Belfast Telegraph

Friday 30 January 2015

Firth expected to reign at Baftas

The King's Speech and its star Colin Firth are expected to be the big winners at the Baftas
The King's Speech and its star Colin Firth are expected to be the big winners at the Baftas

The final preparations for the Bafta presentations are under way with some of the biggest names in showbusiness getting ready to walk the red carpet.

All eyes will be on Colin Firth with The King's Speech expected to reign supreme 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 best actor for Firth.

His 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.

The film's 14 nominations follow disappointment at the Golden Globes, where the royal drama, directed by Briton Tom Hooper, took only one - Firth won best actor - of the seven awards it was contending for.

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.

One of Portman's rivals for the gong is 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld - the US teenager who won a key part in the Coen brothers western True Grit after an open casting call.

Annette Bening and Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right), and Swedish actress Noomi Rapace (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) are also up for best actress.

In the best director category, Black Swan and The King's Speech are up against Slumdog Millionaire film-maker 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.

Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, has nine nominations, 127 Hours and True Grit are in eight categories, and The Social Network, which dominated the Golden Globes, is up for six gongs.

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