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    Oscar Nominees Brad, Michelle, Meryl, Jonah (but Not George) Thank the Academy

    Silence may indeed have proven to be golden for the awards magnet that is The Artist. But luckily, the ever grateful and humbled recipients of this morning's Oscar nominations didn't play it quite so retro when it came to expressing thanks for their nods.

    Well, except for the no-commenting George Clooney, that is. He really is taking this Hollywood throwback thing to the limit. Unless maybe he's keeping quiet out of respect for all those unfathomable snubs?

    In any case, while the gracious actors, actresses, directors, writers and producers honored by the 84th Annual Academy Awards weren't lacking in sound bites, our favorite reaction of the morning goes to someone who wasn't even a nominee…

    MORE: Oscar noms! Check out the complete list of nominations!

    Jenny McCarthy! While offering up an obviously ecstatic congratulations to her cousin, Best Supporting Actress nominee and Bridesmaids star Melissa McCarthy, she offered up the following tradition-eschewing tweet:

    "Holy s--tballs!! Yay. Congrats to my cousin Melissa McCarthy for Oscar nom!! So proud!!"

    Meanwhile, Brad Pitt phoned in his initial reaction to the Today show this morning before releasing his more formal, measured response.

    "I gotta tell you, I'm doubly happy that Tree of Life made it in there, we thought we were all but forgotten."

    As for the ceremony itself, he's clearly pulling for one of his competitors.

    "It's more fun to have a friend there, and no one does it better than George. I say give him all the trophies and when you run out of trophies, make some new ones and give him those, too."

    MORE: Melissa McCarthy talks Oscar nom, that bathroom scene and more!

    Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Moneyball Sony Pictures

    Here's what else the lucky honorees had to say:

    Brad Pitt, Best Actor, Moneyball: "This is an extraordinary honor. I am dizzy with joy… and caffeine. Considering both films, Moneyball and The Tree of Life, nearly didn't make it to the screen, this is especially sweet. And I'd like to thank all the artisans and craftsmen who gave their best to each film. I am especially over the moon for Jonah [Hill] (and the other Moneyballers acknowledged today), Terry Malick and the tribute this is to Billy Beane and the Oakland A's organization. My congratulations to all the nominees…pancakes for everyone."

    Michelle Williams, Best Actress, My Week With Marilyn: "I am so grateful to be acknowledged by the Academy for my work, which was made possible by the support of our director Simon Curtis and the camaraderie of a terrific ensemble of actors—a special congratulations to Kenneth Branagh—and the fearless Harvey Weinstein. This role has been the challenge and privilege of a lifetime. I would like to think that the recognition our film has received by the Academy is a testament to Marilyn's legacy."

    Jean Dujardin, Best Actor, The Artist: "I am so grateful to the Academy for this recognition. I can't help but stop and think about how incredible this journey has been.  From filming on a Hollywood soundstage to the moment I received this wonderful news this morning, I'm so humbled to be amongst such distinguished and talented people. I share this honor with my friend and director, Michel Hazanavicius. It is his beautiful film that has led me here today. I also share this with the brilliant cast and crew."

    Rooney Mara, Best Actress, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: "My phone started ringing off the hook...It's amazing, I feel very honored and humbled to be in that group. Those are women I've looked up to."

    MORE: What were Brad's fighting words for George?

    Martin Scorsese, Best Director, Best Picture, Hugo: "I am deeply honored to have been nominated by the Academy for my work on Hugo. Every picture is a challenge, and this one—where I was working with 3D, HD and Sacha Baron Cohen for the first time—was no exception. It's a wonderful feeling to know that you've been recognized by the people in your industry. I congratulate my fellow nominees. It's an impressive list, and I'm in excellent company."

    Meryl Streep, Best Actress, The Iron Lady: "I am honored to be in company with such beautiful artists, and touched deeply by my fellow actors for their generosity in giving me this acknowledgment."

    Christopher Plummer, Best Supporting Actor, Beginners: "It's a shot in the arm for a young kid of 82 to receive an Academy Award nomination this morning. My gratitude to writer/director Michael Mills, the Academy, and to everyone involved with Beginners."

    Bérénice Bejo, Best Supporting Actress, The Artist: "I'm overjoyed and filled with happiness. I can't believe that a year ago I was learning how to tap dance and today I am nominated for an Academy Award. It was a thrill to work on a project as ambitious as The Artist and I am happy to share this moment with our visionary director, Michel Hazanavicius and our talented team of actors."

    Glenn Close, Best Actress, Albert Nobbs: "I am thrilled for Janet, I am thrilled for our incomparable hair and makeup team. It might be my sixth but it feels like my first. Bravo team Nobbs."

