Danny Boyle's inspiring drama Slumdog Millionaire is the frontrunner at the London Critics' Circle film awards, it has been announced.

The story of a boy from the slums of Mumbai who finds himself one question away from winning 20 million rupees is up for six awards, including British film of the year.

Boyle is named in the best director and best British director categories while lead actor Dev Patel is up for best British actor.

Hunger, Steve McQueen's drama about the 1981 IRA hunger strikes, has five nominations, as do Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky and Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon.

In keeping with the Golden Globe nominations, Frost/Nixon, Milk and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button are all nominated for the best film prize while the best British film award will be contested between Slumdog Millionaire, Hunger, In Bruges, Man on Wire and Happy-Go-Lucky.

Jason Solomons, chairman of the London Film Critics' Circle, said he was "thrilled" by "exciting set of nominations which acknowledge the best in film-making from around the world."

"I am particularly delighted that the Critics' Circle have been able to introduce a new award – the NSPCC Award for Young British Performer of the Year – and that we have been able to choose from such a dazzling pool of young stars, emphasising the strength and depth of young talent in Britain," he added.

The awards will be hosted by Mariella Frostrup and Paul Gambaccini and held in aid of the NSPCC on February 4th.

The nominees for the 29th London Critics' Circle film awards are:FILM OF THE YEAR
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Wall-E
The Wrestler

THE ATTENBOROUGH AWARD: BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR
Happy-Go-Lucky
Hunger
In Bruges
Man on Wire
Slumdog Millionaire

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
Gomorrah
I've Loved You So Long
The Orphanage
Persepolis
Waltz With Bashir

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Darren Aronofsky - The Wrestler
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
Clint Eastwood - Changeling
David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Gus Van Sant - Milk

BRITISH DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
Terence Davies - Of Time and the City
Mike Leigh - Happy-Go-Lucky
Steve McQueen - Hunger
Christopher Nolan - The Dark Knight

ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Josh Brolin - W
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Sean Penn - Milk
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler

ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kate Winslet - The Reader and Revolutionary Road

BRITISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Michael Fassbender - Hunger
Ralph Fiennes - The Duchess
Ben Kingsley - Elegy
Dev Patel - Slumdog Millionaire
Michael Sheen - Frost/Nixon

BRITISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Rebecca Hall - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Sally Hawkins - Happy-Go-Lucky
Kristin Scott Thomas - I've Loved You So Long
Tilda Swinton - Julia
Kate Winslet - The Reader and Revolutionary Road

BRITISH ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Liam Cunningham - Hunger
Toby Jones - Frost/Nixon and W
Eddie Marsan - Happy-Go-Lucky
Peter O'Toole - Dean Spanley
Mark Strong - Body of Lies

BRITISH ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Hayley Atwell - The Duchess
Kristin Scott Thomas - Easy Virtue
Tilda Swinton - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Emma Thompson - Brideshead Revisited
Alexis Zegerman - Happy-Go-Lucky

SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR
Simon Beaufoy - Slumdog Millionaire
David Hare - The Reader
Martin McDonagh - In Bruges
Peter Morgan - Frost/Nixon
Eric Roth - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

THE NSPCC AWARD: YOUNG BRITISH PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
Asa Butterfield - The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Georgia Groome - Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging
Bill Milner - Son of Rambow
Dev Patel - Slumdog Millionaire
Will Poulter - Son of Rambow
Thomas Turgoose - Somers Town and Eden Lake

BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH FILM-MAKER
Joanna Hogg - writer-director: Unrelated
Martin McDonagh - writer-director: In Bruges
Steve McQueen - writer-director: Hunger
James Watkins - writer-director: Eden Lake
Rupert Wyatt - director: The Escapist

DILYS POWELL AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO CINEMA
Dame Judi Dench


18/12/2008 11:41:11