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LA Prepares to Host Academy Awards

The Red Carpet for the 83rd Academy Awards is rolled out on Hollywood Blvd outside the Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood, California, February 23, 2011

Movie stars from around the world have gathered in Los Angeles for Sunday's 83rd Academy Awards ceremony, honoring the best films of 2010 as determined by the U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The British royal drama The King's Speech, leads with 12 nominations, including best picture and best actor. British film star Colin Firth plays the leading role, King George VI, who in the 1930s struggles to successfully overcome a crippling stammer. Both Firth and the movie are favorites to win Oscars.

2011 Nominees for Best Picture

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King's Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter's Bone

Another front-runner for best picture is The Social Network, which tells the story of the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, as his creation becomes a global phenomenon and legal battles follow. The movie was an early favorite after winning four Golden Globe awards last month. It has eight Oscar nominations.

The best actress Oscar is expected to go to Natalie Portman, who plays the leading role in Black Swan, the story of a troubled ballerina.

Among the nominees for best foreign film is Mexico's Biutiful, whose star, Javier Bardem, also is in competition for best actor.

Hosting this year's Academy Awards are actors James Franco and Anne Hathway. Franco stars in another movie up for best picture, 127 Hours, telling the true story of a mountain hiker who gets trapped and is forced to amputate his arm in order to save his life.