BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- The British monarchy saga "The King's Speech" leads the Academy Awards with 12 nominations, including best picture and acting honors for Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.
"This story has struck such a rich resonant chord with audiences of all ages, which is very exciting - to have your work honored by your industry peers is even better," Rush said in a statement.
Also nominated for best picture Tuesday were the psychosexual thriller "Black Swan"; the boxing drama "The Fighter"; the sci-fi blockbuster "Inception"; the lesbian-family tale "The Kids Are All Right"; the survival story "127 Hours"; the Facebook chronicle "The Social Network"; the animated smash "Toy Story 3"; the Western "True Grit"; and the Ozarks crime thriller "Winter's Bone."
"True Grit" ran second with 10 nominations, including acting honors for Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld.
The Feb. 27 Oscars set up a best-picture showdown between two favorites, "The King's Speech" and "The Social Network." "The Social Network" won best drama at the Golden Globes and was picked as the year's best by key critics groups, while "The King's Speech" pulled an upset last weekend by winning the Producers Guild of America Awards top prize, whose recipient often goes to claim best picture at the Oscars.
The favorites in the male-acting categories both were nominated, Globe winners Firth as best actor for "The King's Speech" and Christian Bale as supporting actor for "The Fighter."
The best-actress field shapes up as a two-woman race between Annette Bening for "The Kids Are All Right," who won the Globe for actress in a musical or comedy, and Natalie Portman for "Black Swan," who received the Globe for dramatic actress.
The supporting-actress Oscar could prove the most competitive among acting prizes. Melissa Leo won the Globe for "The Fighter," but she faces strong challenges from that film's co-star Amy Adams and 14-year-old newcomer Steinfeld, who missed out on a Globe nomination for "True Grit" but made the cut for supporting actress at the Oscars.
"The Social Network" casts Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who's depicted as an interpersonal lout in one-on-one relations but a genius for the masses, creating an online hangout where half a billion people now keep connected with friends.
"The King's Speech" stars Firth as Queen Elizabeth II's father, the stammering George VI, who reluctantly came to the throne after his brother abdicated in 1936, a terrible time for a stuttering monarch as British subjects looked to their ruler for inspiration via radio as World War II approached.
The two films represent a showdown between classy, traditional Oscar bait and edgy, youthful, up-to-the-minute drama.
With its aristocrats, statesmen and perilous times, "The King's Speech" is a throwback to the majestic, eye-filling costume pageants that dominated film awards in Hollywood's earlier decades. Its nominations also include best director for Tom Hooper and supporting-acting slots for Bonham Carter as the king's devoted wife and Rush as his wily speech therapist.
"The Social Network" is an immediate story, set not in palaces but college dorm rooms, cluttered start-up space and anonymous legal offices where Zuckerberg battles former associates over the proceeds of his invention.
David Fincher is the best-directing favorite for "The Social Network" after winning that prize at the Globes.
Along with Firth and Eisenberg, best-actor contenders are Javier Bardem as a dying father in the Spanish-language drama "Biutiful," which also is up for best foreign-language film; Bridges as boozy lawman Rooster Cogburn in "True Grit," a role that earned John Wayne an Oscar for the 1969 adaptation of the Western novel; and James Franco in the real-life tale of a climber trapped in a crevasse after a boulder crushes his arm in "127 Hours."
Bening was nominated for best actress as a lesbian mom whose family is thrown into turmoil after her teenage children seek out their sperm-donor father in "The Kids Are All Right." Portman was nominated as a ballerina losing her grip on reality in "Black Swan."
Other best-actress nominees are Nicole Kidman as a grieving mother in "Rabbit Hole"; Jennifer Lawrence as a teen trying to find her missing father amid the Ozark Mountains' criminal underbelly in "Winter's Bone"; and Michelle Williams as a wife in a failing marriage in "Blue Valentine."
Joining Fincher among best-director picks are Darren Aronofsky for "Black Swan"; Joel and Ethan Coen for "True Grit"; Tom Hooper for "The King's Speech"; and David O. Russell for "The Fighter."
