The London Film Critics Circle, which this year moved its awards a few weeks earlier so as not to become an awards-season afterthought, has given Tomas Alfredson's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive the most nominations for its 32nd annual Film Awards.

Both films received six nominations, including Film of the Year, where they will be competing with The Artist, A Separation and The Tree of Life.

In the British Film of the Year category, Tinker, Tailor was nominated along with The Guard, Kill List, Shame and We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Director of the Year nominees are Refn, Asghar Farhadi for A Separation, Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist, Terrence Malick for The Tree of Life and Lynne Ramsay for We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Acting nominations went to a combination of performers in the thick of the Oscar race (George Clooney for The Descendants, Jean Dujardin for The Artist, Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady, Michelle Williams for My Week With Marilyn) and those who have been overlooked in the stateside awards so far: Gary Oldman in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Anna Paquin in Margaret, Michael Smiley in Kill List.

The awards are voted by more than 120 critics, broadcasters and writers from the UK, and will be given out at a ceremony in London on January 19. In previous years, they have been given out at a ceremony in mid-February, long after all the other critics groups have announced their winners.