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“The whole thing is kind of surreal for me,” Jackman said. “I grew up idolizing many of the actors in my category.”

After a strong British flavor to the Oscars over the past few years, Day-Lewis was the only U.K. acting nominee, although Adele was a finalist for her “Skyfall” theme song. The British singer tweeted her delight: “Oh my god I feel like Meryl Streep!! Thank you.”

The other foreign-language nominees are 18th-century court saga “A Royal Affair” by Denmark’s Nikolaj Arcel; child soldier drama “War Witch” by Canada’s Kim Nguyen; seafaring adventure “Kon-Tiki” by Norway’s Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg; and “No” by Chile’s Pablo Larrain.

“No” tells the story of a Chilean ad agency that helped to oust dictator Augusto Pinochet through a clever marketing campaign around a 1988 referendum. The film, starring Gael Garcia Bernal, was a surprise hit at Cannes and has since gathered accolades around the world.

Larrain said it struck a chord because it told an unusual story.

“Dictators are not usually ousted through democratic elections and this is a profoundly human story, which is resolved through things that have to do more with beauty than with horror,” he said.

“A Royal Affair” is a tale of love and intrigue centered on the triangle of an ailing Danish king, his queen and the monarch’s forward-thinking physician, played by former Bond villain Mads Mikkelsen.

Director Arcel said the nomination made Thursday “one of the most exciting days in my life and career.”

“Kon-Tiki” recreates explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s audacious 1947 journey across the Pacific Ocean on a balsa-wood raft. The 101-day trip was designed to prove that South Americans could have settled Polynesia in pre-Columbus times.

The $16 million budget makes it one of the most expensive Norwegian movies ever made.

Roenning said being nominated for an Oscar was “totally unreal.”

“My agent rang, and I howled and woke up the whole hotel,” Roenning told Norwegian broadcaster NRK by phone from Los Angeles.

Directed by Montreal-born Nguyen, “War Witch” _ known as “Rebelle” in French _ follows a 12-year-old girl abducted by a rebel army. It was filmed in Congo with a partly non-professional cast but set amid an unspecified conflict.

Its teenage star, Rachel Mwanza _ who formerly lived on the streets of Kinshasa _ won acting prizes at the Berlin and Tribeca film festivals.

Nguyen said that the Oscar nomination for “War Witch” was “a great privilege and an honor” _ and a rare piece of good news for war-ravaged Congo.

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