Patriotism staked out its territory on the Bafta barricades this morning, with voters for the British Academy Film Awards sounding battle cries for both Les Miserables, Tom Hooper’s crowdpleasing adaptation of the West End musical, and Skyfall, the critically acclaimed latest outing for James Bond.
Yet despite the pride in homegrown fare, the lion’s share of nominations nonetheless went to Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s biopic of the 16th president, starring Daniel Day-Lewis. That film, which opens in the UK in a fortnight, picked up nods in all the major categories, including best picture, best actor and best supporting actress. Skyfall and Les Miserables also found favour in those fields, as well as in the outstanding British film section; but the sheer number of supporting and technical nominations dished out to Spielberg’s epic pushed it into the lead.
The film therefore heads into the Oscar race (which begins tomorrow when the nominations are announced) as clear frontrunner, topping the bill in both the Baftas and Golden Globes, which take place this Sunday evening.
In the end, Les Miserables shared the second spot with Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, both taking nine nominations. Pi, which has been a surprise box office hit in the UK, came away with recognition for its myriad technical achievements, as well as screenplay, music and direction. Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes, had eight nominations, including best supporting actor for Javier Bardem and best supporting actress for Judi Dench.
Another British candidate that did remarkably well was Anna Karenina, Joe Wright’s adaptation of the Tolstoy novel, which took six nominations, although none for Tom Stoppard’s adapted screenplay.
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