Daniel Day-Lewis is odds on to complete an oscars hat-trick after he was nominated for best actor for his performance in US historical drama Lincoln.
It is the British-born star's fifth nomination in the category which he has already won twice - in 1989 for My Left Foot and in 2007 for There Will be Blood.
Also nominated is Naomi Watts, who is recognised for her role in The Impossible, with a nod in the best actress category and all-conquering pop megastar Adele who is nominated for her Bond theme Skyfall.
Day-Lewis is shortlisted alongside Les Miserables star Hugh Jackman, Denzel Washington, Joaquin Phoenix and Bradley Cooper, but bookmakers William Hill have already made him 1-8 favourite to win.
Adele took to Twitter to thank the academy, saying: "Oh my god I feel like Meryl Streep!! Thank you x."
Her nomination was one of five for Skyfall, which was also shortlisted for cinematography, music (original score), sound editing and sound mixing.
Silver Linings Playbook got eight nominations, with 11 for Life Of Pi and 12 for Lincoln.
UK-born Watts said she was "truly honoured" her portrayal of Tsunami survivor Maria Belon in The Impossible had been recognised.
She said: "I am so thrilled and humbled with this morning's wonderful news.
"The journey of telling Maria Belon's miraculous story of survival has been an incredible experience and I am so grateful for this acknowledgement of our film."
She faces competition from US stars including Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence who were recognised for their roles in Zero Dark Thirty and Silver Linings Playbook respectively.
Also nominated are Quvenzhane Wallis and Emmanuelle Riva.
Les Miserables, directed by The King's Speech filmmaker Tom Hooper, is in the running for best picture but Hooper failed to get a nomination in the directing category which he won in 2010.
Also nominated for best picture are Ben Affleck's Argo, set during the Iran hostage crisis, Beasts Of The Southern Wild and Quentin Tarantino's western Django Unchained.
Life Of Pi, Amour, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty complete the shortlist.
Adele's nomination for best original song puts her up against Oscars host Seth MacFarlane, who is nominated for "Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from his film Ted.
The other nominees include Suddenly from Les Miserables, which was co-written by London journalist Herbert Kretzmer.
Hollywood veterans Alan Arkin, Tommy Lee Jones and Robert De Niro were all named in the supporting actor category, with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christoph Waltz.
Anne Hathaway's performance in Les Miserables saw her nominated for supporting actress along with Amy Adams, Lincoln star Sally Field, Helen Hunt and Jacki Weaver.
Eric Fellner, from Working Title, the company behind Les Miserables, said he was "so pleased" for Jackman and Hathaway.
He said: "They did unbelievable work.
"They both gave the performances of their lives."
He added it was "a shame" that Hooper had not been recognised in the directing category, but said he was pleased with the film's overall success and that another of the firm's films, Anna Karenina, had four nominations.
He said: "No-one can do their job on a movie without a director so these nominations are also a tribute to the work done by the directors."
Today's announcement, by MacFarlane and Spiderman star Emma Stone, means disappointment for Dame Judi Dench and Dame Helen Mirren, who missed out despite being tipped for possible nominations for their respective performances in Skyfall and Hitchcock.
Lincoln, set during the last years of the American Civil War, is favourite to win best picture, best director for Spielberg and supporting actor for Jones at this year's ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday February 24.