'Scotland' duo, 'Queen' pic among top BIFA nominees

O'Toole also up for lead actor prize

An eclectic mix of acting talent ranging from "The Last King of Scotland" co-stars Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy to veteran Peter O'Toole find themselves in the mix for the best actor award at the ninth annual British Independent Film Awards (HR 10/26).

Whitaker, McAvoy and O'Toole ("Venus") will face Cillian Murphy ("The Wind That Shakes the Barley") and Tony Curran ("Red Road") in the race for the acting prize, one of 17 plaudits to be dished out Nov. 29.

Stephen Frears' "The Queen" dominates the main award categories with nominations for best director, British independent film and Helen Mirren's turn in the title role. Other films gathering multiple nominations include "Scotland" and Shane Meadows' "This Is England."

Frears will battle with Kevin Macdonald ("Scotland"), Mi-chael Caton-Jones ("Shooting Dogs"), Meadows and Ken Loach ("Barley") for best director honors.

To secure the best British independent film award, "Queen" will have to reign over Andrea Arnold's "Red Road," "England," "Scotland" and "Barley."

Aiming to beat Mirren to the punch in the best actress category are Robin Wright Penn and Juliette Binoche from Anthony Minghella's "Breaking and Entering," Kate Dickie ("Red Road") and Frances De La Tour ("The History Boys").

Best screenplay will go to Alan Bennett ("History Boys"), Peter Morgan ("Queen"), Hanif Kureishi ("Venus"), Meadows ("England") or Morgan and Jeremy Brock ("Scotland").

A complete list of BIFA nominations is available at www.hollywoodreporter.com.