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banner Tuesday, 12 February, 2002, 18:00 GMT
Dame Judi heads UK Oscar hopes
Dame Judi is hoping to get her second Oscar
Dame Judi is hoping to get her second Oscar
Dame Judi Dench is leading Britain's assault on the 2002 Academy Awards after UK actors and directors picked up nine nominations in the main categories.

Dame Judi received a nomination for best actress in a leading role in the BBC-backed film Iris.

She played the author Iris Murdoch, who died from Alzheimer's disease in 1999 and it is her fourth Oscar nomination in five years.

Kate Winslet plays the young Iris Murdoch
Kate Winslet: "Thrilled" at being nominated
Former Oscar nominee Kate Winslet, who plays the younger Iris, is among three British actresses nominated in the best supporting role.

She told the BBC she was "thrilled" and that she had forgotten the nominations were taking place.

"To be mentioned alongside Dame Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren makes me proud to be a Brit," she said.

It is Winslet's third nomination, and she said: "Every time it happens to me I can't believe it.

"I'm so used to not winning now - I never expect to win because I never expect to be there."

The Titanic star is joined by Helen Mirren and Dame Maggie Smith for their roles in the murder-mystery Gosford Park, a film part-financed by the National Lottery.

Dame Maggie last won the Oscar in 1979s California Suite
Dame Maggie last won an Oscar in 1979's California Suite

The movie is up for a total of seven awards, including best film and best director for its maverick US filmmaker Robert Altman.

Dame Maggie has already won twice before, in 1979s California Suite and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie in 1970.

Tom Wilkinson, who was also in the Full Monty, received his first nomination for the drama In the Bedroom.

"It's a very nice little interlude in an actor's life to be involved in a successful film that is recognised as such but I suspect when this is over it will be back to business as usual - but I hope it is better business," he told Sky.

Three British actors have also been nominated for their supporting roles.

Tom Wilkinson is looking for his first Oscar
Tom Wilkinson is looking for his first Oscar
Jim Broadbent is honoured for his role as the husband of Iris Murdoch in Iris, with Sir Ben Kingsley grabbing a nomination for his part as a violent, foul-mouthed gangster in the British movie Sexy Beast, which was a big hit in US art cinemas.

Sir Ian McKellen has also been nominated for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, one of 13 nods for the fantasy adventure.

Sir Ian, the only Rings actor to be nominated, said he was proud to represent the film.

"It's so massive in terms of what it looks like and the story it's telling," he said.

"The Academy has followed the good taste of the public and discerned that this is an important film."

Ridley Scott will be hoping to put the disappointment of missing out on best director last year for Gladiator, as he is up again for war movie Black Hawk Down.

Sir Ian McKellen played Gandalf in Fellowship of the Ring
Sir Ian McKellen played Gandalf in Fellowship of the Ring
There is disappointment for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, which received only three nominations - for art direction, costume design and music.

Musical veterans Sting and Sir Paul McCartney are battling it out in the best song category.

Sir Paul McCartney said of his nomination: "This is fantastic news.

"It's a great honour to be considered by the Academy for an award such as this. It's something that every songwriter that I know aspires to."

Former Police frontman Sting is nominated for his song Until in the Meg Ryan comedy Kate and Leopold.

Sir Paul McCartney was last nominated for Live and Let Die
Sir Paul McCartney was last nominated for Live and Let Die
McCartney receives his first nomination since 1973, when he received a nod for Live and Let Die, the theme for the James Bond thriller.

He penned Vanilla Sky, for the movie of the same name starring Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz.

British director Christopher Nolan picked up a nomination for best original screenplay for the thriller Memento.

And actor Julian Fellowes, who has starred in Tomorrow Never Dies and BBC One drama Monarch of the Glen, is in the same category as Nolan for writing Gosford Park.

Costume design saw Jenny Beavan gain her eighth Academy Award nod for Gosford Park.

She has so far taken the statue once, for Room With a View.

In the art direction category, Gosford Park's Stephen Altman and Ann Pinnock will take on, amongst others, Stuart Craig and Stephenie McMillan from Harry Potter.

Roger Deakins is nominated for his cinematography in the Coen brothers' film noir The Man Who Wasn't There.

See also:

28 Jan 02 | Oscars 2002
Hollywood's premier Dame
12 Feb 02 | Oscars 2002
Tom Wilkinson: Giving it the Full Monty
13 Feb 01 | Oscars 2002
Ridley Scott: Hollywood visionary
21 Jan 02 | Oscars 2002
Broadbent's rise to stardom
31 Dec 01 | Film
Sir Ben's Sexy honour
Links to more Oscars 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.

Links to more Oscars 2002 stories