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OSCARS 2014: '12 Years A Slave' And 'Philomena' Lead British Hopes With Best Film Nominations

16/01/2014 13:53 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 21:01 GMT

'12 Years A Slave' goes into this year's Oscars as the hot favourite for collective gold, scooping nominations in several of the leading categories, and 'Philomena' is up there too.

British theatre and TV star Chiwetel Ejiofor is up for Best Actor, with director Steve McQueen also getting a nod, for their raw story of an American gentleman sold into slavery in the Deep South.

Ejiofor is joined on the shortlist for Best Actor by Christian Bale (Welsh, we'll take him!)(American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Leonardo DiCaprio (Wolf of Wall Street) and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club).

In the Best Film category, '12 Years A Slave' is up against 'American Hustle', 'Captain Phillips', 'Dallas Buyers Club', 'Gravity', 'Her', 'Nebraska', 'Philomena' and 'The Wolf of Wall Street'.

Meanwhile, McQueen, nominated for directing only his third feature film, is taking on David O Russell (American Hustle), Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), and Martin Scorsese (Wolf of Wall Street).

'American Hustle', David O.Russell's 1970s caper, leads the pack this year with six nods, in the foremost categories.

'12 Years' also sees Michael Fassbender (Irish) up for Best Supporting Role for his turn as a ruthless, demonised landowner.

And fellow Irishmen U2 have been nominated for their song 'Ordinary Love' from 'Mandela Long Walk to Freedom'.

It's a good day for Steve Coogan and his team. As well as the inclusion of 'Philomena' for Best Film, Dame Judi Dench has been nominated for Best Actress for her title role in 'Philomena', while Coogan himself and co-writer Jeff Pope were shortlisted in the Best Adapted Screenplay category.

'Philomena' tells the story of how journalist Martin Sixsmith helped Irish woman Philomena Lee trace her son, sold to American parents by nuns.

Another Brit celebrating today is Sally Hawkins, earning a nod for Best Supporting Actress for 'Blue Jasmine'. This film also saw nominations for Cate Blanchett (Best Actress) and Woody Allen for his screenplay.

6,000 members of the Academy will have voted for their favourites this year, with them due to vote again now the nominations list is public.

Click here for a complete list of all the nominees...

The Oscars ceremony will be taking place on 2 March in Los Angeles.