Fassbender, O'Dowd and the guard boost Irish hopes for BAFTA glory
IRISH actors Michael Fassbender and Chris O'Dowd and the smash hit film The Guard have been named on this year's Bafta Awards nominations list.
O'Dowd has been nominated for the The Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award while John Michael McDonagh was named among the hopefuls for Best Original Screenplay for The Guard.
Fassbender is up for leading actor for Shame, the movie about sex addiction.
Meryl Streep's portrayal of Margaret Thatcher and Michelle Williams's role as Marilyn Monroe have put them head-to-head in the best actress category.
Tilda Swinton is also up for the award for her part in We Need To Talk About Kevin, alongside Viola Davis for The Help and Berenice Bejo for surprise hit The Artist.
Streep has already won a Golden Globe for her role in The Iron Lady, and is tipped for an Oscar.
Silent film The Artist has scooped the largest number of nominations for the Orange British Academy Film Awards, with 12.
Cold War thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy follows with 11, including a leading actor nod for Gary Oldman.
His rivals at the awards, the biggest event in the British film calendar, include heartthrobs Brad Pitt for Moneyball and George Clooney for The Descendants.
Hugo, Martin Scorsese's first children's film, has nine nominations, including one for best director.
My Week With Marilyn has six nominations and The Help and War Horse are each nominated five times.
Nominations were announced this morning and the prizes will be awarded at a ceremony at London's Royal Opera House on February 12.
They are considered an important indicator of prospects at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles two weeks later.