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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 16:23 GMT
Day-Lewis heads UK Oscars charge
Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood
Daniel Day-Lewis plays an oil prospector in There Will Be Blood

Daniel Day-Lewis, Julie Christie, Tilda Swinton and Tom Wilkinson lead the UK's presence in the 2008 Oscar nominations.

Day-Lewis is favourite for best actor for oil drama There Will be Blood and Christie is up for best actress as an Alzheimer's sufferer in Away From Her.

Best supporting actor nominee Wilkinson plays a lawyer having a breakdown in Michael Clayton, which also stars best supporting actress contender Swinton.

World War II drama Atonement has seven nominations, including best film.

Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent in Away From Her
Julie Christie plays a woman who moves into a nursing home

The British romance, adapted from Ian McEwan's novel, also sees 13-year-old Irish newcomer Saoirse Ronan up for best supporting actress.

Atonement was made by Working Title Films, the production company responsible for films including Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Billy Elliot, Bridget Jones's Diary and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Its writer Christopher Hampton is up for best adapted screenplay. He has also worked on Dangerous Liaisons, for which he won a best adapted screenplay Oscar.

He also wrote the screenplay for films including The Quiet American and Carrington.

Tom Wilkinson
Tom Wilkinson plays a beleaguered lawyer in Michael Clayton

But Atonement's British talent was overlooked in three main categories, with actors Keira Knightley and James McAvoy and director Joe Wright all missing out.

Both Day-Lewis and Christie are odds-on favourites to win their awards, according to bookmakers.

Day-Lewis, who has joint British-Irish citizenship, won an Oscar in 1990 for My Left Foot. He was also nominated in 1994 for In the Name of the Father and in 2003 for Gangs of New York.

He is famed for immersing himself in his roles during filming and for shunning Hollywood during long periods between roles.

Christie, who famously appeared in 1960s films Doctor Zhivago and Billy Liar, recently starred in Finding Neverland and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton's character's ambition drives her to desperation

She won an Oscar in 1966 for Darling and was nominated two more, in 1972 for McCabe and Mrs Miller and in 1998 for Afterglow.

Wilkinson came to Hollywood's attention in Shakespeare in Love, The Full Monty, The Patriot and Rush Hour, and earned an Oscar nomination in 2002 for In the Bedroom.

And Swinton, who played the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia, has previously appeared in Vanilla Sky, The Beach and 1992's Virginia Woolf adaptation Orlando.

Devon-born cinematographer Roger Deakins is up for two Oscars this year - for his work on The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and No Country for Old Men.

He also did the cinematography on In the Valley of Elah, which has earned Tommy Lee Jones a nomination for best actor.

Deakins' previous credits include A Beautiful Mind, O Brother Where Art Thou, Fargo and The Shawshank Redemption.

John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council said of all the nominations: "It's great to see UK films and talent nominated for Oscars in so many categories. Congratulations and good luck to all the British nominees."


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