The critically acclaimed film of gay cowboys, Brokeback Mountain has led the pack with eight Oscar nominations, which were announced earlier today.

The film which has wowed audiences across Britain has scored some high profile fans including the Conservative leader, David Cameron.

It scored nominations for Jake Gyllenhaal, best supporting actor, Heath Ledger, best actor and Ang Lee as best director. Michelle Williams was nominated for best supporting actress. The film was also nominated for the prestiguos best picture gong together with nominations for best adapted screenplay, best cinematography and best original score.

Dame Judi Dench scored a nomination for best actress for her role in the camp period drama, Mrs Henderson Presents. Her co-star the singer, Will Young missed out on a best newcomer nomination for his first on screen performance.

The best actress is however, tipped as a two-woman contest between Desperate Housewives Felicity Huffman in a gender-bending role as a man about to undergo sex-change surgery in Transamerica and Reese Witherspoon as singer June Carter, Cash’s musical companion and future wife, in Walk the Line.

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s role in Capote has been nominated for the best actor gong where he will go head to head with Heath Ledger. Mr Hoffman’s portrayal of the gay writer, Truman Capote, has earned him further accolades as one of America’s finest film and stage actors.

The most surprising nomination was Keira Knightley for Pride Prejudice.

The full list of nominations are as follows:-

1. Best Picture: “Brokeback Mountain,” “Capote,” “Crash,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “Munich.”

2. Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Capote”; Terrence Howard, “Hustle Flow”; Heath Ledger, “Brokeback Mountain”; Joaquin Phoenix, “Walk the Line”; David Strathairn, “Good Night, and Good Luck.”

3. Actress: Judi Dench, “Mrs. Henderson Presents”; Felicity Huffman, “Transamerica”; Keira Knightley, “Pride Prejudice”; Charlize Theron, “North Country”; Reese Witherspoon, “Walk the Line.”

4. Supporting Actor: George Clooney, “Syriana”; Matt Dillon, “Crash”; Paul Giamatti, “Cinderella Man”; Jake Gyllenhaal, “Brokeback Mountain”; William Hurt, “A History of Violence.”

5. Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, “Junebug”; Catherine Keener, “Capote”; Frances McDormand, “North Country”; Rachel Weisz, “The Constant Gardener”; Michelle Williams, “Brokeback Mountain.”

6. Director: Ang Lee, “Brokeback Mountain”; Bennett Miller, “Capote”; Paul Haggis, “Crash”; George Clooney, “Good Night, and Good Luck.”; Steven Spielberg, “Munich.”

7. Foreign Film: “Don’t Tell,” Italy; “Joyeux Noel,” France; “Paradise Now,” Palestine; “Sophie Scholl – The Final Days,” Germany; “Tsotsi,” South Africa.

8. Adapted Screenplay: Larry McMurtry Diana Ossana, “Brokeback Mountain”; Dan Futterman, “Capote”; Jeffrey Caine, “The Constant Gardener”; Josh Olson, “A History of Violence”; Tony Kushner and Eric Roth, “Munich.”

9. Original Screenplay: Paul Haggis Bobby Moresco, “Crash”; George Clooney Grant Heslov, “Good Night, and Good Luck.”; Woody Allen, “Match Point”; Noah Baumbach, “The Squid and the Whale”; Stephen Gaghan, “Syriana.”

10. Animated Feature Film: “Howl’s Moving Castle”; “Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride”; “Wallace Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit.”

11. Art Direction: “Good Night, and Good Luck.,” “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “King Kong,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Pride Prejudice.”

12. Cinematography: “Batman Begins,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Good Night, and Good Luck.,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “The New World.”

13. Sound Mixing: “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “King Kong,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Walk the Line,” “War of the Worlds.”

14. Sound Editing: “King Kong,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “War of the Worlds.”

15. Original Score: “Brokeback Mountain,” Gustavo Santaolalla; “The Constant Gardener,” Alberto Iglesias; “Memoirs of a Geisha,” John Williams; “Munich,” John Williams; “Pride Prejudice,” Dario Marianelli.

16. Original Song: “In the Deep” from “Crash,” Kathleen “Bird” York and Michael Becker; “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from “Hustle Flow,” Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard; “Travelin’ Thru” from “Transamerica,” Dolly Parton.

17. Costume: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” “Pride Prejudice,” “Walk the Line.”

18. Documentary Feature: “Darwin’s Nightmare,” “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” “March of the Penguins,” “Murderball,” “Street Fight.”

19. Documentary (short subject): “The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club,” “God Sleeps in Rwanda,” “The Mushroom Club,” “A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin.”

20. Film Editing: “Cinderella Man,” “The Constant Gardener,” “Crash,” “Munich,” “Walk the Line.”

21. Makeup: “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Cinderella Man,” “Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.”

22. Animated Short Film: “Badgered,” “The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation,” “The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello,” “9,” “One Man Band.”

23. Live Action Short Film: “Ausreisser (The Runaway),” “Cashback,” “The Last Farm,” “Our Time Is Up,” “Six Shooter.”

24. Visual Effects: “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “King Kong,” “War of the Worlds.”

Academy Award winners previously announced this year:-

Honorary Award (Oscar statuette): Robert Altman.

The Gordon E. Sawyer award (Oscar statuette): Gary Demos.