Brits celebrate Oscar nominations
By Stuart Kemp
LONDON (Hollywood Reporter) - There ain't nothing like a dame, and Helen Mirren's best actress Oscar nomination Tuesday for her role in "The Last Station" proved that once again.
Mirren's turn as Leo Tolstoy's wife in the film, which opens February 19 in the U.K., gives her a chance at her second Oscar after her 2007 win for playing Queen Elizabeth in "The Queen." It marks her fourth Oscar nomination.
While her name went missing when nominations for the British Academy Film Awards were announced last month, all the other Brits scoring major Oscar nominations also will compete in the same categories for the BAFTA film shindig on February 21, two weeks before the Oscars.
However Oscar's best actress race plays out, Carey Mulligan is considered the favorite at the BAFTAs for the youngster's turn in the British drama of manners "An Education."
"An Education" is the only movie flying the Union Jack in this year's best film Oscar list, and few here would argue that it didn't reap benefits from the extension to 10 nominees this year.
When Colin Firth's name was announced as a best actor nominee, whoops of delight were broadcast from BBC News 24's studio. Firth is nominated for his performance as a grief-stricken gay English professor in "A Single Man."
"I thought I was managing my expectations, but on hearing the news, I discovered new and unfamiliar vocal tones. Perhaps I should do another musical," Firth quipped.
British writers figure in the adapted screenplay category at the Oscars as well. Nick Hornby's screenplay for "An Education," a movie on which his partner Amanda Posey was one of the producers, received an Oscar nomination.
And, in a heartening development, the political satire "In the Loop" also cinched a nomination. Written by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche, "Loop" marks comedian and writer Iannucci's first foray onto the big screen.
Iannucci said he called his mother to give her the good news but she had someone in the house "dealing with her boiler," so she would have to jump up and down and celebrate her son's success later.
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