Cate Blanchett aiming for 'grand slam' at Oscars

AUSSIE star Cate Blanchett is the bookies' favourites to take home the Best Actress Oscar this weekend.

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After winning the Best Actress award for her role in Blue Jasmine at the Baftas, Golden Globes, Screen Actors' Guild - as well as the Australian Academy Cinema and Television Arts Award - she is now competing against Amy Adams, Sandra Bullock, Dame Judi Dench and Meryl Streep for the biggest prize of all tomorrow night.

Another massive favourite is outer space drama Gravity. The film, which is up for 10 Oscars, was a controversial winner at the Baftas, where it was named outstanding British film, but director Alfonso Cuaron has no doubt about its origins.

Accepting his best director award, beating the much-fancied 12 Years A Slave film-maker Steve McQueen in the process, Cuaron said: "You cannot tell from my accent, but I consider myself a part of the British film industry".

Speaking backstage, London-based Cuaron said the film had "all the requirements" for a British film according to Bafta and British Film Institute (BFI) criteria.

"Except for a couple of Mexicans that came here - legally - and a couple of American stars, this is a film that was completely shot in this country, developed in this country, and made using cutting edge technology developed by UK artists."

In what will be the 86th Academy Awards, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, Gravity and American Hustle lead the field with 10 nominations each.

British hopefuls at the biggest night in the movie world include 12 Years A Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor for best actor and Steve McQueen for best director.

Other high-profile British nominees include past Oscar winners Christian Bale and Dame Judi Dench, who are nominated for their performances in American Hustle and Philomena.

Sally Hawkins is another British hopeful up for an award in the best supporting actor category for the Woody Allen film Blue Jasmine, but she faces tough competition from Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle, Lupita Nyong'o for 12 Years A Slave, Julia Roberts for August: Osage County and June Squibb for Nebraska.

Disney has yet to win the Oscar for best animated feature, a category created in 2002. But that could change on Sunday as the studio's hit Frozen is the favorite in a race that has become as diverse as Hollywood's animation industry.

It will compete for Oscar gold with The Croods, Despicable Me 2 and The Lego Movie.

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