Several critics described Martin Scorsese's Hugo as his valentine to the movie business. This morning the movie business sent Scorsese one in return in the form of 11 Oscar nominations, the most for any film of the past year, including best picture and best director. Hugo edged out the apparent favorite, The Artist , with 10 nominations, also including best picture and best director (Michel Hazanavicius) as well as best actor (Jean Dujardin) and screenplay (Hazanavicius). Other films in the best picture category included The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, and War Horse. Other nominees in the directing category included Alexander Payne ( The Descendants ); Woody Allen ( Midnight in Paris ); and Terrence Malick ( The Tree of Life ). Nominees for best actor Demián Bichir ( A Better Life ); George Clooney ( The Descendants ); Jean Dujardin ( The Artist ); Gary Oldman ( Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ); Brad Pitt ( Moneyball ). Nominees for best actress Glenn Close ( Albert Nobbs ); Viola Davis ( The Help ); Rooney Mara ( The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ); Meryl Streep ( The Iron Lady ); Michelle Williams ( My Week with Marilyn ).