From the motion picture academy:

This year's balloting rules allowed for the possibility of between five and ten Best Picture nominees, and for the first time in Academy history, nine films have been nominated in that category.

With his two nominations for Original Score this year, John Williams now has a total of 47 nominations. He ranks second to Walt Disney as the most-nominated individual in Oscar® history. Among living persons, Woody Allen, who is also nominated twice this year for a total of 23 nominations, is second only to Williams.

Meryl Streep extends her lead as the most-nominated performer in Oscar history with her 17th nomination this year.
In the acting categories, nine individuals are first-time nominees. Two of the nominees (George Clooney, Meryl Streep) are previous acting winners. Only Michelle Williams was also nominated last year, for her leading role in Blue Valentine.

Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg, with their nominations for War Horse, now share the record for most Best Picture nominations for individual producers with seven each. Kennedy's previous nominations were for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Color Purple (1985), The Sixth Sense (1999), Seabiscuit (2003), Munich (2005) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). Spielberg's other Best Picture nominations were for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, The Color Purple, Schindler's List (1993), for which he won the award, Saving Private Ryan (1998), Munich and Letters from Iwo Jima (2006).

With his nominations for directing and writing Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen passes Billy Wilder in becoming a seven-time double nominee for Directing and Writing on the same film.

A Separation is the first screenplay written in Farsi to receive a Writing nomination.

For the second time, George Clooney has received nominations in two different categories for two different feature films in the same year. He is nominated for his leading role in The Descendants and in the Adapted Screenplay category for The Ides of March. In 2005, he was named Best Supporting Actor for Syriana and was nominated in the Original Screenplay category for Good Night, and Good Luck.

Pina is the first 3D film nominated in the Documentary Feature category.

The Artist is the tenth predominantly black-and-white film to be nominated for Cinematography since 1967, when the separate category for black-and-white cinematography was eliminated. Previously nominated films were In Cold Blood (1967), The Last Picture Show (1971), Lenny (1974), Raging Bull (1981), Zelig (1983), Schindler's List (1993), The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005) and The White Ribbon (2009).

Best Picture Release Dates:
Midnight in Paris - May 20, 2011
The Tree of Life - May 27, 2011
The Help - August 10, 2011
Moneyball - September 23, 2011
The Descendants - November 16, 2011
Hugo - November 23, 2011
The Artist - November 25, 2011
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - December 25, 2011
War Horse - December 25, 2011