Ang Lee's gay cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain topped the list of Oscar nominations announced in Los Angeles on Tuesday, receiving eight nods including best picture, best director and best actor.
The film, which already claimed this year's Golden Globe for best dramatic movie, will compete for the best picture Oscar against the Edward R.Murrow homage Good Night, and Good Luck, the Truman Capote tale Capote, the southern California race-relations story Crash and Steven Spielberg's assassination drama Munich.
The nominations were announced by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis and Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino.
Philip Seymour Hoffman of Capote is the early favorite for the best actor Oscar, having already earned Golden Globe and SAG awards for his portrayal of tortured writer Truman Capote.
He will compete with Terrence Howard of Hustle & Flow, Ledger, Joaquin Phoenix of Walk the Line and David Strathairn of Good Night, and Good Luck.
These were the first Oscar nominations for four of the best actor contenders. Phoenix, who did his own singing while portraying the late Johnny Cash in Walk the Line, previously received a supporting actor nod for Gladiator.
Competing for best actress honors are Judi Dench of Mrs. Henderson Presents, Felicity Huffman for Transamerica, KeiraKnightley for Pride & Prejudice, Charlize Theron for North Country and Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line.
Phoenix and Witherspoon each took home a Golden Globe award for their work in the Johnny Cash biopic. Witherspoon also won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her portrayal of June Carter.
Monday's nominations mark the first time since 1981 that the nominees for best picture and best director represent the same five films.
The 78th annual Academy Awards ceremony will be held March 5 at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.
(Xinhua News Agency February 1, 2006)