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'Atonement' Leads BAFTA Nominations

The tragic period romance "Atonement" dominated the race for the British Academy Film Awards, with nominations in 14 categories, including best picture, actor, actress and director.

"No Country for Old Men," "There Will Be Blood" and "The Bourne Ultimatum" also received multiple nods for Britain's equivalent of the Oscars, organizers announced Wednesday.

The BAFTA prizes, to be awarded at London's Royal Opera House on Feb. 10, are considered an important indicator of Academy Award prospects. The British awards have a higher-than-usual profile this year with the Hollywood screenwriters' strike muting the traditional glamour of the U.S. show-business awards season.

In an eclectic field of nominees, Joel and Ethan Coen's noir western "No Country for Old Men" received nine nods, including best director and three best supporting performer nominations, for Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones and Kelly Macdonald.

Historical epic "There Will be Blood" also received nine nominations, including best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis.

"Atonement," adapted from Ian McEwan's literary tearjerker about an ill-starred romance played out against the backdrop of World War II, was nominated for best picture and best British picture. Stars Keira Knightley and James McAvoy were nominated in the acting categories, and Joe Wright was shortlisted for best director.

"Atonement" won the best-picture prize at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, although Knightley and McAvoy lost out on the acting prizes.

The full list of best-picture nominees is "Atonement," "There Will Be Blood," "No Country for Old Men," crime epic "American Gangster" and German drama "The Lives of Others."

The best-actor contenders are McAvoy, Day-Lewis, George Clooney for "Michael Clayton," Viggo Mortensen for "Eastern Promises" and the late Ulrich Muhe for "The Lives of Others."

Leading actress nominees are Knightley, Cate Blanchett for "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," Julie Christie for "Away from Her," Marion Cotillard for "La Vie En Rose" and newcomer Ellen Page for "Juno."