Oscars to be a royal affair

THE King's Speech enters the home straight as frontrunner to take the prestigious Oscars crown.

It topped the nominations with nods in 12 categories.

Colin Firth who stars in the historical drama as a stammering George VI is considered almost unbeatable for the best actor award on Sunday at the climax of Hollywood's annual awards season.

But with so much spectacular talent in all categories and 10 exceptional films vying for Best Picture, the race to the podium is going to be a tough one.

The close to 6000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences finalised their voting on Tuesday and the results will be announced in the annual show watched by millions live around the world on Sunday night.

Before the golden statues are handed out, The Daily takes a look at the 10 films vying for the coveted crown.

Full coverage of the 83rd Annual Academy Awards

Black Swan: Starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, Black Swan is a psychological thriller/ backstage drama about a young ballerina's dramatic disintegration under the pressure of a coveted dance role and talented rival. It is an intense and intoxicating journey.

The Fighter: A boxing film to rival Rocky, The Fighter, explores the hard choices faced by an up-and-coming boxer “Irish” Mickey Ward (the buffed Mark Wahlberg) as his career begins to take off. Although filled with the feel-good clichés synonymous with sports movies, The Fighter tells its story with heart and authenticity strengthened through its host of outstanding performances.

Inception: Leonardo Dicaprio stars in this unforgettable film of mind monopoly. Inception starts out confusing, before leaping into crazy and finally coming to rest at confounding. But in a good way.

The Kids Are All Right: Family values are blurred in this modern love triangle of sorts starring Annette Benning, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. More than a film discussing the social issues of modern day families, it's an exploration of family dynamics, changing expectations and love told in a satirical but never judgmental fashion.

The King's Speech: Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush star in this superior historical drama that tells the story of King George VI of Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped him.

127 Hours: More than just a film about cutting off a limb, it is a story of real resilience and the strength of the human spirit. Under the direction of Danny Boyle and starring James Franco, it is inspired cinema presented with honesty, beauty and raw emotion.

The Social Network: A nerd sitting at his computer writing computer code may not sound like an engaging basis for a film but The Social Network is more than a movie about a computer program. Social commentary, witty script writing, humour, love, rejection, betrayal and brilliant acting – this film has it all.

Toy Story 3: Toys will be toys and with 11 years since Woody and the gang were on the big screen, it was good to just see the posse back up there. But more than just the usual charismatic characters and humour, Pixar went above and beyond for the gang's final instalment.

True Grit: The Coen Brothers have produced another solid and character-driven film with this remake of the 1969 John Wayne western. It has the grandeur of a typical Coen film combined with the feeling of an intimate campfire yarn.

Winter's Bone: A tough Ozark Mountain girl hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact in this haunting and atmospheric mountain drama.

Coverage of the 83rd Annual Academy Awards

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