The musical "Chicago" and Martin Scorsese's violent epic "Gangs of New York" led the field Monday with 12 nominations each for the British Academy Film Awards, known as the BAFTAs.
"The Hours," English director Stephen Daldry's adaptation of American writer Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, received 11 nominations.
The three films will compete as the year's best with "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," which got nine BAFTA nominations, and Roman Polanski's deeply personal Holocaust film "The Pianist," which got seven.
The winners will be named Feb. 23, exactly a month before the Academy Awards.
The directors of those five films were nominated for best director.
The best actor category pits two Britons -- Michael Caine for "The Quiet American" and Daniel Day-Lewis for "Gangs of New York" -- against Nicolas Cage ("Adaptation"), Adrien Brody ("The Pianist") and Jack Nicholson ("About Schmidt").
Last year's best actress Oscar winner, Halle Berry in "Monster's Ball," is a BAFTA nominee this year because the film opened in Britain in 2002. She's up against Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman for "The Hours," Salma Hayek ("Frida") and Renee Zellweger ("Chicago").
Streep also is up for supporting actress honors for "Adaptation." Also nominated were Toni Collette for "About a Boy," Julianne Moore for "The Hours," and Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta-Jones for "Chicago."
Paul Newman ("Road to Perdition") is competing with Chris Cooper ("Adaptation"), Ed Harris ("The Hours"), Alfred Molina ("Frida") and Christopher Walken ("Catch Me if You Can") for best supporting actor.