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Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The nominations for the 84th Academy Awards have just been announced, and while it is true that the strict anglophiles among us will struggle to claim another British takeover of Hollywood this year, there is one man who should be feeling pretty pleased with himself right now.

Gary Oldman has been nominated in the Lead Actor category, for his role as George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. It’s the first time he’s been up for an Oscar, and let’s face it, he’s very very good, so what’s to stop him winning?

He’ll be up against George Clooney (The Descendents), Demián Bichir (A Better Life), Brad Pitt (Moneyball) and Jean Dujardin (The Artist).

Gary is up for another award, indirectly, as he also appears in Kung-Fu Panda 2, which is up for Best Animated Feature. Oh and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is also nominated for Best Screenplay, which is as close to a clean sweep as the Brits are going to manage this year.

Elsewhere, Kenneth Branagh has been nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for his Laurence Olivier impression in My Week With Marilyn. The interesting thing about this category is the calibre of astonishing thespians on the list. There’s Kenneth, of course, but also Christopher Plummer (Beginners), Max van Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close), Nick Nolte (Warrior) and then poor little Jonah Hill (Moneyball) who must be feeling a little out of his depth right about now.

And I suppose you could claim a moral British victory for the nomination of Meryl Streep, as she’s playing Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Meryl joins Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs), Viola Davis (The Help), Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) and Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn) on the nominations list for Lead Actress.

Meanwhile, British actress Janet McTeer finds herself with Supporting Actress nomination for Albert Nobbs. She faces Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Jessica Chastain (The Help), Bérénice Bejo (The Artist), and Octavia Spencer (The Help).

The nominees for Best Picture are: War Horse, The Artist, Moneyball, The Descendents, The Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris, The Help, Hugo, and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

Here’s the full list of nominations.

The Academy Awards take place on February 26th.

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By Fraser McAlpine