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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Queen Elizabeth II’s dad, Albert — the gentle, stammering Duke of York — never was meant to be king. And from Hollywood’s early honors this season, a drama based on his life never seemed destined as heir-apparent at the Academy Awards.
Yet “The King’s Speech” took a step closer to the best-picture crown Tuesday, leading the Oscars with 12 nominations and gaining momentum against the online chronicle “The Social Network,” which had previously ruled the awards season.
Hollywood’s top prize on Feb. 27 now seems like a two-picture duel between stories about a monarch who lives in terror of a 1930s tool of mass communication — the radio microphone — and a college kid who helped define the Internet era by inventing Facebook.
Also nominated for best picture are the Western “True Grit,” second with 10 total nominations; the psychosexual thriller “Black Swan”; the boxing drama “The Fighter”; the sci-fi blockbuster “Inception”; the lesbian-family tale “The Kids Are All Right”; the survival story “127 Hours”; the animated smash “Toy Story 3”; and the Ozarks crime thriller “Winter’s Bone.”
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