Ex husband and wife James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow to vie for best director Oscar

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Former husband and wife James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow, pictured together at last month's Critics' Choice Awards, are both up for the best director award at this year's Oscars
 © Getty Images

Ampliar

Twenty-four-year-old Brit Carey Mulligan has been nominated in the best actress category for her role in An Education
 

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Duchess of York-produced period drama The Young Victoria earned nods for best makeup, best art direction and best costume 

Sci-fi spectacular Avatar and Iraq war flick The Hurt Locker led the way in this year’s Oscar nominations with nine nods each.

And it's an announcement not without a touch of Hollywood-style drama itself.

That's because Avatar director James Cameron and The Hurt Locker helmer Kathryn Bigelow used to be husband and wife.

The pair were married for two years between 1989 and 1991.

However, it's unlikely their history will lead to fireworks come Oscar night. The two remain close friends and have had nothing but praise for each other during awards season.

“I'm honoured to be in any conversation that includes his name,” said Kathryn, 58, when asked about the possibility of vying for an award with her ex-husband.

The beautiful filmmaker won the first round when her tough drama about Iraq war bomb disposal experts took home the best director and best film prizes at the Critics' Choice Awards on January 15.

But her 55-year-old ex's 3-D epic won in the same categories at the Golden Globes two days later, causing the five-times-married filmmaker to offer some kind words about his former wife in his acceptance speech.

“I thought Kathryn was going to get this. She richly deserves it,” he said.

One thing is for sure: if Point Break helmer Kathryn does beat her three-times-Oscar-winning ex to best director, she will become the first female to lift the award.

Also up for gongs at this year's Academy Awards are English actress Carey Mulligan and Sarah, Duchess of York’s royal biopic, The Young Victoria.

Twenty-four-year-old Carey, who is dating Transformers star Shia LaBeouf, has been nominated in the best actress category for her much-lauded performance in British coming-of-age drama An Education.

Meanwhile The Young Victoria, which Sarah produced alongside legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, is up for gongs for best art direction, best makeup and best costumes.

The Duchess has already spoken about how she'd be thrilled if her film took home one of the famous gold statuettes.

"To win an Oscar… would be a delight and yes, I think I am proud enough of the movie to say that," she has said.

The winners will be announced on March 7.

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