The con-artist comedy American Hustle and the 3-D space odyssey Gravity lead the Academy Awards with 10 nominations each, with the historical epic 12 Years a Slave trailing closely with nine nominations.
The nominations announced Thursday set up a race between three very different films, all of which were nominated for best picture.
Nine films were nominated for best picture. The other nominees are Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Nebraska, The Wolf of Wall Street and Philomena.
The most notable omission for a nomination was Tom Hanks for his lead performance in Captain Phillips. Robert Redford, expected by many to be nominated for the shipwreck drama All Is Lost, also missed out on a best actor nod. Redford has never won an acting Oscar.
The best actor nominees are British-born Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) Bruce Dern (Nebraska ), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) and Christian Bale (American Hustle).
Disney's making of Mary Poppins tale Saving Mr. Banks also failed to land either a best picture nomination or a best actress nod for British-born Emma Thompson.
The best actress nominees are Amy Adams (American Hustle), Australian-born Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), British-born Judi Dench (Philomena) and Meryl Streep (August: Osage County).
A Belgian drama of love, loss and bluegrass, and a love story from the Palestinian territories are among Academy Award nominees for best foreign-language film.
Felix van Groeningen's Broken Circle Breakdown and Hany Abu-Assad's Omar are nominated alongside Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's love letter to Rome, The Great Beauty; psychological thriller The Hunt from Denmark's Thomas Vinterberg; and The Missing Picture, an exploration of Pol Pot's bloody dictatorship by Cambodia's Rithy Panh.
The 86th annual Academy Awards will take place March 2, with Ellen DeGeneres hosting for the second time.