Jeff Bridges is up for an Oscar for his portrayal of washed-up country singer "Bad Blake" in the film "Crazy Heart." This is his fifth Oscar nomination, his most recent being in 2000 for his work in the film "The Contender."
George Clooney is up for an Oscar for his portrayal of emotionally detached Ryan Bingham, who travels around the country firing people, in Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air." This is his fifth Oscar nomination. Clooney won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2005 for the film "Syriana."
Freeman is nominated for his portrayal of South African president Nelson Mandela in the film "Invictus." This is Freeman's fifth Academy Award nomination. He won a Best Supporting Actor award in 2004 for his role in "Million Dollar Baby."
Renner is nominated for his portrayal of Staff Sergeant William James, a bomb defuser in Iraq who thrives on the risk and danger of his job, in Kathryn Bigelow's film "The Hurt Locker." This is Renner's first Oscar nomination.
Streep earned her 16th Oscar nomination playing chef Julia Child during her time in 1950s Paris in "Julie & Julia." She won the Best Supporing Actress Oscar in 1979 for "Kramer vs. Kramer" and the Best Actress award in 1982 for "Sophie's Choice."
Damon is nominated for his portrayal of Francois Pienaar, the captain of the South African rugby team that becomes a unifying force for a divided nation, in Clint Eastwood's film "Invictus." This is Damon's third Academy Award nomination. He won in 1997 for Best Screenplay for "Good Will Hunting."
Harrelson is nominated for his portrayal of Captain Tony Stone, a military officer struggling to maintain his sobriety as he delivers news of soldiers' deaths to their families in the film "The Messenger." This is Harrelson's second Oscar nomination.
Plummer is nominated for his portrayal of Leo Tolstoy, the great Russian writer who finds himself torn in his final years between his wife and his devoted admirers in the film "The Last Station." This is Plummer's first Oscar nomination.
Waltz is nominated for his portrayal of Col. Hans Landa, a sinister Nazi officer with a talent for seeking out people in hiding, in Quentin Tarantino's film "Inglourious Basterds." This is the Austrian actor's first Academy Award nomination.
Cruz earned her third Oscar nomination for her work in the movie musical "Nine," playing Carla, the sultry mistress of an Italian movie director. She won the Best Supporting Actress award for 2008's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" and was nominated for Best Actress in 2006's "Volver."
Bigelow is only the fourth woman in Oscar history to be nominated for a Directing Oscar - and, if she wins, she'll be the first to take home the statuette. She's nominated for her film "The Hurt Locker," which centers around an army unit of bomb diffusers in Iraq. This is her first nomination.
Tarantino earned an Oscar nomination and re-wrote history in "Inglourious Basterds," a World War II film about a group of Nazi-killing American soldiers who plot to kill Hitler. He was also nominated for Best Director for his 1994 film "Pulp Fiction."