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'King's Speech' Earns Most Oscar Nominations

This morning's Oscar nominations were headed up by The King's Speech with 12, followed by True Grit with 10. There weren't many surprises, although Inception missed out on one major award.By NPR

Screen royalty: Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush both earned Academy Award nominations ? along with co-star Helena Bonham Carter and director Tom Hooper ? for The King's Speech. With 12 nominations, the film leads at the 2011 Oscar derby.
Screen royalty: Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush both earned Academy Award nominations ? along with co-star Helena Bonham Carter and director Tom Hooper ? for The King's Speech. With 12 nominations, the film leads at the 2011 Oscar derby.

The British monarchy saga The King's Speech leads the Academy Awards with 12 nominations, including best picture and acting honors for Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.

"This story has struck such a rich resonant chord with audiences of all ages, which is very exciting ? to have your work honored by your industry peers is even better," Rush said in a statement.

83rd Annual Academy Award Nominees

The nominees announced Tuesday include:

Best Picture

? Black Swan

? The Fighter

? Inception

? The Kids Are All Right

? The King's Speech

? 127 Hours

? The Social Network

? Toy Story 3

? True Grit

? Winter's Bone

Actor in a Leading Role

? Javier Bardem in Biutiful

? Jeff Bridges in True Grit

? Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network

? Colin Firth in The King's Speech

? James Franco in 127 Hours

Actress in a Leading Role

? Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right

? Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole

? Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone

? Natalie Portman in Black Swan

? Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine

Actor in a Supporting Role

? Christian Bale in The Fighter

? John Hawkes in Winter's Bone

? Jeremy Renner in The Town

? Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right

? Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech

Actress in a Supporting Role

? Amy Adams in The Fighter

? Helena Bonham Carter in The King's Speech

? Melissa Leo in The Fighter

? Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit

? Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom


? Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky)

? The Fighter (David O. Russell)

? The King's Speech (Tom Hooper)

? The Social Network (David Fincher)

? True Grit (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen)

Click here to see the full list of nominees.

? Source: Oscars.org

Also nominated for best picture Tuesday were the psychosexual thriller Black Swan; the boxing drama The Fighter; the sci-fi blockbuster Inception; the lesbian-family tale The Kids Are All Right; the survival story 127 Hours; the Facebook chronicle The Social Network; the animated smash Toy Story 3; the Western True Grit; and the Ozarks crime thriller Winter's Bone.

True Grit ran second with 10 nominations, including acting honors for Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld.

The Feb. 27 Oscars set up a best-picture showdown between two favorites, The King's Speech and The Social Network. The Social Network won best drama at the Golden Globes and was picked as the year's best by key critics groups, while The King's Speech pulled an upset last weekend by winning the Producers Guild of America Awards top prize, whose recipient often goes to claim best picture at the Oscars.

The favorites in the male-acting categories both were nominated, Globe winners Firth as best actor for The King's Speech and Christian Bale as supporting actor for The Fighter.

The best-actress field shapes up as a two-woman race between Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right, who won the Globe for actress in a musical or comedy, and Natalie Portman for Black Swan, who received the Globe for dramatic actress.

The supporting-actress Oscar could prove the most competitive among acting prizes. Melissa Leo won the Globe for The Fighter, but she faces strong challenges from that film's co-star Amy Adams and 14-year-old newcomer Steinfeld, who missed out on a Globe nomination for True Grit but made the cut for supporting actress at the Oscars.

The Social Network casts Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who's depicted as an interpersonal lout in one-on-one relations but a genius for the masses, creating an online hangout where half a billion people now keep connected with friends.

The King's Speech stars Firth as Queen Elizabeth II's father, the stammering George VI, who reluctantly came to the throne after his brother abdicated in 1936, a terrible time for a stuttering monarch as British subjects looked to their ruler for inspiration via radio as World War II approached.

The two films represent a showdown between classy, traditional Oscar bait and edgy, youthful, up-to-the-minute drama.

With its aristocrats, statesmen and perilous times, The King's Speech is a throwback to the majestic, eye-filling costume pageants that dominated film awards in Hollywood's earlier decades. Its nominations also include best director for Tom Hooper and supporting-acting slots for Bonham Carter as the king's devoted wife and Rush as his wily speech therapist.

The Social Network is an immediate story, set not in palaces but college dorm rooms, cluttered start-up space and anonymous legal offices where Zuckerberg battles former associates over the proceeds of his invention.

David Fincher is the best-directing favorite for The Social Network after winning that prize at the Globes.

Along with Firth and Eisenberg, best-actor contenders are Javier Bardem as a dying father in the Spanish-language drama Biutiful, which also is up for best foreign-language film; Bridges as boozy lawman Rooster Cogburn in True Grit, a role that earned John Wayne an Oscar for the 1969 adaptation of the Western novel; and James Franco in the real-life tale of a climber trapped in a crevasse after a boulder crushes his arm in 127 Hours.

Bening was nominated for best actress as a lesbian mom whose family is thrown into turmoil after her teenage children seek out their sperm-donor father in The Kids Are All Right. Portman was nominated as a ballerina losing her grip on reality in Black Swan.

Other best-actress nominees are Nicole Kidman as a grieving mother in Rabbit Hole; Jennifer Lawrence as a teen trying to find her missing father amid the Ozark Mountains' criminal underbelly in Winter's Bone; and Michelle Williams as a wife in a failing marriage in Blue Valentine.

Joining Fincher among best-director picks are Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan; Joel and Ethan Coen for True Grit; Tom Hooper for The King's Speech; Christopher Nolan for Inception; and David O. Russell for The Fighter.

The directing category is back to an all-male lineup after Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win that prize last year for The Hurt Locker, which also claimed best picture.

The Oscar ceremony will be televised live on ABC from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre.

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