12:48 03 February 2010
The nominations for the 2010 Ocsars have been announced.
3D epic 'Avatar' and war movie 'Hurt Locker' are up for the most nominations, with nine nods apiece.
'Avatar's' James Cameron will go head-to-head with his former wife Kathryn Bigelow (for the 'The Hurt Locker') in the Best Director category. Bigelow is only the fourth female Best Director nominee in Oscar history, and would be the first winner. Both films are also nominated for Best Picture.
The pair were joined by nominations for Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds), Lee Daniels (Precious), Jason Reitman (Up In The Air).
Meanwhile, actors Colin Firth, Dame Helen Mirren and Carey Mulligan are up for acting awards, scoring a Brit talent hat trick.
However, there is stiff competition from Americans and bookmakers' favourites Sandra Bullock and Jeff Bridges.
Bullock, who earned a Best Actress nod for her warm-hearted role in 'The Blind Side', has also been nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actress in 'All About Steve'.
If she wins both, the star will make awards history for winning a coveted Academy Award and a turkey prize in the same weekend.
However, Golden Globe winner Bullock will go up against newcomer Carey Mulligan, for her role in coming-of-age drama 'An Education', as well as Helen Mirren (The Last Station), Gabourey Sibide (Precious) and Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia) for the coveted Best Actress In A Leading Role accolade.
Streep's Oscar nod further extends her record as the most nominated performer in Oscars history - this is her 16th nomination.
In the Best Actor category, British actor Colin Firth earner his firth Oscar nod, for his portrayal of a bereaved gay professor living in 1960s America in Tom Ford's 'A Single Man'.
He will compete with Jeff Bridges in 'Crazy Heart', George Clooney in 'Up In The Air', Morgan Freeman in 'Invictus' and Jeremy Renner in 'The Hurt Locker'.
Nick Park's most recent 'Wallace and Gromit' adventure, 'A Matter of Loaf and Death', is nominated for best animated short film.
The 82nd Annual Academy Awards will take place will be presented on March 7 in a televised ceremony from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre.
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