LONDON (AP) -- Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Sean Penn and Meryl Streep are among the stars expected in London Sunday for the British Academy Film Awards — Britain's version of the Oscars.

The ceremony draws a large contingent of Hollywood talent alongside the British stars, and has a reputation for predicting who will win at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles in two weeks time.

This year's front-runners for the British awards, popularly known as the BAFTAs, are "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Slumdog Millionaire," with 11 nominations each, including best picture.

Attendees are likely to include Mickey Rourke, Robert Downey Jr., Penelope Cruz, Kristin Scott Thomas and Kate Winslet — twice nominated in the best-actress category, for "Revolutionary Road" and "The Reader."

Winslet has said she would have an acceptance speech ready this time, to avoid a repeat of her now-infamous emotional meltdown at the Golden Globes.

London is experiencing a winter cold snap, and the stars will have a chilly red-carpet walk before the ceremony at the Royal Opera House.

The British awards — officially the Orange British Academy Film Awards — have a reputation for forecasting Oscar trends and upsets. Last year, Marion Cotillard unexpectedly won the best actress prize for "La Vie En Rose." Two weeks later, she took home an Oscar.

Sunday's sentimental favorite is "Slumdog Millionaire," the British-written and -directed underdog drama about a Mumbai street boy. Its nominations include best picture, best actor for 18-year-old Dev Patel and best director for Danny Boyle.

It's competing for best picture against "Benjamin Button," which stars Pitt as a man who ages backwards, political drama "Frost/Nixon," inspirational biopic "Milk" and Nazi-themed drama "The Reader."

In the eclectic category of best British film, the nominees are "Slumdog," ABBA musical "Mamma Mia!" hit-man comedy "In Bruges," Irish hunger-striker drama "Hunger" and tightrope-walking documentary "Man on Wire."

Best actress contenders are Winslet, Jolie for the missing-child drama "Changeling," Streep for the moral thriller "Doubt" and Scott Thomas for the French film "I've Loved You So Long."

The best-actor nominees are Patel for "Slumdog," Penn for "Milk," Frank Langella for "Frost/Nixon," Rourke for "The Wrestler" and Pitt — who also was nominated in the supporting-actor category for the Coen brothers' spy comedy "Burn After Reading."

There are nine nominations for Batman thriller "The Dark Knight," including a best supporting actor nomination for the late Heath Ledger. Clint Eastwood's L.A. noir "Changeling" is nominated in eight categories, including best director.


On the Net: