'Skyfall' Leads U.K.'s Empire Award Nominations With Six

 

LONDON -- Sam MendesSkyfall, starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, leads the pack with six nominations for the Jameson Empire Awards 2013, the U.K.'s movie nods voted on by the public, including best film and best director slots.

Joss Whedon’s Avengers Assemble and Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follow closely behind with five nominations apiece, while British indie black comedy Sightseers keeps pace with Hollywood-backed titles with four nominations.

Best director will be judged among Mendes (Skyfall), Whedon (Avengers Assemble), Peter Jackson (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises) and Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained).

Django, The HobbitSkyfall, Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises will vie for public votes in the best film category.

Billing itself as "an antidote to more formal, industry-voted awards," the Empire Awards set themselves up at the end of the awards season and before the Cannes Film Festival gears up.

Now in its 18th year, the nods are voted for entirely by the moviegoing public, who can now vote on the final shortlisted nominees and "acknowledge films that may have missed out at other awards ceremonies."

Skyfall nominations also include best thriller, best British film, best actor for Craig and best actress for Judi Dench.

Avengers and The Hobbit go head-to-head in five categories including best director and best film.

Sightseers' four nominations include ones for lead actors and co-writers Steve Oram and Alice Lowe in the best male and female newcomer categories.

Unlike industry-given nods, the awards include categories such as best horror, best sci-fi/fantasy and the art of 3D.

Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) and Christoph Waltz (Django) will challenge for the best actor award with Craig, Robert Downey Jr. (Avengers) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit).

And the best female award will be touted for by Oscar winners Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) as well as Dench (Skyfall), Golden Globe winner Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and Naomi Watts (The Impossible).

The awards will be dished out at a ceremony hosted by Irish comedian Ed Byrne on March 24 in central London.

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