American Hustle and Gravity lead Oscar nominations

American Hustle and Gravity lead the Oscar nominations with 10 each. British films Philomena and 12 Years A Slave, directed by Londoner Steve McQueen, are both nominated for the best picture Oscar.

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Oscars will have 'movie hero' theme

The 86th Academy Awards will celebrate movie heroes, producers have announced.

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Ellen Degeneres
American chat show host Ellen Degeneres will host this year's Oscars. Credit: Reuters

The show, hosted this year by comedienne Ellen DeGeneres, will celebrate popular, animated, real-life and movie heroes, as well as film makers who took risks.

Producers said in a statement they want to create "an evening of fun and joy" when the show is broadcast on Sunday March 2.

Read more: Philomena and 12 Years A Slave carry UK Oscar hopes

Philomena and 12 Years A Slave carry UK Oscar hopes

Films starring Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch head up the British hopes for nominations at this year's Oscars.

12 Years A Slave
The jubilant cast of 12 Years A Slave after winning best film at the Golden Globes. Could an Oscar be next? Credit: Reuters

Nominations for the annual awards show are due to be announced at 1:30pm later today, with British-American production 12 Years A Slave tipped as a hot contender.

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The Steve McQueen film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup, a free-born African American violinist who is captured and sold to Michael Fassbender's sadistic plantation owner.

It won best film at the Golden Globes on Sunday and British film fans are hoping it will repeat that success throughout the awards season.

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Steve Coogan may also get a nod for his work on Philomena - the man behind Alan Partridge has already been nominated for writing the screenplay, which follows Judi Dench's attempts to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption.

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