Facebook film The Social Network, named best film drama at Sunday’s Golden Globes, received six nominations.
Pete Postlethwaite, who died of cancer a fortnight ago, is in the best supporting actor category for The Town.
The Social Network, The King’s Speech and Black Swan go up against Christopher Nolan sci-fi epic Inception and the Coen brothers’ western remake True Grit for best film.
Last year’s best actor Firth – fresh from his Golden Globe success – is pitted against The Social Network’s Jesse Eisenberg and True Grit’s Jeff Bridges.
Javier Bardem is also in the running for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Biutiful, as is James Franco, for Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours.
Black Swan star Natalie Portman, goes up against True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld, and Noomi Rapace, star of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – adapted from Stieg Larsson’s book of the same name – for best actress.
Annette Bening and Julianne Moore are also nominated for their roles in The Kids are All Right – about a lesbian couple reunited with the biological father of their teenage children.
British star Andrew Garfield, who plays the lead role in the new Spider-Man movie due next year, is up for best supporting actor, for The Social Network.
He is nominated alongside Mark Ruffalo for The Kids Are All Right and Pete Postlethwaite’s postumous nod for The Town.
Geoffrey Rush, who plays King George VI’s speech therapist Lionel Logue in The King’s Speech is also nominated as is Christian Bale for boxing biopic The Fighter.
Bale’s co-star in The Fighter, Amy Adams, goes up against Helena Bonham Carter – for her performance as The Queen Mother in The King’s Speech – Black Swan’s Barbara Hershey, Made in Dagenham’s Miranda Richardson and Another Year’s Lesley Manville.
Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker triumphed at last year’s Baftas, scooping six awards including best film – and then repeated the feat at the Oscars.
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