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Oscars: predicting this year's nominations

On Thursday, Chris Hemsworth announces this year's list of Oscars nominations at 13.30 GMT in Beverly Hills' Samuel Goldwyn Theatre.Favourites to be in the running for best picture are 12 Years a Slave, Gravity and American Hustle.And 12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor will find out if he's made the cut for best actor in the powerful drama. 

idris chiwetel © Photo: Rex

For the past few months fans have been in thrall to



Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

actor Idris Elba, lining red carpets to see the dapper duo promoting their respective films. Now the pair are on the cusp of a historic breakthrough for black British actors in Hollywood, if as expected they feature in the 2014 Oscars nominations.Chiwetel, 36, who is regarded as one of the country's best stage talents, missed out on a Golden Globe last Sunday. The award was scooped by Matthew McConaughey, who played an HIV positive cowboy in

Dallas Buyers Club

- a role which has since been dubbed a "McConnaissance".

matthew mcconaughy

Also hopeful of becoming an Oscar challenger is Chiwetel's equally charismatic friend


, the star of

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

.The 39-year-old son of Sierra Leonean immigrants grew up in a modest home in the capital's East End before leaving for America aged 30.The risky move paid off when the 6ft 3in actor was cast as anti-hero Stringer Bell in cult TV series

The Wire


idris elba

The youngsters will have their work cut out if veteran Robert Redford, receives a nomination at 77 for his role in

All is Lost

.This year's Brit invasion may also include regulars

Judi Dench



, Emma Thompson in

Saving Mr Banks

and Kate Winslet with

Labor Day

. They are likely to take on frontrunner

Cate Blanchett

as a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown in Woody Allen's

Blue Jasmine


cate blanchett

Another Londoner Sally Hawkins, who plays Cate's sister in the Woody film, may be named in the supporting actress category. Her rivals will probably be US wunderkind Jennifer Lawrence in

American Hustle


12 Years a Slave

's Lupita Nyong'o, who has been wowing in the fashion stakes with her fierce crop and chic technicolour wardrobe.Other Brits thought to be in the running are directors Steve McQueen for

12 Years a Slave

and Paul Greengrass with

Captain Phillips


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