Oscars: Brit Stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne Set to Square Off Again

Breakout Performance, Actor

Last year's winner Jared Leto gave the award to Eddie Redmayne of The Theory of Everything. After thanking Leto for Requiem for a Dream, Redmayne told the room of first coming to Los Angeles with other Brits and wasting a ton of time playing ping-pong. He also thanked Stephen Hawking, and echoed Woodley's speech: "It's not just those challenges or limitations that define us, but how we choose to overcome them."

First blood went to Redmayne at the Golden Globes, but this very-British battle has more rounds to go.

Among the many running themes of this year’s awards season has been the very British battle between The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game, particularly the ongoing head-to-head clashes of stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne in the lead actor categories.

Thursday’s Oscar nominations were — predictably — no different, throwing these two well-heeled Brits together for a final glittering showdown to be held in Hollywood next month, just a few weeks after they face off on home soil at the BAFTAs.

Redmayne drew first blood in the awards season showdown of the British stars, by winning at the Golden Globes.

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But the two still seem difficult to separate – both getting their first nominations from the Academy and from BAFTA, both appearing in quintessentially English films and both playing iconic figures from the world of science battling intense personal traumas. They are set to compete throughout the rest of awards season.

Away from cinema, both were privately educated, both began their careers on the stage before moving to the screen and both have proven immensely popular, gaining heartthrob status. While Cumberbatch has had his so-called Cumberbitches for some time, Redmayne’s Redmayniacs have also emerged as a powerful online presence.

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Both also recently declared themselves to be most definitely off the market. Redmayne married last month, just weeks after Cumberbatch announced his engagement and a few weeks before he followed this up with news of his first child.

Given the youth of these two (Cumberbatch is 38, Redmayne 33), this British battle could become an ongoing cinematic affair long after the Oscar curtain closes on Feb. 22 and irrespective of who wins the Oscar.

And, of course, the best actor Oscar could just go to Michael Keaton.