16 JANUARY 2008

The cast of Atonement reportedly jumped en masse into the swimming pool of a Hollywood hotel when they heard of the period drama's best film award at the Golden Globes. Now, with their celebrations barely over, Keira Knightley and her colleagues have learned there's a chance to exceed this triumph at next month's BAFTAs in London.

The movie - which features the London-born starlet and Scottish talent James McAvoy as tragic lovers in wartime England - is recognised in a staggering 14 categories, including best actor and actress.

Twenty-two-year-old Keira will have stiff competition from Cate Blanchett in her role in the Elizabeth sequel, as well as screen veteran Julie Christie, playing an Alzheimer's sufferer in Away From Her.

Meanwhile Keira's co-star James goes up against George Clooney in the thriller Michael Clayton, which has bagged nine nominations.

It's a lucky year for Australian beauty Cate, who has another chance to claim a statuette for her supporting turn as Bob Dylan in I’m Not There.

The Sydney-based star will be hoping to head off Control’s Samantha Morton, nominated for her portrayal of the grieving widow of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, and Tilda Swinton, nominated for her portrayal of a ruthless lawyer opposite George's haunted fixer in Michael Clayton.

February's ceremony, which will be hosted by Jonathan Ross, will enjoy a higher profile than ever this year as the on-going Hollywood strike has thrown the staging into of the Oscars into doubt.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Keira Knightley and James McAvoy's Atonement will feature large at the UK awards ceremony after receiving a clutch of nominationsClick on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Pirates star Naomie Harris and Pride And Prejudice actress Kelly Reilly presided over the gala to announce the nominations in London Photo: © PA
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