Oscars 2014: British talent vies for glory
12 Years a Slave's Steve McQueen, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender all earn nominations, as do Blue Jasmine's Sally Hawkins and American Hustle's Christian Bale
The British stars may have walked away disappointed at last Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony, but they're gearing up for a second attempt at awards season glory when the Oscars take place on 2 March.
While it comes as no surprise that 12 Years a Slave has emerged as one of this year's frontrunners, the film has scored several high-profile nominations for its British stars, including a leading actor nod for Chiwetel Ejiofor who plays Solomon Northup – a freed black man sold back into slavery.
His co-star Michael Fassbender – who portrays evil plantation owner Edwin Epps – has garnered a nomination in the best supporting actor category, with the film competing for best picture and director Steve McQueen bidding to win his first Academy Award.
But 12 Years will not just face competition from American features in the night's most prestigious category – British film Philomena earned itself three awards, including a best picture nomination, plus nods for Judi Dench (leading actress) and best adapted screenplay for Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope.
British actress Sally Hawkins will compete against the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts and Lupita Nyong'o in the supporting actress category for her portrayal of long-suffering sibling Ginger in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, while American Hustle actor Christian Bale will go up against Ejiofor, Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) and Bruce Dern (Nebraska) for leading actor.
Although starring US actors Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, best picture nominee Gravity has been called a British film given the amount of post-production work that took place in the UK. The film has also earned nods for best director (Alfonso Cuarón) and best actress (Sandra Bullock).
The nominations were announced this afternoon by Chris Hemsworth – the star of Rush and Thor – alongside Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs. The ceremony will take place on 2 March at Hollywood's Dolby theatre with chat show host Ellen DeGeneres compering the show.