 1997, when Winslet and Gloria Stuart were nominated for their performances as Rose DeWitt Bukater in "Titanic."
This is Dench's fourth Oscar nomination. She won for best supporting actress in 1998 for "Shakespeare in Love."
"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" didn't quite measure up to "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" at the box office, but the hobbits iced the wizards and witches in the Oscar sweepstakes, as "Harry Potter" only managed to conjure up three nominations -- for art direction, costume design and original score.
Benefiting from a typically aggressive campaign by its distributor, Miramax, "Amélie" came through with five nominations -- including best foreign-language film, original screenplay, art direction, cinematography and sound.