The directing category is back to an all-male lineup after Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win that prize last year for "The Hurt Locker," which also claimed best picture.
The Oscar ceremony will be televised live on ABC from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre.
Best Motion Picture of the Year Black Swan The Fighter Inception The Kids are All Right The King's Speech The Social Network 127 Hours Toy Story 3 True Grit Winter's Bone
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Annette Bening (The Kids are All Right) Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole) Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone) Natalie Portman (Black Swan) Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Javier Bardem (Biutiful) Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) Colin Firth (The King's Speech) James Franco (127 Hours) Jeff Bridges (True Grit)
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Christian Bale (The Fighter) John Hawkes (Winter's Bone) Jeremy Renner (The Town) Mark Ruffalo (The Kids are All Right) Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech)
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Amy Adams (The Fighter) Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech) Melissa Leo (The Fighter) Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year How to Train Your Dragon The Illusionist Toy Story 3
Best Documentary Short Subject Killing in the Name Poster Girl Strangers No More Sun Come Up The Warriors of Qiugang
Best Short Film (Animated) Day & Night Teddy Newton The Gruffalo Jakob Schuh and Max Lang Let's Pollute Geefwee Boedoe The Lost Thing Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary) Bastien Dubois
Best Short Film (Live Action) The Confession Tanel Toom The Crush Michael Creagh God of Love Luke Matheny Na Wewe Ivan Goldschmidt Wish 143 Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite
Achievement in Art Direction Alice in Wonderland Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Inception The King's Speech True Grit
Achievement in Cinematography Black Swan (Matthew Libatique) Inception (Wally Pfister) The King's Speech (Danny Cohen) The Social Network (Jeff Cronenweth) True Grit (Roger Deakins) Achievement in Costume Design Alice in Wonderland (Colleen Atwood) I Am Love (Antonella Cannarozzi) The King's Speech (Jenny Beaven) The Tempest (Sandy Powell) True Grit (Mary Zophres)
Achievement in Directing Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) David O. Russell (The Fighter) Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) David Fincher (The Social Network) Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit)
Best Documentary Feature Exit through the Gift Shop Banksy, director (Paranoid Pictures) Gasland Josh Fox, director (Gasland Productions, LLC) Inside Job Charles Ferguson, director (Representational Pictures) Restrepo Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, directors (Outpost Films) Waste Land Lucy Walker, director (Almega Projects)
Achievement in Makeup Barney's Version The Way Back The Wolfman
Achievement in Film Editing Black Swan (Andrew Weisblum) The Fighter (Pamela Martin) The King's Speech (Tariq Anwar) 127 Hours (Jon Harris) The Social Network (Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall)
Best Foreign Language Film of the Year Biutiful (Mexico) Dogtooth (Greece) In a Better World (Denmark) Incendies (Canada) Hors la Loi (Algeria)
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score) How to Train Your Dragon (John Powell) Inception (Hans Zimmer) The King's Speech (Alexandre Desplat) 127 Hours (A.R. Rahman) The Social Network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song) "Coming Home" from Country Strong Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey "I See the Light" from Tangled Music and Lyric by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater "If I Rise" from 127 Hours Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong "We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3 Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Achievement in Sound Editing Inception Toy Story 3 TRON: Legacy True Grit Unstoppable
Achievement in Sound Mixing Inception The King's Speech Salt The Social Network True Grit
Achievement in Visual Effects Alice in Wonderland Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Hereafter Inception Iron Man 2
Adapted Screenplay 127 Hours (Simon Beaufoy and Danny Boyle) The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin) Toy Story 3 (Michael Arndt, story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich) True Grit (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen) Winter's Bone (Debra Granik and Anne Rossellini)
Original Screenplay Another Year (Mike Leigh) The Fighter (Paul Attanasio, Lewis Colich, Eric Johnson, Scott Silverand Paul Tamasy) Inception (Christopher Nolan) The Kids are All Right (Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko) The King's Speech (David Seidler) ___