Made-in-England favourite The King’s Speech leads the race for the British Academy Film Awards, Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars, with 14 nominations, including best picture.
Colin Firth is odds-on favourite for a best actor trophy for his performance as stuttering monarch King George VI, with Geoffrey Rush nominated for best supporting actor as the unconventional speech therapist who treated him. Helena Bonham Carter is up for best supporting actress for playing the king’s wife, the Queen Mother Elizabeth.
The list was announced on Tuesday. The King’s Speech faces strong competition from psychosexual ballet thriller Black Swan, which has 12 nominations, and the mind-bending saga Inception, with nine.
Endurance story 127 Hours and Coen brothers Western True Grit have eight nominations each.
The Social Network, the story of the founding of Facebook, has six nominations including best picture, Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay and David Fincher’s direction. Jesse Eisenberg received a best actor nomination for his turn as Facebook’s college-student founder Mark Zuckerberg.
As well as The King’s Speech and The Social Network, the best-picture nominees are Black Swan, Inception and True Grit.
The separate category of best British film pits The King’s Speech against 127 Hours, Another Year, Four Lions and Made in Dagenham.
The best-actor contenders are Firth, Eisenberg, James Franco for 127 Hours, Javier Bardem for Biutiful and Jeff Bridges for True Grit.
Annette Benning and Julianne Moore are both best-actress nominees for The Kids Are All Right, along with Natalie Portman for Black Swan, Noomi Rapace for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit.
Best-director nominees are Fincher for The Social Network, Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech, Danny Boyle for 127 Hours, Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan and Christopher Nolan for Inception.
The British awards, known as BAFTAs, will be handed out on February 13, two weeks before the Academy Awards in Hollywood. They are considered an important indicator of likely Oscar success.
Last year, Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker won six BAFTAs, including best picture — then repeated the feat at the Oscars.