Williams won a nomination for her Golden Globe-winning role in , while Mara received a nod for her work in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Joining them in the Actress in a Leading Role category are Glenn Close for Albert Nobbs, Viola Davis for The Help and Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady, another Globe-winning role.
In Paris, the front row at the Armani couture show broke out in applause as VIPs learned that fellow attendee Jessica Chastain had won a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in The Help.
Other nominees in that category are Berenice Bejo for The Artist, Melissa McCarthey for Bridesmaids, Janet McTeer for Albert Nobbs and Octavia Spencer for The Help.
The Artist leads the nominations field with 10 nods, including in the crucial Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role and Directing categories.