The King’s Speech is expected to reign at the Baftas after topping the nominations list for the film awards.
The story of King George VI’s attempt to overcome his stutter is in the running for the most coveted prizes, including best film and director as well as actor for Colin Firth, at next month’s ceremony.
Colin’s co-stars, Geoffrey Rush, who plays the monarch’s speech therapist, and Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth, are nominated in the supporting actor and actress categories.
Other nominations see Pete Postlethwaite, who died last month at the age of 64 after a battle with cancer, posthumously nominated for supporting actor for his role in The Town.
Black Swan, a psychological thriller set in the world of ballet, is just behind The King’s Speech with 12 nominations, including best film, best director for Darren Aronofsky and best actress for Natalie Portman.
In the best director category, Black Swan and The King’s Speech are up against Slumdog Millionaire filmmaker Danny Boyle for rock-climbing drama 127 Hours, Christopher Nolan for his thriller Inception, and David Fincher for The Social Network, about the founding of Facebook.
The King’s Speech and Black Swan are up against Inception, The Social Network and True Grit for best film.
Film critic Mark Kermode was not surprised there was a high representation of British films among the nominees. He said: “We’re good filmmakers. I mean look, my favourite film of the year was Inception which is a great big Hollywood blockbuster that’s directed by Christopher Nolan, who’s a Brit.
“And whenever people say ‘How well are British films represented?’ you often forget that British talent is represented in international films all the time.”
The ceremony, hosted on February 13 by Jonathan Ross, is the biggest movie bash in the UK.