Adele: I feel like Meryl Streep
The British singer-songwriter's nomination was one of five for Skyfall, which was also shortlisted for cinematography, music (original score), sound editing and sound mixing.
Naomi Watts said she was "truly honoured" that her portrayal of Tsunami survivor Maria Belon had been recognised. She is nominated for best actress for The Impossible.
She said: "I am so thrilled and humbled with this morning's wonderful news. The journey of telling Maria Belon's miraculous story of survival has been an incredible experience and I am so grateful for this acknowledgement of our film."
Ang Lee, director of Life of Pi, which is second with 11 nominations said: "It's a great surprise. I'm deeply honoured. Eleven really surprised me. But it's a good surprise. I'm very happily surprised."
Harvey Weinstein produced two of the nine best picture nominees - Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook - and was naturally pleased.
"I am blown away! I can't say thank you enough to the Academy for their support of our films," he said in a statement. "We have a tremendous group of actors and filmmakers who we had the pleasure of working with this year, and I am so happy that their achievements are being recognised."
He said: "They did unbelievable work. They both gave the performances of their lives."
He added it was "a shame" that director Tom Hooper had not been recognised in the directing category, but said he was pleased with the film's overall success and that another of the firm's films, Anna Karenina, had four nominations.