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Wednesday, 31 January, 2001, 17:58 GMT
Billy Elliot star's Bafta tonic
Julie Walters and Jamie Bell
Bafta favourites: Julie Walters and Jamie Bell
Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell - who is suffering from flu - found being nominated for a Bafta film award a tonic.

The 14-year-old is up against Russell Crowe, Michael Douglas, Geoffrey Rush and Tom Hanks for one of the UK's most prestigious movie prizes.

The film - about a 80s youngster in the north of England who wants to become a ballet dancer - has been nominated 11 times.

When my mum rang me from work to tell me that I had been nominated, it made me feel a little bit better

Jamie Bell
The BBC co-production is also nominated for best film and best British film, while Julie Walters, who plays Bell's dance teacher, is nominated for best supporting actress.

"I am off school at the moment with the flu so I felt a bit under the weather this morning," he said.

"But when my mum rang me from work to tell me that I had been nominated, it made me feel a little bit better."

He said he thought his chances were "very low".

"I think I am a bit young and when you are up against a three-times Academy Award winner and the likes of Russell Crowe, it makes it very hard. But I'm not bothered, it's really nice just to be nominated."

Bell said he was looking forward to the Bafta ceremony, at the Odeon Leicester Square, central London, on 25 February - but not its dress code.

Billy Elliot
Flying high: Bell in Billy Elliot
"I will wear my tuxedo if I absolutely have to but it makes me feel sick. I feel like a waiter or something when I put it on."

Bell - who also has a best actor nomination from the Screen Actors Guild in the US - is currently looking at a number of scripts and is hoping to work during his school holiday in August.

Martial arts drama Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Roman epic Gladiator lead the Bafta film awards shortlist, both with 14 nominations.

Crouching Tiger, directed by Ang Lee, is up for best film while star Michelle Yeoh is nominated for the best actress award. Lee is nominated for best director.

It is highly unusual for a foreign language film to receive so many nominations.

Gladiator is also up for best film, as well as best actor for Russell Crowe. Oliver Reed is given a posthumous nomination for his supporting role.

Click here to read the full list of nominations.

See also:

31 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Tiger fights Gladiator in Bafta race
31 Jan 01 | Entertainment
The Bafta nominations
31 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Battle of the blockbusters
30 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Billy Elliot star up for Hollywood award
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