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Zeta gets Oscar nomination and it's not for her performance in the witness box.

WELSH film star Catherine Zeta Jones is part of the British assault on this year's Oscars, for her role in Chicago.

Daniel Day-Lewis and Michael Caine are also in the running for awards along with director Stephen Daldry for his film The Hours.

Catherine - who yesterday took centre stage in her High Court battle with Hello! magazine - is up for best supporting actress for Chicago, in which she plays ruthless murderess Velma Kelly.

Meanwhile, her co-star Renee Zellweger, who plays Roxie Hart, will compete with Nicole Kidman for best actress.

The Hours got six key nominations, including best director for Daldry and best actress for Kidman.

Day-Lewis and Caine will vie for the best actor award, but face tough competition from movie veteran Jack Nicholson for his role in About Schmidt.

Caine was nominated for the Graham Greene adaptation The Quiet American, while Day-Lewis earned a place for his portrayal of Bill the Butcher in Gangs Of New York.

Three movies dominated the nominations: Chicago, Gangs Of New York and The Hours.

They are all contenders for best film, along with The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers and Roman Polanski's Holocaust saga The Pianist. Chicago led the Oscar race with 13 nominations.

There were also mentions for Queen Latifah (also best supporting actress), John C. Reilly (best supporting actor), and Rob Marshall (best director).

Gangs Of New York, Martin Scorsese's epic about gang warfare in Manhattan, picked up ten nominations. The Hours has nine nominations, including six of the key categories. Daldry now has a second shot at picking up the best director award, having lost out two years ago for Billy Elliot.

Kidman, who plays Virginia Woolf, is up for best actress, Ed Harris for best supporting actor and Julianne Moore for best supporting actress. British scriptwriter David Hare is nominated for best adapted screenplay. The film tells the stories of three women whose lives are interlinked by the works of the famous author. Elsewhere, Hugh Grant's comedy About A Boy is also in the running for the best-adapted screenplay.

U2 could pick up an Oscar for best original song for The Hands That Built America, which features in Gangs Of New York. Veteran Irish actor Peter O'Toole will be awarded this year's honorary Oscar.

But the 70-year-old star has written to the Academy asking if they could defer it until he is 80 to give him a chance of winning the best actor award.

Bookmakers immediately made Jack Nicholson favourite to take homethe best actor award. One notable omission from the list was Richard Gere, who won a best actor Golden Globe for Chicago, but failed to get an Oscars mention.

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DANCING QUEEN: Catherine Zeta Jones as Velma Kelly - the role which won her the Oscar nomination for best supporting actress
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 12, 2003
Words:467
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