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LOS ANGELES — The Oscar race turned into a wild scramble Tuesday morning as The King’s Speech moved out front when nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards were announced. True Grit surged into second position, and The Social Network, which had seemed a front-runner,was matched by Inception, followed closely by The Fighter.

The King’s Speech, about friendship and speech therapy, got 12 nods, including ones for best picture, best director (Tom Hooper) and best actor (Colin Firth as a stammering King George VI). It won top honors from the Producers Guild over the weekend and emerged as the leader in an unusually competitive pack of contenders for the best picture Oscar.

In the morning’s biggest surprise, True Grit, a western remake from the filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, was second, with 10 nominations, including ones for best picture and best director (the Coens), and a best actor nod for Jeff Bridges, who won the award last year for Crazy Heart.

“Ten seems like an awful lot,” the Coens said in a statement. “We don’t want to take anyone else’s.”

True Grit has been an audience favorite since its release in late December but had barely registered in the panoply of pre-Oscar awards and received no nominations for the Golden Globes.

By contrast, The Social Network, an unauthorized look at Mark Zuckerberg, a founder of Facebook, dominated the early awards, but received fewer Oscar nominations than its rivals, partly because it was not a contender in categories like costume and supporting actress. (T-shirts are featured but not women.) In total, The Social Network got eight nominations, including one for best picture; David Fincher was nominated for his directing, Aaron Sorkin for the script and Jesse Eisenberg (best actor) for his role as Zuckerberg.

Inception, a twisted tale of layered dreams, also received eight nominations, including one for best picture, but not one for best director.