The race for the 85th annual Academy Awards officially gets under way Thursday at 8:30 a.m. on the East Coast when the nominations are announced.
The films that appear favorites for the up to 10 slots open are: Argo, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Lincoln, Life of Pi, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty.
The race for the top acting honors may include former Oscar winners like Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln and Denzel Washington for Flight. And for the first time in years , the Best Actress category may lack a big name.
The Oscars will be presented on Feb. 24. at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Telecast producers say the show will also feature a celebration of Bond, James Bond.
The show will pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise, one of the “longest-running motion picture franchise in history and a beloved global phenomenon."
The most recent Bond film, Skyfall was released in November and has made more than $1 billion worldwide - a franchise record.
With the Oscar nominations on Thursday, the Golden Globes ceremony in Beverly Hills on Sunday, and the annual People's Choice and Critics Choice shows on next Wednesday and Thursday evenings, the film awards season is on.
For the first time in 40 years Thursday morning, the host of the Academy Awards will help announce the Oscar nominations.
Oscar host Seth MacFarlane will join actress Emma Stone to reveal the nominees — at 5:30 a.m. Los Angeles time. This is the first time since 1972 that an Oscar host has participated in the nominations announcement. Charlton Heston was the only other show host to announce Oscar nominees.
MacFarlane and Stone will reveal the contenders from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' headquarters in Beverly Hills.
So who would you nominate for an Oscar?
The Associated Press contributed to this report.