The King?s Speech, a historical film about the British royal family, leads Oscar nominations for this year. The period drama earned 12 nominations for the prestigious film awards, including for best picture. Other top contenders include the Western-themed True Grit and The Social Network, a film about the Internet phenomenon Facebook.
Geoffrey Rush, who plays a speech therapist to the future British king, is a nominee for his supporting role in The King?s Speech, and Colin Firth is nominated for his starring role as King George VI, who struggled to overcome a stammer.
Helena Bonham Carter is an Oscar nominee for her supporting role in The King?s Speech. The film also is nominated for its cinematography, costume design and original screenplay. Filmmaker Tom Hooper earned an Oscar nomination for best director.
True Grit, the remake of a 1969 classic Western, is a nominee in 10 categories, including best picture. The filmmaking team Joel and Ethan Cohen also earned Oscar nods as best director.
Jeff Bridges is a nominee for his starring role as U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn, a role made famous by John Wayne. Fourteen-year-old Hailee Steinfeld is nominated for her supporting role in the film.
Another top film contender this year is The Social Network, the story of a billion-dollar idea that became the Internet site Facebook. It is nominated in eight categories, including best picture, and filmmaker David Fincher is a nominee for best director. Jesse Eisenberg earned a nomination for his role as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Oscar nominees were announced at an early-morning news conference at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the Oscars, or Academy Awards. The actress Mo?Nique, who won last year?s Oscar as supporting actress for the drama Precious, helped announce the nominees with academy president Tom Sherak. Sherak listed this year?s contenders for best actress.
"The nominees are Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right, said Sherak. "Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole, Jennifer Lawrence in Winter?s Bone, Natalie Portman in Black Swan, and Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine.
The science fiction tale "Inception" earned eight Oscar nominations, including cinematography, art direction and best picture.
The boxing drama "The Fighter" earned seven nominations, and is another contender for best picture. Oscar nods for the film went to director David O. Russell, supporting actor Christian Bale and two supporting actresses, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo.
Foreign-language film nominees this year come from Mexico, Greece, Denmark, Canada, and Algeria. The Mexican entry, Biutiful, brought an Oscar nomination for best actor to Javier Bardem, who plays a dying father.
The Oscars are considered the American film industry?s top awards. Winners will be announced at a gala celebration February 27 in Hollywood.