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King's Speech set for Bafta bonanza

British movie 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.

Firth'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.

News of the film's 14 nominations follows 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 had been contending for.

Other nominations see Pete Postlethwaite, who died last month at the age of 64 after a battle with cancer, posthumously nominated for supporting actor.

The late star is nominated for what was one of his last roles, as an Irish florist in Ben Affleck gangster film 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.

One of Portman's rivals is 14-year-old former unknown Hailee Steinfeld - the US teenager won the part in the Coen brothers Western, True Grit, following 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.

Deputy Bafta chairman David Parfitt said of the nominations: "It's a very good year for the Brits. Even some of the American films that are nominated have British directors."

He added: "British film has always punched above its weight in the film world. British film is always quite well represented in the Oscars, as well as the Baftas. It's not that we have a particular bias. British film in general plays well around the world because it's very good."


From Belfast Telegraph