Con drama American Hustle and space movie Gravity lead this year’s Oscar nominations with 10 nods each.
American Hustle was shortlisted in all four acting categories for its stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.
It is also up for best picture alongside Gravity, which earned a best director nod for Alfonso Cuaron and best actress for Sandra Bullock.
12 Years a Slave’s nine nominations included best director and picture.
“I’m just very excited,” British director Steve McQueen told the BBC. “My goodness, nine nominations – a lot of them British. We worked very hard and we’re privileged to be in this position.”
The film’s stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o were also nominated in the best actor, supporting actor and supporting actress categories.
British film Philomena is up for four awards, including best picture.
Captain Phillips, 12 Years a Slave, Nebraska, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club and Her are also among the nine films nominated for the coveted top award.
In the best director category, David O Russell faces competition from McQueen, Cuaron, Nebraska’s Alexander Payne and Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street.
His film American Hustle is only the 15th movie in Oscars’ history to land nominations in the four main acting categories – although no film has ever won all the awards.
Russell achieved the same feat with Silver Linings Playbook last year, when all four of his key actors were nominated – with Lawrence winning best actress.
The director told the BBC he was “humbled” by the nominations.
“You always worry, as sort of the captain, that one of your great performers is not going to get recognised… but you still pray for them all,” he said.
“They all put so much into it and they did it together, so it’s nice none of them got left out.”
It is Adams’s fifth Oscar nomination – and her first in the leading actress category – having previously been nominated for her supporting roles in The Master (2012), The Fighter (2010), Doubt (2008) and Junebug (2005) – however she has never collected a statuette to date.
She will compete with Bullock, Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, Dame Judi Dench for Philomena and Meryl Streep – who scored her 18th Oscar nomination – for August: Osage County.
Dame Judi said: “This is just the loveliest news. I’m so happy for everybody involved, and so proud to have been part of the wonderful experience that Philomena has been.”
The best actor category sees British stars Bale and Ejiofor up against Bruce Dern for Nebraska, Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street and Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club.
McConaughey, who won a Golden Globe on Sunday for his performance in the Aids drama, said he was “honoured and grateful”.
Britain’s Sally Hawkins is up for best supporting actress for her role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, alongside Lawrence, Nyong’o, Julia Roberts for August: Osage County and June Squibb for Nebraska.
In the best supporting actor category, Fassbender and Cooper will vie with Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street, Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips and Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club.
Leto, who also won a Golden Globe for his role as a transsexual woman in the film, said he was “absolutely blown away by this incredible nomination”.
Gravity’s other seven nominations included a host of British talent recognised in the film and sound editing, production design, visual effects and music categories.
Philomena, based on the true story of an Irish woman who was forced to give up her son, was also nominated for best original score and adapted screenplay for its writers Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope.
Coogan told the BBC he was “absolutely dumbfounded” at the recognition.
“It’s way beyond anything we hoped for,” he said. “You’ll always be an Oscar nominee whether you win or not, it’s an incredible achievement.
“I failed my English O level twice and I’ve got an Oscar nomination for best screenplay – if I can do it anyone can.”
The five films competing for the best animated feature prize include The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Frozen, Japanese film The Wind Rises and Belgian animation Ernest & Celestine – the story of an unlikely friendship between a bear and a mouse.
Irish band U2 were nominated for best original song for Ordinary Love, which featured in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
It is the second nod for the group, who were previously nominated in 2003 for their song The Hands That Built America, from Gangs of New York.
However, the film’s star – Idris Elba – was among some notable omissions for his role as Nelson Mandela.
Other actors who didn’t make the cut included Tom Hanks for Captain Phillips, Emma Thompson for Saving Mr Banks and Robert Redford for All Is Lost.
There was also no recognition for biographical drama The Butler, while Paul Greengrass and the Coen brothers were overlooked in the best director category – with the Coen’s film Inside Llewyn Davis earning just two nominations, despite high expectations.
The winners will be announced at the Oscars ceremony on Sunday 2 March at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.
***All text and pics completely copied and pasted from here and the official Academy Twitter page.