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Oscar Countdown: Preview to the 83rd Annual Academy Awards

Photo Courtesy - Jamie McCarthy/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Will the cast and crew of The King's Speech deliver a victory speech at the Oscars? The story of how England's King George VI overcame his stutter with the help of a speech therapist is widely considered to be the favorite to win the best picture category at the 83rd Academy Awards in Hollywood. The King's Speech leads all films with 12 nominations, including acting nods for Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.

The King's Speech's chief rivals in the best picture category appear to be True Grit, which has 10 nominations overall; The Social Network, which has eight nominations; and The Fighter, which has seven nominations.

Many critics believe Colin Firth is a shoo-in to win the best actor Oscar for his portrayal of King George VI in The King's Speech. The other nominees are Jesse Eisenberg, nominated for The Social Network; James Franco, for 127 Hours; Javier Bardem, for the Spanish-language film Biutiful; and Jeff Bridges, for True Grit.

Natalie Portman is a favorite to win the best actress Oscar for her role as a ballerina descending into madness in Black Swan. She'll oppose Annette Bening, who's nominated for The Kids Are All Right; Nicole Kidman, for Rabbit Hole; Jennifer Lawrence, for Winter's Bone; and Michelle Williams, for Blue Valentine.

The Fighter star Christian Bale and The King's Speech star Geoffrey Rush seem to be drawing the most attention among the best supporting actor nominees. The best supporting actress category includes two more Fighter stars -- Amy Adams and Melissa Leo -- as well as 14-year-old True Grit star Hailee Steinfeld.

Oscar nominee James Franco will join Anne Hathaway as co-host of the Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. ABC will air the ceremony live on Sunday, beginning 8 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. PT. A red carpet special -- hosted by Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, Project Runway's Tim Gunn, Maria Menounos and Vanity Fair West Coast editor Krista Smith -- will air an hour before the big show.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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