The stars will be out on Sunday in Hollywood for the movie industry’s biggest event of the year, the Academy Awards. This year’s Oscar contest pits a film about the British royal family, The King's Speech, against the Internet tale The Social Network and the re-make of a classic Western, True Grit.
The King’s Speech, based on the real-life story of a stuttering monarch, is a tale of friendship between the man who became King George VI and his speech therapist.
DUKE OF YORK "I’m not here to discuss personal matters."
THERAPIST "Why are you here, then?"
DUKE OF YORK "Because I bloody well stammer."
The film has 12 nominations, including Oscar nods for lead actor Colin Firth, supporting actress Helena Bonham Carter, supporting actor Geoffrey Rush and director Tom Hooper. It has already won key awards from the Screen Actors Guild and the Directors Guild of America.
But Rush, who spoke with journalists at a recent lunch for nominees, says he doesn’t count on winning an Oscar.
"If it doesn’t happen, that’s fine. We still made the work, and it’s a film that I’m very, very proud of," Rush said.
True Grit is a re-make of a Western made famous by movie star John Wayne in 1969. It's the story of a young girl’s search for her father’s killer with help from a gritty lawman named Rooster Cogburn, played in the new film by Jeff Bridges.
COURTROOM LAWYER "Mr. Cogburn, in your four years as US Marshall, how many men have you shot?"
COGBURN "Shot, or killed?"
COURTROOM LAWYER "Let us restrict it to killed so we may have a manageable figure."
Bridges has been nominated for best actor. And his 14-year-old costar, Hailee Steinfeld, is an Oscar nominee for her supporting role.
The Social Network, which chronicles the rise of the Internet phenomenon Facebook, earned a best actor nomination for Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
ZUCKERBERG "I think I’ve come up with something"
FRIEND "That looks good. That looks really good”
ZUCKERBERG "People want to go on the Internet and check out their friends. That’s what the Facebook is going to be about”
Other Oscar nominees include Natalie Portman for her leading role in the psychological drama Black Swan, Nicole Kidman for the drama Rabbit Hole and Annette Bening for her role as a lesbian mother in The Kids Are All Right.
Christian Bale is nominated for his supporting role in the boxing film The Fighter, and costars Amy Adams and Melissa Leo are nominated for their supporting roles.
This year’s foreign language nominees come from Mexico, Greece, Denmark, Canada and Algeria. Javier Bardem, who stars in the Mexican entry Biutiful, is also nominated for best actor.
Nominee Jeff Bridges says the Oscars help publicize filmmakers and their films.
"These awards, as well as being a chance to acknowledge our peers’ great work, it’s also kind of a commercial for the motion picture industry. It’s a chance for all of the filmmakers and the studios to say, come on, see our movie," Bridges said.
James Franco, a best actor nominee for the survival tale 127 Hours, will cohost the Oscar presentation with actress Anne Hathaway. The show will give its usual bow to Hollywood history, but Franco says the job is to draw in younger viewers as well.