Tuesday, February 9, 1999 Published at 23:20 GMT
Brits go to Hollywood
Shakespeare In Love is leading British hopes at the Oscars
The British film industry may be the poor relation of Hollywood in terms of cash but it is not short on talent.
British actors and artists have once again netted an impressive range of Academy Award nominations.
It's been put foward for no less than 13 awards - two more than the American film, Saving Private Ryan. British talent in four other films has also been recognised.
He said: "It's not bad for a small, $3m movie made for love and not money."
"I think the world is beginning to grow up and at last gays are at the centre of films and just being treated as perfectly ordinary people. That is an added pleasure for me."
His British co-star, Lynn Redgrave, received a best supporting actress nomination for her pivotal role as the director James Whale's devoted central European housekeeper, Hanna.
She said: "I guess I had been hopeful because people were saying to me there was a good chance."
She said: "You have to make up for it when you've only got eight minutes.You have to make the best of it. First, you get a good costume."
Playing monarchs obviously suits her - she was also nominated for an Oscar for her role as Queen Victoria last year in "Mrs Brown"
Brenda Blethyn, 52, who narrowly missed out on an Oscar for her role in Mike Leigh's Secrets and Lies two years ago - has another crack at the best supporting actress title this year.
She said: "You don't expect to be nominated once, let alone twice. And the character was kind of unsympathetic. I thought that might put people off."
Just like Shakespeare In Love, seven-times nominated Elizabeth has the Virgin Queen, Joe Fiennes in tights, Geoffrey Rush and a strong British ensemble cast.
Director Shekhar Kapur may be Indian and Blanchett Australian, but as a whole Elizabeth has a better claim to be British than Shakespeare In Love.
It is produced by Working Title and European giant Polygram.
But there is also competition for the most British award in this year's nominations.
She said: "What I think is brilliant is that `Hilary and Jackie' was the only film nominated that was properly British-financed," she said.
"It really is a properly homegrown little British movie, so to get this acknowledgement from the American academy is a kind of vindication."
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