Labour unrest may have taken some of the sparkle out of this year's awards season but it did little to dampen the spirits of Oscar nominees around the world as they reacted to the Academy Awards nominations announcement.

In Los Angeles, producer JoAnne Sellar said she and her partner (and husband) Daniel Lupi were 'thrilled' at the eight nominations garnered by There Will Be Blood, which tied with No Country For Old Men as this year's most nominated film.

'We hadn't expected to get as many nominations,' said Sellar. 'It's great that all the people who worked so hard got recognized.'

Lupi said the dark drama was helped by the fact that 'from early on the critics seemed to react extremely well to it.' He believes the nominations will help 'enormously' as the film goes wide in the US this weekend.

In statements, nominated Blood director Paul Thomas Anderson described the haul as 'a testament to the cast and crew' and lead actor nominee Daniel Day-Lewis said he was proud to be 'shoulder to shoulder with a group of fine actors' cited in the category.

Speaking from the London headquarters of Working Title, Atonement producer Tim Bevan - cited in the best picture category with fellow producers Eric Fellner and Paul Webster - said he was 'very happy' with the film's seven nominations.

'It's very sad that Joe [Wright, the film's director] didn't get a nomination because this is a beautifully directed film and in lesser hands it would have been a nothing movie basically,' Bevan added. 'But the good thing about it being nominated for best picture is it's all encompassing and includes Joe and [stars] James [McAvoy] and Keira [Knightley], who put in such magnificent performances, as well.'

Webster said he successfully predicted the film's six other nominations but 'I didn't think we'd get best picture.' The nominations, he said, are 'the peak of my career.'

Atonement was helped, Webster suggested, by being 'the only romantic movie out there. The movie has resonated with audiences in the US and we don't compete with our fellow nominees.'

In releasing the film, North American distributor Focus Features, Webster added, 'has chosen a pretty perfect path, they haven't really put a foot wrong. This is the next step in squeezing as much out of the box office as the film can possibly manage.'

Christopher Hampton, nominated in the adapted screenplay category for his Atonement script, said in a statement that it was 'a real thrill and honour to be nominated...especially in the company of such distinguished fellow writers.'

And the film's Saoirse Ronan, nominated for actress in a supporting role, thanked the Academy 'for this great honor.'

Jennifer Fox, producer, along with Sydney Pollack and Kerry Orent, of Michael Clayton, said she was 'just completely elated' about her film's seven nominations, including best picture.

The multiple nominations will, she said, 'give a lot more people the opportunity to see the film. Warner Bros is in the process of re-releasing it now and they're going fairly wide.'

'The other benefit is it'll give other challenging movies in the future an opportunity to be made.'

Nominated Michael Clayton director Tony Gilroy put the film's appeal to voters down to its 'lack of sentimentality and the fact that it doesn't stop and underline everything.'

Though he didn't expect the nomination to make a big difference in his career, Gilroy joked that the recognition will 'probably make dinner reservations easier.'

Tom Wilkinson, nominated for the film as supporting actor, described the nominations as 'an excellent result.' He said he was attracted to the project by 'an intelligent script with lots of good lines. What else is there''

In a statement, Tilda Swinton, nominated for her supporting actress role in the film, said she was 'tickled pink at the nomination.'

Jason Reitman was at the Sundance festival when he heard about his nomination as director of Juno, also recognized in the best picture and two other categories. The news made it 'one of my best mornings ever.'

'I really just woke up to watch Ellen [Page, nominated as lead actress] and Diablo [Cody, nominated for original screenplay] get their nominations. They were announcing best director and I was thinking 'I hope we get by these quickly' because I wanted to see if we got a best picture nomination. Then the surprise of my life happened.'

Ronald Harwood heard about his adapted screenplay nomination for The Diving Bell And The Butterfly - also nominated in three other categories - in London.

Cited in the category twice before - and a winner in 2003 for The Pianist - Harwood said this nomination 'is the most exciting since the screenplay was the most challenging and difficult of my career. When [producer] Kathy Kennedy first sent me Jean-Dominique's moving memoir I wasn't sure how it could be translated into a viable film. Then I had this idea that he should be the camera and that the camera should do the blinking. Once I had that I was on my way.'

Kennedy issued a statement praising Harwood for his 'beautiful script' and nominated director Julian Schnabel for his 'passion and heart.'

Nominated as lead actress for her performance in Away From Her, Julie Christie said in a statement: 'It's great that all of [writer-director] Sarah Polley's wonderful work on Away from Her is being recognized. I'm delighted that the film is being honoured in this way.'

