The Academy Awards will be handed out in Hollywood on 5 March. Now in its 78th year, the ceremony has long fascinated movie fans with its mix of glamour, suspense and surprise.
Here are some of snippets of trivia about this year's event:
Brokeback Mountain leads the nominations with eight. It is the most open Oscars race since 2000, the last time a film topped the list with eight nominations (American Beauty). The leading films in subsequent years have received between 11-13 nominations each.
Brokeback Mountain leads an open race for the Oscars
It is a good year for Oscars newcomers - 14 of the 20 acting nominees have not been nominated before, the highest number for nine years. The remaining six have 13 previous nominations and four awards between them.
It is a good year for low-budget films - only one of the best picture nominees had a budget over $15m (£8.6m), according to the Internet Movie Database. Munich is the most expensive, with a reported $75m (£43m) budget.
Among the best picture nominees, Crash led the US box office takings at the time of the nominations with $55m (£32m), followed by Brokeback Mountain's $42m (£24m).
For the first time in 25 years, all five nominees for best picture have also been nominated for best director - only the fourth time in Oscars history that the shortlists have been the same.
At 71, Dame Judi Dench is the oldest best actress nominee since 80-year-old Jessica Tandy won for Driving Miss Daisy in 1990. Dame Judi is nominated for her role in Mrs Henderson Presents.
Dame Judi Dench is nominated for Mrs Henderson Presents
Keira Knightley, 20, who is shortlisted for Pride and Prejudice, would be the youngest best actress winner if she won. The current record is held by Marlee Matlin, who won for Children of a Lesser God in 1987, aged 21.
If Heath Ledger wins best actor for Brokeback Mountain, the 26-year-old would be the youngest winner of the award. Adrien Brody, who was 29 when he won for The Pianist in 2003, currently holds the record.
Ledger's girlfriend Michelle Williams is nominated for best supporting actress. The pair met while filming Brokeback Mountain and had a daughter in October.
George Clooney is the first person to be nominated for acting in and directing different films in the same year. He is up for best supporting actor for his role in Syriana, plus best director and best original screenplay for Good Night, and Good Luck.
Clooney is only the fifth person to be nominated for acting, directing and writing in the same year - following Orson Welles (1942), Woody Allen (1978), Warren Beatty (1979 and 1982) and Roberto Benigni (1999).
With Munich, Steven Spielberg has produced a total of five films with best picture nominations - one behind record-holder Stanley Kramer and tied with Francis Ford Coppola. He has also been nominated for best director six times.
Steven Spielberg is one of the most successful Oscars producers
Woody Allen has received his 21st career nomination for best original screenplay for Match Point. He has received more screenplay nominations than any other writer in Oscars history with 14. He has also been nominated for best director six times and best actor once, winning a total of three times.
Composer John Williams has more career Oscar nominations than any other living person with 45. That includes two nods in the best original score category this year - for Munich and Memoirs of a Geisha. He has won five times.
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