The film Dallas Buyers Club received six Oscar nominations Thursday morning, including best picture and best original screenplay.

In the movie, Matthew McConaughey plays a homophobe who acquires HIV and develops a working relationship with Rayon, an HIV-positive transgender woman played by Jared Leto.

Dallas Buyers Club will face stiff competition in the best picture category, where American Hustle, Gravity and 12 Years a Slave are considered the front-runners. Also nominated were Captain Phillips, The Wolf of Wall Street, Nebraska, Her and Philomena.

McConaughey's performance earned him his first-ever best actor nomination. The Academy also recognized Leto's performance, awarding him his first-ever best supporting actor nomination.

“Look, I'm loving the process of making movies more than ever,” McConaughey told USA Today in response to his Oscar nomination. “Now you've got something like this and it's my first time that this really happened. A movie goes out and it does well. This was an important story. What you do through your art, you want it to translate. This movie is relevant right now.”

“I am absolutely blown away by this incredible nomination,” Leto said. “I never in my life thought I would have the opportunity to even write these words. Thank you so much to all my fellow AMPAS acting branch members for this honor. Today you not only honor me but also all those around the world living with AIDS and all those we have lost to this disease. Thank you for recognizing them and recognizing their struggle through Dallas Buyers Club.”

Philomena traces the journey of Philomena Lee's search for the son she was forced to give up. Philomena, a staunch Roman Catholic, finds out that Anthony Lee had been adopted by an American couple and was a closeted politician.

Dame Judi Dench was nominated in the best actress category for her role as Philomena Lee in the film.

Winners will be announced during a televised show hosted by Ellen DeGeneres on March 2.