22 JANUARY 2008

Daniel Day-Lewis vehicle There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men led the Oscar nominations with eight nods each when the finalists were announced in LA on Tuesday.

Daniel leads the UK hopes after being listed in the best actor category for his role as a ruthless oil magnate in the film. He faces stiff competition from Michael Clayton's George Clooney, Tommy Lee Jones and Viggo Mortensen and Johnny Depp, who portrays the serial killing barber of Sweeney Todd.

Keira Knightley flick Atonement received seven nods, including coveted best motion picture and best supporting actress for the young Irish star Saoirse Ronan. Though hotly tipped for a mention, the film's protagonists Keira and James McAvoy missed out on nominations in the best actor and actress categories.

Australian screen star Cate Blanchett landed nominations in both the best actress category - for her role in historic epic Elizabeth - and best supporting actress. Fellow best actress nominees are Juno star Ellen Page, screen veteran Julie Christie, French actress Marion Cotillard and US actress Laura Linney.

Meanwhile joining Atonement's Saoirse in competing with Cate's quirky turn as poet Bob Dylan in I'm Not There in the supporting actress category are American Gangster's Ruby Dee, Amy Ryan, and British screen star Tilda Swinton.

Ben's younger brother Casey Affleck joined the talents receiving a nod in the best supporting category, along with Spanish actor Javier Bardem, Hal Holbrook, Tom Wilkinson and Philip Seymour Hoffman, who stars opposite Tom Hanks in Charlie Wilson's War.

The political drama is set to challenge Atonement's claim as best motion picture. Also making the list are teen comedy Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men and There Will be Blood.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
It's not the first Oscar experience for British star Daniel Day-Lewis, who is up for the best actor gong for his role in There Will Be Blood. He took home the award in 1990 when he played the lead in My Left Foot: The Story Of Christie BrownPhoto: © Oscar.org Click on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
While her Atonement co-stars Kiera Knightlay and James McAvoy failed to make the cut, young Irish actress Saoirse Ronan has been nominated as best actress in a supporting role for the WWII dramaPhoto: © Oscar.org
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