    Steven Spielberg, Best Pictures, War Horse and The Help: "I am thrilled with our multiple nominations for The Help and War Horse. It is the first time that I have experienced two Best Picture nominations in the same year. One is a high honor. Two is humbling but very exciting. It is a tribute to all those who joined with Stacey Snider and our DreamWorks Studios team to develop and make these two films with stories that we passionately felt we had to make."

    MORE: Who got snubbed by the Academy?

    Gary Oldman, Best Actor, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: "This afternoon in Berlin I learned that I was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Actor. You may have heard this before, but it has never been truer than it is for me today; it is extremely humbling, gratifying, and delightful to have your work recognized by the Academy, and to join the celebrated ranks of previous nominees and colleagues. Amazing."

    Jessica Chastain, Best Supporting Actress, The Help: (upon receiving the news while attending the Giorgio Armani Prive Couture show in Paris): "I got a message from my agent that said, 'Congratulations on your Oscar nomination,' but that's all I know, and part of me is like, 'What if there was a mistake?' But I think I'm very happy. I'm very, very, very happy."  

    Kenneth Branagh, Best Supporting Actor, My Week With Marilyn: "It was a rare honor to play Sir Laurence Olivier. To be recognized by the Academy for doing so is overwhelming. I'm absolutely thrilled."

    Max von Sydow, Best Supporting Actor, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: "My sincere thanks to my colleagues at the Academy. It is wonderful. I don't know what to say. ­ I am dumbfounded."

    Stephen Daldry (director), Best Picture, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: "I'm deeply honored that the Academy recognized Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close as well as Max von Sydow. The entire team behind our film felt the enormous responsibility in taking on this project, and it is deeply humbling to have the Academy recognize it in this way."

    MORE: Who scored the most nominations this morning?

    Jonah Hill, Best Supporting Actor, Moneyball: "Yeah, I was watching E! when I found out…I'm shocked…it's bizarre…I was trying not to think about it, but the people kept saying are you gonna watch tomorrow, so that got it in my head…My phone just kind of blew up. [Brad] was really kind, he said he was really proud of me and I'm really proud of him. It's really exciting. I'm just happy to be amongst this group of amazing actors."

    Harvey Weinstein, cochairman, The Weinstein Company: "The art of performing in a silent movie is a lost process, and I have to thank the director and brilliant ensemble of actors in The Artist. We wouldn't be here today without their talent. The Artist is a love letter to classic American cinema, and today the Academy gave us a love letter back.

    "Special congratulations also goes to Meryl Streep from The Iron Lady, Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh from My Week With Marilyn, and to all of our other film nominees including best documentary Undefeated. Today is a great day for celebrating creative courage, visionary talent, and the power of independent cinema to inspire, to entertain, and to move people in all kinds of new and exciting ways."

    Alexander Payne, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, The Descendants: "There's no denying that Oscar nominations for one's film are exciting, if only for the joy they give to everyone who worked so hard on the film. I'm particularly happy for the recognition of my long-time editor Kevin Tent. He really deserves it."

    Demián Bichir, Best Actor, A Better Life: "I'm overwhelmed for having my name among those incredible actors. This could have never happened if Chris Weitz had not been the head of this film. He is my brother and I thank him deeply. Hopefully more and more people will jump into iTunes and Netflix to see our film. That will be the biggest reward we could get. I dedicate this nomination to those eleven million human beings who make our lives easier and better in the U.S."

    MORE: 2012 Oscars Cheat Sheet!

    Michel Hazanavicius, Best Director, The Artist: "I am so honored by this nomination. Filming The Artist in Los Angeles was a dream come true, and to receive this recognition today is far beyond what any of us could have ever imagined. I could not have done this film without the incredible ensemble of actors and exceptional crew whose heart and souls were poured into this project."

    Sergio Mendes, Best Original Song, "Real in Rio," Rio: "I am very happy and honored to be nominated for an Oscar for the first time in my career. This film is so special to me as I am from Rio and was so thrilled that Carlos Saldanha brought me on board. Carlos called me this morning at 6:00 am to give me the news. This is one of the best days of my life."

    Jim Rash and Nat Faxon, Best Adapted Screenplay, The Descendants: "First of all, thank you to the Academy. This has been an incredible journey. We have long admired Alexander Payne, so the experience of working alongside him has been a reward in and of itself. We couldn't be more proud of The Descendants and everyone, from cast to crew, who made it what it is. Also a special thank you to Kaui Hart Hemmings. This nomination wouldn't exist without her beautiful novel."

    Peter Straughan, Adapted Screenplay, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: "I'm stunned and thrilled to hear about the nomination. I wish more than anything in the world that my wife Bridget O'Connor—who did the lion's share of the adaptation—could be here to enjoy this moment. She would be so happy and so proud. I'm going to go and meet my daughter now and tell her how clever her mother was!"

    PHOTOS: 2012 Oscars: Notable Nominees

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