The fact that The King's Speech rules over the 2010 British Independent Film Award (BIFA) nominations is no surprise.
The story of how King George VI was able to overcome a stubborn stutter after being made king, The King's Speech received a total of eight nods, including Best Film, Best Director (Tom Hooper), Best Actor (Colin Firth, as the king), Best Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce), Best Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter), Best Screenplay (David Seidler), and Best Technical Achievement for Eve Stewart's production design.
Surprising is the omission of Mike Leigh's Another Year from the Best Film roster (the same happened to his well-received Happy-Go-Lucky two years ago), though Leigh himself earned a Best Director nod. (Since Leigh's films purportedly have no actual screenplays as most of the dialogue is improvised, perhaps it's only fair that Another Year failed to be shortlisted in that category.)
Made in Dagenham is another effort that cannot be found among the shortlisted best films, but Matthew Vaughn's $28 million production Kick-Ass, hardly a critical favorite, is one of the top five.
The other Best Picture nominees are Chris Morris' terrorism satire Four Lions, Mark Romanek's dystopian Never Let Me Go, and Gareth Edwards' sci-fi-thriller Monsters.
Only one British Independent Film Award winner has gone on to earn a matching Academy Award nomination: Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, which also took home the Best Picture Oscar in early 2009.
Photo: The Weinstein Co.