Gravity and American Hustle lead hunt for Oscar glory

Sandra Bullock in a scene from 'Gravity'

Sandra Bullock in a scene from 'Gravity'

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NOMINATIONS for the movie industry’s most coveted awards have been unveiled with space thriller Gravity and crime drama American Hustle leading the way with 10 Oscar nominations each.

British screenwriter Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave also features heavily in the shortlist announced yesterday with the film, based on the true story of a free New Yorker kidnapped and sold into slavery in the USA, picking up nine nominations. They include best film, best actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor and best director for McQueen. But American Hustle and Gravity lead the pack with 10 nominations each including nods for Amy Adams and Sandra Bullock respectively for the best actress Oscar.

They face competition from York-born Dame Judi Dench who is nominated for the title role in Philomena. She said: “I’m so happy for everybody involved.”

The film, based on the true story of a woman’s search for the son she gave up for adoption in 1950s Ireland, is also shortlisted for best picture and Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope are nominated for best adapted screenplay. The best actress shortlist is completed by Cate Blanchett, the star of Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, and Meryl Streep for August: Osage County.

Ejiofor faces competition for best actor from Christian Bale for American Hustle, Bruce Dern for Nebraska, The Wolf of Wall Street’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club. There are nine contenders for best film with American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity and Philomena nominated. The Spike Jonze film Her, Nebraska and The Wolf of Wall Street complete the shortlist.

East Yorkshire-born Christopher Benstead has been nominated in the sound mixing category for his work on Gravity.

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