Bill Nighy will carry British hopes at the Oscars after earning his first ever nomination for Best Actor aged 73.
The star of Love Actually has been commended for his performance in the 2022 drama Living, and his nomination is the first time he has been recognized by the Academy despite enjoying an acting career spanning half a century.
Nighy now stands to win one of the most coveted prizes for an actor, and he could become one of the oldest stars ever to win the award.
In a statement released following the announcement of nominations yesterday, he said: "Everyone associated with Living is honoured by the Academy's nomination and grateful for the spotlight it throws upon the film.
"We hope it will encourage people to see it. I was surrounded by assassins and this belongs to them all."
Living follows a drab civil servant, played by Nighy, as he begins to embrace life following an unpleasant diagnosis. The screenplay for the film was written by British Nobel Prize-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, and is ultimately based on a short-story by Leo Tolstoy.
Should Nighy be named best actor at the glamorous Oscars ceremony set to take place on March 28, it will mark his first major awards win since he was recognised by Bafta in 2004 for his comic role in Love Actually.
It would also make him among the oldest stars ever to claim the prize. Anthony Hopkins won the award for his performance in The Father in 2020 aged 83 while Henry Fonda won for On Golden Pond in 1981 aged 76.
Nighy would supplant John Wayne, who in 1969 for True Grit, as the third-oldest Oscar winner in the Best Actor category. His Oscar nomination for the 2023 awards comes just days after once again being nominated by Bafta for the same film.
The Surrey-born actor who studied with the Guildford School of Acting and began his career on the stage will be among a limited crop of British acting talent at the 95th annual Academy Awards, which could stand to be a successful night for Irish stars.
In the Best Actor category with Nighy is Irish leading man Colin Farrell, nominated for his role in Banshees of Inisherin, along with fellow Irishman Paul Mescal for his performance in the British drama Aftersun.
Irish actors Brendon Gleeson and Barry Keoghan have also been named together in the Best Supporting actor category for the same film, Banshees of Inisherin, and its British-Irish creator Martin McDonagh is in the running for Best Director.
Kerry Condon has also been nominated for Best Supporting Actress for the film, which has earned nine nominations across the Academy Awards, including for Best Picture.
The production, which counts as a British film, is among the best hopes for UK Oscars success, along with Living, which has also earned a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. The Swedish film Triangle of Sadness, up for three key awards, also counts as a British co-production.
The films will be in competition with US sci-fi release Everything, Everywhere, All At Once which leads the way on nominations with 11, while German anti-war epic All Quiet on the Western Front has also earned nine.