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Along with Firth and Eisenberg, best-actor contenders are Javier Bardem as a dying father in the Spanish-language drama “Biutiful,” which also is up for best foreign-language film; Bridges as boozy lawman Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit,” a role that earned John Wayne an Oscar for the 1969 adaptation of the Western novel; and James Franco in the real-life tale of a climber trapped in a crevasse after a boulder crushes his arm in “127 Hours.”

Bening was nominated for best actress as a lesbian mom whose family is thrown into turmoil after her teenage children seek out their sperm-donor father in “The Kids Are All Right.” Portman was nominated as a ballerina losing her grip on reality in “Black Swan.”

Other best-actress nominees are Nicole Kidman as a grieving mother in “Rabbit Hole”; Jennifer Lawrence as a teen trying to find her missing father amid the Ozark Mountains’ criminal underbelly in “Winter’s Bone”; and Michelle Williams as a wife in a failing marriage in “Blue Valentine.”

“What an extraordinary journey this film has taken me on! ‘Rabbit Hole’ has been a labor of love and I’m so thankful to John Cameron Mitchell, David Lindsay-Abaire and the brilliant cast. This nomination reflects all of the heart and soul that these people have put into it and I can’t thank them enough,” Kidman said in a statement.

Joining Fincher among best-director picks are Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan”; Joel and Ethan Coen for “True Grit”; Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech”; and David O. Russell for “The Fighter.”

One notable snub was the omission of director Christopher Nolan for “Inception,” though he got a nod for original screenplay. Nolan also missed out on a directing Oscar nomination for “The Dark Knight,” which was famously not nominated for best picture.

The directing category is back to an all-male lineup after Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win that prize last year for “The Hurt Locker,” which also claimed best picture.

Bale, the star of Nolan’s “Batman” franchise, is a strong favorite to win supporting actor as former boxer Dicky Eklund, who helps his half-brother to a title shot after his own career unraveled amid drugs and crime in “The Fighter.” The film’s star, Mark Wahlberg, missed out on a nomination as Eklund’s half-brother, boxer Micky Ward.

Two years ago, Bale’s “Batman” co-star, the late Heath Ledger, was on the same awards track as he won a posthumous Oscar for supporting actor for “The Dark Knight.”

“The Fighter” offers two sterling supporting-actress performances from Leo as Ward and Eklund’s doting but domineering mother and Adams as Ward’s tough, defiant girlfriend. Steinfeld, who was just 13 when she shot her debut performance in “True Grit,” also is a strong contender as a girl who hires lawman Cogburn to track down her father’s killer.

“Toy Story 3,” the top-grossing film released in 2010, also is nominated for animated feature and is expected to become the fourth-straight winner in that category from Disney’s Pixar Animation, following “Up,” “WALL-E” and “Ratatouille.” Pixar has won five of the nine animation Oscars since the category was added.

The other animation nominees are “How to Train Your Dragon” and “The Illusionist.”

While two of the three animated categories are huge commercial successes, the best-picture race is a mix of big commercial hits and smaller critical darlings, which is what academy organizers wanted when they expanded the competition to 10 films.

Like “Toy Story 3,” “Inception” is a blockbuster, coming from director Nolan, whose “The Dark Knight” missed out on a best-picture nomination two years ago, contributing to the decision to double the number of contenders so that acclaimed popular movies would have a better chance.

“True Grit” is the first $100 million Western hit since the 1990s, “The Social Network” climbed to about $95 million in revenue, and “Black Swan” is closing on $100 million. At the other end are “Winter’s Bone” with $6.3 million and “127 Hours” with $11 million, respectable returns for lower-budgeted independent films but small change next to big studio productions.

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