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Thatcher versus Monroe for Bafta

Margaret Thatcher will face screen siren Marilyn Monroe as the actresses who play two of the 20th Century's most famous women go head-to-head at the Baftas.

Black-and-white silent film The Artist is the Orange British Academy Film Award frontrunner with 12 nominations, while Cold War thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has been showered with 11 nods despite being shunned at the Golden Globes.

But Meryl Streep looks set to continue her awards run, with a nod for best actress for her portrayal of the former prime minister in The Iron Lady.

She is up against Michelle Williams for her role as Monroe in My Week With Marilyn, and Tilda Swinton as the mother of a killer in We Need To Talk About Kevin.

Argentinian actress Berenice Bejo is also in the running for The Artist alongside US star Viola Davis for The Help.

Fresh from her Golden Globe win, Streep - who competed in a different category from Williams at the Globes - called her nomination "thrilling, thrilling news!", adding: "Not just for me, but for the film of which I am very proud, and for the hundreds of people who worked on it! Thanks, from a (New) Jersey girl..."

The Iron Lady is up for only four prizes, including supporting actor for Jim Broadbent as Denis Thatcher.

The Artist cements its reputation as an awards heavyweight, competing for the top prizes of best film and director.

Its French director Michel Hazanavicius admitted he had been a "bit mad" to embark on a black-and-white silent film.

"Would you believe me if I were to say I am speechless? No? Then I will say on behalf of everyone involved in The Artist that we are thrilled, delighted and honoured to be recognised by the Bafta voters," he said.


From Belfast Telegraph