Already on an awards roll with her original screenplay for Lars And The Real Girl, Nancy Oliver said she had forgotten about the nominations announcement but was feeling 'pretty darn good' after hearing about her inclusion.

Besides encouraging audiences to 'take a second look' at the film, Oliver hoped that the nomination 'opens the door to a lot of different projects. My personal ambition is to write really good stuff in a lot of different genres. The nomination will help keep me from being pigeonholed.'

Oliver added that the nomination of four women writers in this year's two screenplay categories is 'hugely important. That's one of the most exciting things about the nominations this year.'

Bob Berney, president of US distributor Picturehouse, was celebrating the three nominations - including one for lead actress Marion Cotillard - for his company's acquisition La Vie en Rose and the foreign language film nomination for Mongol, from Kazakhstan.

When he saw ten minutes of La Vie at Cannes three years ago, Berney said, 'we really felt at that moment that we'd be here today, but it's really good to get here. The great thing is to have the additional nominations in the mainstream categories.'

Marjane Satrapi, writer-director with Vincent Paronnaud of Persepolis, was experiencing her second Oscar surprise in a week. First the acclaimed French-language film had been left out of the finalists list for the foreign language category and then it was included as one of only three nominated titles in the animated feature category.

Satrapi had been up at 9am in her Paris home so 'I had six hours to suffer' before the nominations announcement.

'It was great news,' she said. 'It's my first movie and to have been at all these different festivals and now being nominated for an Oscar it's so much more than I expected.'

Master director Andrzej Wajda heard about his foreign language film nomination for Katyn, already a big success in Poland, from his home in Warsaw. An interpreter for the honourary Oscar winner joked that Wajda was 'surprised but at the same time not so much surprised. Surprised because he knows how many good films are being made around the world. On the other hand when the film got placed on the short list some hopes began to emerge.'

Wajda now hopes, said the interpreter, that the film, about the murder of thousands of Polish military officers by Soviet secret police in World War II, 'can also be understood and well received by people in other countries. What is most important to him about the nomination is that the film gets seen by people outside Poland.'

Also nominated in the foreign language category, for his Austrian World War II-set film The Counterfeiters, was Stefan Ruzowitzky.

An Oscar nomination from his peers rather than an award from a small festival jury is 'as good as it can get for a filmmaker,' said Ruzowitzky.

Besides helping the film, which opens on Academy Award weekend in the US, find a domestic audience, the director added, the nomination may broaden his career horizons.

'People become aware of you and take a closer look at your work [after a nomination],' he said. 'I'm interested in making interesting projects and if the English-language world is another option that's wonderful.'

Alex Gibney was celebrating his own nomination as director of documentary feature contender Taxi To The Dark Side and the nomination of Charles Ferguson's No End In Sight, which Gibney executive produced.

The hard hitting Taxi, about the treatment of US prisoners in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, is 'a film that you come out of and feel it's transformed you,' said Gibney, 'and I think Academy voters felt that. I hope it raises the film's public profile.'

Ferguson said No End In Sight, his first film, was intended to deal with the occupation of Iraq 'in such a way that it would appeal to and be accessible to people no matter what their political viewpoint and in particular regardless of whether or not they were in favour of the war.

'Obviously an Academy Award nomination is an enormous thing for a film, especially for a documentary,' Ferguson added.

Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine, directors of documentary feature War/Dance, about a children's displacement camp in Northern Uganda, said their nomination was, in Sean Fine's words, 'pretty amazing. But more important for us is that more people are going to want to see this film and know why it was nominated. More eyes are going to be on the situation in Northern Uganda. We hope that more people are going to care about what's going on there and ask why is this going on and how can I make it stop.'

Nominees may now have to decide whether or not to attend the Oscar ceremony if it is picketed by striking members of the Writers Guild of America.

Asked about their plans, some nominees said they had not yet considered the matter and others - mostly writers, actors and directors - said they would not attend if the WGA was still on strike and picketing the event.

'To have a big party to celebrate the work that we do is great,' said writer Nancy Oliver, 'but of course I stand with the union and whatever they think is right then that's what I'll do.'

'If it's picketed I wouldn't dream of crossing the picket line,' asserted actor Tom Wilkinson.

Producers were more circumspect.

'I'm hoping and praying it will be resolved,' said Jennifer Fox. 'Mostly because it's so important for people to get back to work. So many people are hurting on both sides. If the importance of this awards ceremony puts pressure on people to get it resolved then great.'

'I'll take it one day at a time,' said Paul Webster. 'But I believe strike or no strike the ceremony will happen.' And, he added, 'I'll certainly attend.'