Irish and Irish American actors and themes are making a big splash with this year’s Academy Award nominations which were announced earlier this morning. Delivering the nominations live were actress Jennifer Lawrence and the president of the Academy Tom Sherak.
Not surprisingly, Irish actress Rooney Mara was nominated for Best Lead Actress for her work in the film adaptation of the popular book series ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.’ The film, which is the first in its trilogy, is also nominated for Best Cinematography. 
Glenn Close’s project ‘Albert Nobbs’ which was filmed in Dublin made an impression on Academy voters, garnering two major nominations. The film, set in 19th century Ireland, tells the story of a woman (portrayed by Close) who is passing as a man to advance herself in society. Close is nominated alongside Rooney Mara for Best Leading Actress, and Janet McTeer is nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the film.
In what many to consider to be her big breakout role, Irish American actress Melissa McCarthy secured the nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in this summer’s smash hit comedy ‘Bridesmaids.’ McCarthy is the only actor from the film nominated, though the film itself is nominated for Best Original Writing. McCarthy won an Emmy this past September for her role on the CBS comedy ‘Mike and Molly.’
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Also nominated for Best Supporting Actress is Irish American Jessica Chastain for her role in ‘The Help.’ Chastain is nominated alongside her co-star from the film Octavia Spencer. The film adaptation of the popular book secured several other nominations as well, including Best Picture, and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Viola Davis).
George Clooney, whose father is set to be the focus of an upcoming documentary exploring the Clooney’s Irish roots, is nominated for Best Leading Actor for his role in ‘The Descendants.’ The film is also nominated for Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Adapted Writing. Clooney won the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his role in ‘The Descendants;’ does that mean he has the Oscar secured, too?
Clooney’s other big film for 2011, ‘The Ides of March’, is also nominated for Best Adapted Writing.
Belfast native Kenneth Branagh is nominated for his role in the Marilyn Monroe biopic ‘My Week with Marilyn.’ His co-star Michelle Williams is nominated for her portrayal of Monroe in the movie.
Meryl Streep is nominated - for an astounding 17th time - for her portrayal of once British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the film ‘The Iron Lady.’ Streep’s nomination is the only major one for the film.
Nick Nolte is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in ‘Warrior,’ a film about an Irish family in Pittsburgh.
Snubbed from this year’s nominations is Co Kerry native Michael Fassbender for his gripping role in the graphic film ‘Shame,’ which is about an Irish born sex-addict.
Who are your picks to bring home trophies on this year’s February 5th Academy Awards? Share in the comments below!
Here is the list of the major award nominations for 2012 from :

Best Picture:

The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Actor in a Leading Role:

Demian Bichir - A Better Life
George Clooney - The Descendants
Jean Dujardin - The Artist
Gary Oldman - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt - Moneyball

Actress in a Leading Role:

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

Supporting Actor:

Kenneth Branagh - My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill - Moneyball
Nick Nolte - Warrior
Christopher Plummer - Beginners
Max von Sydow - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Supporting Actress:

Berenice Bejo - The Artist
Jessica Chastain - The Help
Melissa McCarthy - Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer - Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer - The Help

Animated Film:

A Cat In Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots


The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Tree of Life
War Horse


Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
Alexander Payne - The Descendants
Martin Scorsese - Hugo
Woody Allen - Midnight In Paris
Terrence Malick - The Tree of Life

Foreign Language Film:

Monsieur Lazhar
A Separation
In Darkness

Writing (Adapted):

The Descendants
The Ides of March
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Writing (Original):

The Artist
Margin Call
Midnight in Paris
A Separation

Trailer for 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo':

Trailer for Glenn Close's 'Albert Nobbs':

Trailer for Meryl Streep's 'The Iron Lady':