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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Fish Tank' leads BIFA noms | 'Up in the Air' no more: Vera Farmiga supporting | Keira Knightley is new 'Fair Lady'

October 26, 2009 |  1:28 pm

Fish Tank poster"Fish Tank" leads at the 12th annual British Independent Film Awards with eight bids including a best picture nod. For that top prize, the film -- set to be released stateside in January -- faces off against "Moon," which has seven noms in all, as well as "An Education," "In the Loop," and "Nowhere Boy," each of which have six. Possible Oscar contenders Carey Mulligan ("An Education") and Abbie Cornish ("Bright Star") are both in the best actress race. Daniel Day-Lewis will be feted with the Richard Harris award for outstanding contribution to British film at the Dec. 6 ceremony in London hosted by actor James Nesbitt. BIFA

Dave Karger confirms that Vera Farmiga will travel the supporting route for her role in "Up in the Air." Says Dave, "Even though it’s not ideal to have multiple contenders from the same film in one category, it’s certainly the right decision in this case. I haven’t counted their minutes of screen time, but having seen the movie twice now, Farmiga’s role seems smaller than (Anne) Kendrick’s; there are patches of the film where she doesn’t appear at all." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

My Fair Lady Keira Knightley is reuniting with helmer Joe Wright for the long-talked-about remake of 1964 best pic winner "My Fair Lady." Knightley -- who landed her only Oscar nod under Wright's direction for "Pride and Prejudice" -- edged out Scarlett Johansson for the plum part of Eliza Doolittle. Forty-five years ago, original Broadway leading lady Julie Andrews was denied the chance to recreate the role of the Cockney flowergirl turned society belle on-screen. Andrews had her revenge when she won that year's lead actress Oscar for "Mary Poppins" while her celluloid replacement -- Audrey Hepburn -- wasn't even nominated. DAILY TELEGRAPH

Steve Pond does the math and finds that Oscarcast producer has been a solo act for 51 of the 56 years that the show has aired on TV. This year's dynamic duo -- Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman -- are only the fifth pair to produce the proceedings. Says Pond, "In the review process that followed the last Oscar show, (Bill) Condon and (Laurence) Mark strongly recommended the dual-producer setup, which had been tried a few times in the preceding decade. And just as they did when the pair recommended expanding the best-picture slate, the Academy listened." THE ODDS

Little Miss Sunshine 2006 best pic contender "Little Miss Sunshine" is being turned into a tuner. Two-time Tony champ William Finn ("Falsettos") has done the score with a book by three-time Tony winner James Lapine ("Sunday in the Park With George," "Passion") who is also helming the workshop this week and next at the Sundance White Oak Lab in Yulee, Fla. Tony nominees Craig Bierko and Sherie Rene Scott head up the cast with Tony champ Dick Latessa ("Hairspray") in the role that won Alan Arkin the supporting actor Oscar. PLAYBILL

• Our pal Thelma Adams dishes with Uma Thurman about her new comedy "Motherhood." In this revealing conversation, the Golden Globe winner talked to Thelma about how parenting has changed her, her struggle to forgive herself for not always getting it right, and the disastrous brown sugar incident at one party she threw for her son Levon.  iVILLAGE

• Surveying the field of this year's crop of best actress contenders, film critic Alonso Duralde bemoans the drought conditions. As he notes, "In a typical year packed with noteworthy female performances, Swank’s relatively perfunctory work in “Amelia” (a film she also executive-produced) might get a snub from the Academy, but with 2009 looking like one of the leanest years in memory for leading actresses, Swank may wind up squeezing her way into Oscar’s five finalists." MSNBC

• Pop Candy columnist Whitney Matheson details her lively Q&A with "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner at the recent Austin Film Festival. The Emmy winner muses about the the third season storylines, the battle of the sexes, the woes of casting children, and the nature of period drama. USA TODAY

• Emmy winning director and choreographer Kenny Ortega ("High School Musical") has cut loose from the remake of "Footloose." Variety reports that the split came over the budget and tone of this revamp scripted by Oscar nominee Susannah Grant ("Erin Brockovich"). No word on who will be helming though filming with Chace Crawford and Julianne Hough is still set for next March. VARIETY

Photographs (top to bottom): IFC Films, Warner Bros., Fox Searchlight

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