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Kate Winslet up against Kate Winslet at the Baftas

15th January 2009

Kate Winslet will take on Kate Winslet at this year's Bafta awards after she was today nominated for best actress for two starkly different roles: a frustrated American housewife and a former SS concentration camp guard.

Winslet was nominated for her roles in The Reader and Revolutionary Road and will be up against Hollywood heavyweights in the shape of Meryl Streep (Doubt), Angelina Jolie (Changeling) and Kristin Scott Thomas (I've Loved You So Long).

The nominations were announced at Bafta's central London headquarters. Sharing the most nominations, with 11, were Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle's unstoppable morality tale about a sweet-natured chai-wallah, and a movie yet to be seen by British audiences, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Other movies that did well were The Dark Knight with nine, Changeling with eight, Frost/Nixon with six and The Reader with five.

But it is Film4's Slumdog Millionaire that is being tipped for the most success. It was nominated in the most categories, including best film and best British film while Boyle was nominated for best director. He is up against Clint Eastwood for Changeling, Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon, Stephen Daldry for The Reader and David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Dev Patel, the former Skins actor who plays the lead in Slumdog, may well be pinching himself. He is nominated in the best actor category up against Frank Langella (for his Richard Nixon), Sean Penn (for his Harvey Milk), Brad Pitt (Benjamin Button) and Mickey Rourke for his portrayal of a washed-up professional fighter in The Wrestler.

Slumdog may well be benefitting from the economic climate. Many believe that feelgood films prosper in a recession. Others are not quite so taken with it. The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw said it was overpraised, arriving with the "the kind of reviews that must have come out after the opening night of King Lear". And yesterday the Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan attacked the film on his blog for potraying India as a "third-world, dirty, underbelly developing nation".

Elsewhere in the nominations the late Heath Ledger is up for best supporting actor for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight. The other contenders are Robert Downey Jr (Tropic Thunder), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt), Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) and Brad Pitt (Burn After Reading).

In the best supporting actress category Amy Adams is nominated for Doubt, Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Freida Pinto for Slumdog Millionaire, Tilda Swinton for Burn After Reading and Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler. The best film award will be decided between The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader and Slumdog Millionaire.

The awards take place in London on 8 February, in a ceremony hosted by Jonathan Ross and screened live on BBC1.

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