GEORGE Clooney has landed a fourth Oscar nomination for his acclaimed performance as a tormented 12th Century court jester.
In Timothy Claypole, Clooney plays the mischevious fool who is given a second chance at life and love when he joins a suburban ghost rental business.
Clooney said last night: “Beneath the gadzooks and the ods bodkins, ‘Claypole’ is a film about how ghost renting lost its way after Watergate.”
But the heart-throb faces stiff competition in the best actor category from Daniel Day Lewis, who delivers a completely unnecessary performance in the hot beverage epic There Will Be Tea.
Day Lewis plays a very young and a very old Earl Grey as he strives to build the biggest tea bag the world has ever seen.
The hottest British hope is Allotment starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. The film follows two rivals over 30 years as they battle for supremacy in the rented vegetable plots of post-war Derby.
Knightley gets a best actress nod for her role as Albert Simms, a five-time brocolli champion who refuses to grow spinach but won’t say why.
Meanwhile McAvoy was completely ignored for his spirited performance as Annabel Croft, a young schoolteacher who scandalises her fellow allotmentmen with her use of canes.
Australian sex-horse Cate Blanchett picks up two nominations for her performance as Bob Dylan’s feet in the avant-garde biopic I’m Not In, and a third nomination for her portrayal of Elizabeth in Elizabeth: The Elizabeth Years.
Other Oscar tips include the Coen Brothers’ No John Goodmans for Old Men, the moving French film, My Left Eyelid, about a man who blinks his way across the English Channel, and the stark, brooding western, The Assassination of Dermot Murnaghan by the Coward Nicholas Witchell.