Story by: Jack Foley
RUSSELL Crowes seafaring adventure, Master
and Commander: The Far Side of the World is leading the nominations
list in the London Film Critics Awards, which will be announced
in London, on February 11, 2004, in aid of the NSPCC charity.
The historical epic has landed six nominations in total, including
best film, best actor, for Crowe, and best director, for Peter
Weir, while co-star, Paul Bettany, also gets a nod in the best
British actor category.
The film opened in November last year, to widespread acclaim,
and is already considered to be a strong Oscar contender.
One of the most significant categories in the critics awards
is the best British film category, named the Attenborough Award,
which include The Hours, Young
Adam, The Magdalene Sisters
and The Mother, as nominees, while the best British actor will
also be contested by Jude Law, for Cold
Mountain, and Ewan McGregor, for Young Adam.
The British actress, meanwhile, will go to either Tilda Swinton,
for Young Adam, Julie Walters or Dame Helen Mirren, for Calendar
Girls, Charlotte Rampling, for The
Swimming Pool, or Anne Reid for The Mother.
The London Film Critics' Circle was established to promote the
art of criticism, with many of its members writing reviews for
both national and regional media.
It is designed to recognise British talent, as well as promoting
the year's best cinema from around the world, and includes a best
foreign film category, which has nominated Etre et Avoir, Goodbye
Lenin! and Belleville
Rendez-vous among its contenders.
Aside from Master and Commander, the best film category will
be contested by The Lord of
the Rings: The Return of the King, and Clint Eastwoods
Mystic River, while Crowe
will be pitted against Ed Harris, for The Hours, Sean Penn, for
Mystic River, Bill Murray, for Lost
in Translation and Nicholas Cage, for Adaptation.
Awards favourite, Nicole Kidman, has been nominated in the best
actress category for her performance in Anthony Minghellas
Cold Mountain (which leads the field in the Golden
Globe nominations), while Holly Hunter, for Thirteen,
Meryl Streep, for Adaptation,
Scarlett Johansson, for Girl
with a Pearl Earring, and Julianne Moore, for Far
From Heaven, have all received a nod.
The awards ceremony takes place just two weeks before the season
finale, the Oscars.