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Actress Helena Bonham Carter will be awarded the highest honour from Britain’s leading film critics - the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film.

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Previous winners include Dirk Bogarde, Richard Attenborough, Julie Walters, Judi Dench, Nicolas Roeg, Quentin Tarantino and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Bonham Carter, who is married to director Tim Burton, made her entrance to cinema with 1985’s A Room With a View.

She starred in period dramas including Howard’s End, Frankenstein and The Wings of a Dove, the latter gaining the actress her first Oscar nomination as well as the Critics’ Circle award for 1998’s British Actress of the Year.

Other films include Fight Club and the Harry Potter series, where she played the role of Bellatrix Lestrange.

In 2011 Bonham Carter was nominated for an Oscar for The King’s Speech. Her most recent films include Great Expectations, out now and in which she plays Miss Havisham, and January’s anticipated release Les Miserables.

Bonham Carter said: “To be chosen for this award is a surprise and an honour. I am delighted. It’s always nice when critics say something nice about you for a change, and especially the critics in your hometown.”

Chair of The Critics’ Circle Film Awards, Rich Cline, said: “Helena Bonham Carter is an undisputed star of British cinema and one the Critics’ Circle is absolutely delighted to honour.

“Her filmography is packed with iconic, offbeat characters, each of which she invests with an unusual spark of humanity.

“She regularly receives nods from the Critics’ Circle Film Award, most recently with two nominations in 2010, for The King’s Speech and Alice in Wonderland.

“And she gave three unforgettable film performances this past year.”

The Dilys Powell Award will be presented to Bonham Carter at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards on January 20 at the May Fair Hotel.

The 33rd annual edition of the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards will be held in aid of their charity partner Missing People, a 24/7 lifeline when someone disappears.

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