Firth carries UK hopes for Oscars

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Colin Firth is carrying the weight of British expectations as the Oscar nominations are revealed

The nominations for this year’s Oscars are set to be announced – with Colin Firth carrying the weight of British expectations.

The actor is considered a frontrunner to land the best actor prize at the ceremony next month for his role as stammering monarch King George VI.

The movie is expected to land a best film nomination when the nods are announced at the headquarters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills.

Tom Hooper, who made the movie, is expected to be nominated for best director, against fellow Briton Christopher Nolan for box office smash Inception.

Helena Bonham Carter is being tipped for the best supporting actress category for her role as Queen Elizabeth in the film, set in Britain on the cusp of the Second World War.

Welsh-born Christian Bale is being considered a favourite for best supporting actor for his role as a boxer turned crack addict in The Fighter. Other potential nominees include Andrew Garfield, who was born in the US but raised in Britain, in the supporting category for Facebook movie The Social Network.

In the best actress category, Natalie Portman is considered a shoo-in for her role as a disturbed ballerina in the thriller Black Swan. Her rivals Annette Bening and Julianne Moore are also being tipped for their roles in comedy drama The Kids Are All Right, about a lesbian couple whose children are conceived using a sperm donor.

Firth, 50, who has just won a Golden Globe for best actor, has been Oscar-nominated once before. He was in the running for best actor last year for A Single Man but went home empty-handed.

The King’s Speech recently upped its chances of winning the best film Oscar after being crowned best movie at the Producers Guild of America (PGA) awards. The past three PGA winners, The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire, and No Country For Old Men, went on to take the Academy Award for best film.

The Oscars, hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway, take place on Sunday February 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

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