BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Just call it Lord of the Oscars.
The sprawling fantasy film, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's writing, received 13 Oscar nominations Tuesday, including best picture, director and supporting actor.
Other best-picture nods went to A Beautiful Mind, about math genius John Nash's struggle with schizophrenia; the murder mystery Gosford Park; the family tragedy In the Bedroom, and Moulin Rouge, an elaborate musical set in 1899 Paris.
Beautiful Mind and Moulin Rouge, which have both cleaned up in this year's awards ceremonies so far, tied for second place with eight nominations each, including acting nominations for Nicole Kidman and A Beautiful Mind's Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly.
Although the film with the most nominations often wins best picture, many of the nods for Lord of the Rings were for technical achievements, and a sprawling fantasy adventure has never won top Oscar honors. The film could come away with the most awards but not get the best picture Oscar.
Besides Crowe, best actor nominations went to Sean Penn as a retarded father seeking custody of his daughter in I Am Sam; Will Smith as Muhammad Ali in Ali; Denzel Washington as a rakish bad cop in Training Day; and Tom Wilkinson as a vigilante father in In the Bedroom.
It was the first time the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated two African Americans for best actor. Washington has received four Oscar nominations in the past and won a supporting-actor award for his role in Glory.
Along with Kidman, best-actress nods went to Halle Berry as an executed inmate's widow in Monster's Ball; Judi Dench as British writer Iris Murdoch for Iris; Sissy Spacek as a grieving mother in In the Bedroom; and Renee Zellweger as a wacky single Brit seeking romance in Bridget Jones's Diary.
Zellweger's nomination was a rare instance of the academy acknowledging a comic performance.
Contenders for supporting actor: Jim Broadbent as writer Iris Murdoch's husband in Iris; Ethan Hawke as a narcotics detective in Training Day; Ben Kingsley as a volatile mobster in Sexy Beast; Ian McKellen as a wizard in Lord of the Rings; and Jon Voight as sportscaster Howard Cosell in Ali.
McKellen, the only actor from Rings to be nominated, said he was proud to represent the film. "It's so massive in terms of what it looks like and the story it's telling," McKellen told E! Entertainment Television. "The academy has followed the good taste of the public and discerned that this is an important film."
Up for supporting actress with Connelly, who plays mathematician Nash's wife in A Beautiful Mind are Helen Mirren as a housekeeper and Maggie Smith as a pampered socialite in Gosford Park; Marisa Tomei as a single mom in In the Bedroom; and Kate Winslet as writer Iris Murdoch in her younger years in Iris.
The best director, nominees are Robert Altman, Gosford Park; Ron Howard, A Beautiful Mind; Peter Jackson, Lord of the Rings; David Lynch, Mulholland Drive; and Ridley Scott, Black Hawk Down.
The record for most nominations is held by 1950's All About Eve and 1997's Titanic, which had 14 mentions each and wins totaling six and 11, respectively. Other films with 13 nominations include Gone With the Wind (1939), Forrest Gump (1994) and Shakespeare in Love (1998), among others.
Nominated in the academy's new animated feature category were Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Monsters, Inc. and Shrek.
Potential front-runners to win the foreign language film Oscar are the French romance Amelie and the Bosnian war film No Man's Land. The other foreign language nominees are Elling, from Norway; Lagaan, from India; and Son of the Bride, from Argentina.
Moulin Rouge was the first live-action musical to land a best-picture nomination since All That Jazz in 1979. The animated musical Beauty and the Beast was nominated for best picture in 1991. The last musical to win the top Oscar was Oliver! in 1968.
Nominees in most categories were chosen by specific branches of the 5,700-member Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, such as actors, directors and writers.
All academy members were allowed to vote for best-picture nominees. The full academy also is eligible to vote in all categories for the awards themselves.
On March 24, the ceremony will be broadcast live from the show's new Hollywood home at the Kodak Theatre, just a block away from the Roosevelt Hotel, where the first Academy Awards were handed out in 1929. The show has not been held in Hollywood since 1960.
Whoopi Goldberg returns as host, her first time as master of ceremonies since 1998.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.