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“It gave me a chance to work in 3-D, which I’ve wanted to do since I was young; it allowed me to make a child’s adventure, the type of picture that I loved when I was young; and it provided an occasion to pay tribute to one of the cinema’s greatest pioneers, Georges Melies,” Scorsese said.

Spielberg’s “War Horse” follows a resilient steed changing hands among the British, Germans and French during World War I, and his “Adventures of Tintin” chronicles the treasure-seeking exploits of Belgian artist and writer Herge’s comic-book hero.

To stretch the Franco angle further, Hollywood exile Roman Polanski, who lives in France after fleeing the United States amid charges he had sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, shot his Globe-nominated drama “Carnage” outside of Paris. The film, based on a stage work by French playwright Yasmina Reza, earned musical or comedy actress nominations for Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet as mothers squabbling over their sons’ schoolyard fight.

“The Help” and “The Descendants,” which tied for second-place behind “The Artist” with five Globe nominations each, are pure American stories.

Adapted from Kathryn Stockett’s best-seller, “The Help” earned a dramatic actress honor for Viola Davis and a supporting-actress nomination for Octavia Spencer as Mississippi maids going public with stories about their white employers as the civil-rights movement heats up in the 1960s.

“I’m thrilled for Viola,” Spencer said. “I consider myself a rank-and-file actor who’s been kicking the can around for 15 years. Viola is a trained Julliard actress who has been doing stage, and now the world is getting to see what she can do.”

Co-star Jessica Chastain also had a supporting-actress nomination as Spencer’s good-hearted, lonely boss.

“The Descendants” earned a dramatic actor nomination for Clooney as a father struggling to tend his daughters after a boating accident puts his wife in a coma. Shailene Woodley earned a supporting-actress honor as Clooney’s troublesome older daughter, while filmmaker Alexander Payne had directing and screenplay nominations.

Multi-tasker Clooney has three nominations. He’s also up for directing and screenplay for “The Ides of March.” For the acting prize, Clooney will compete against his “Ides” co-star Ryan Gosling, who plays a presidential candidate’s aide. Gosling had a second nomination for best musical or comedy actor as a ladies man in the romance “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”

Glenn Close also is a dual contender, for best dramatic actress as a woman masquerading as a male butler in the Irish drama “Albert Nobbs” and for best song for writing the lyrics to “Lay Your Head Down,” the film’s theme tune.

“What an astounding embarrassment of riches,” Close said.

Joining Close and Davis in the dramatic actress lineup are: Rooney Mara as a traumatized victim-turned-avenger in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”; Meryl Streep as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady”; and Tilda Swinton as a grieving woman coping with her son’s terrible deeds in “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”

Clooney has another pal in the dramatic actor race, his “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise co-star Pitt, who’s nominated for his “Moneyball” role as Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane.

Gosling, Clooney and Pitt are up against Leonardo DiCaprio as FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover in “J. Edgar” and Michael Fassbender as a sex addict in “Shame.”

Pitt’s romantic partner, Angelina Jolie, picked up a nomination for foreign-language film for her directing debut, the Bosnian war drama “In the Land of Blood and Honey.”

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