British Hopefuls For This Year’s Oscar Nominations

Helena Bonham Carter in 'The King's Speech'

Movie fans will want to wake up early tomorrow. At 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 25 (5:30 a.m. for West Coasters), this year’s Academy Award nominations will be announced on a live broadcast. Count on The King’s Speech being named in most of the marquee categories, plus pulling in nominations for costumes and the like.

In addition to all the Speech-ifying, a handful of other British titles and stars are likely to earn nods. Here’s what to expect in the top six categories:

Best Picture: With the category widened to encompass ten titles for a second year, class and mass will make it onto the list. Combining both and sure to be nominated is The King’s Speech, the hit biopic about King George VI overcoming his stammer on the eve of WWII. Most savvy Oscar prognosticators predict that the race for the big prize this year will be between Speech and The Social Network. Expect Inception to also get a nomination, while 127 Hours may squeak in too. Long shot: Another Year.

Best Director: Tom Hooper, who helmed The King’s Speech, will absolutely make the Top Five. Here’s hoping that if he wins he’ll give a shout out to honing his directing chops on EastEnders a decade ago. Christopher Nolan is also likely to be named for Inception. Long shot: Danny Boyle for 127 Hours.

Best Actor: It’s a no-brainer that Colin Firth will be nominated for his affecting performance in The King’s Speech; he is the frontrunner to take home a golden statue on Oscar night, Feb. 27. (He has one previous nomination: for 2009’s A Single Man.) Other than Firth, Best Actor sadly will be a totally Brit-free category this year. (Few Academy voters are members of Team Edward, so Twilight’s Robert Pattinson will go unnominated.)

Best Actress: While Lesley Manville may be named for her turn as a woman on a downward slide in Another Year, her nomination is by no means a slam-dunk. There are no other British actresses even in the running, though if Commonwealth nations are counted, Aussie Nicole Kidman is a contender for Rabbit Hole.

Best Supporting Actor: All hail Christian Bale, the actor to beat in this category for his mesmerizing performance as a boxer-turned-crack addict in The Fighter. Jim Broadbent may be named for Another Year (he took home an Oscar in the same category for 2002’s Iris) and hottie Andrew Garfield is a possibility for Social Network. Sure to land a nomination is Australia’s Geoffrey Rush for King’s Speech. Long shot: The late Pete Postlethwaite for The Town.

Best Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham Carter will take a royal bow with a nomination for playing King George VI’s loyal helpmate in King’s Speech. It would be lovely, and totally deserved, if veteran actress Ruth Sheen were to be named for Another Year, but that’s a long shot, as is Miranda Richardson for her feisty turn as a sharp-tongued cabinet minister in Made in Dagenham. Really long shots: Olivia Williams for The Ghost Writer (it came out too early in 2010 for Academy voters to remember it now) and Rebecca Hall for The Town (the consensus is that this fast-rising star will have plenty more chances).

What are your predictions? Tell us in the comments.