The Shape Of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Darkest Hour, lead the race for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ movie awards, regarded as a bellwether for the Oscars.
The Shape Of Water received 12 nominations, the most of any film, including the coveted best film award. Guillermo del Toro is nominated for both director and original screenplay, Sally Hawkins for leading actress and Octavia Spencer for supporting actress.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Darkest Hour landed nine nominations apiece. The former is up for best film and Frances McDormand for leading actress. Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson both received nominations for supporting actor. Martin McDonagh is nominated for both director and original screenplay.
As expected, veteran British actor Gary Oldman, widely considered the front-runner for the Oscar, is one of the leading-actor nominees for his performance in Darkest Hour.
Oldman won a Golden Globe award on Jan 7 for his acclaimed portrayal of wartime leader Winston Churchill. Darkest Hour also received nominations for best film and for Kristin Scott Thomas in the supporting-actress category.
The leading-actress nominees are Annette Bening for Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool, Frances McDormand for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Margot Robbie for I, Tonya, Sally Hawkins for The Shape Of Water, and Saoirse Ronan for Lady Bird. All except Bening had received Golden Globe nominations as well.
The leading actor category also reflected the awards buzz already out there. Besides Oldman, the nominees are Daniel Day-Lewis for Phantom Thread, Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out, Jamie Bell for Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool, and Timothee Chalamet for Call Me By Your Name.
Although the BAFTAs, like the Academy Awards, consider all English-language films, not just those made in Britain, British films often figure more prominently in BAFTA’s nominations than at the Globes or the Oscars. Darkest Hour and Dunkirk were richly recognised with nine and eight nominations, respectively. Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool and Paddington 2, neither of which made much impression at the Globes, both received three nominations.
The nominations were unveiled on Jan 9 at BAFTA’s Piccadilly headquarters in London by Natalie Dormer (Game Of Thrones) and Letitia Wright (Black Panther) and were live-streamed on Facebook.
British actor Joanna Lumley, best known for Absolutely Fabulous, was named as the new host of the awards, replacing longtime emcee Stephen Fry, who has stepped down after doing the honours a dozen times. Lumley said she accepted the invitation to host “indecently quickly.”
The EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony takes place on Feb 18 at London’s Royal Albert Hall. – Reuters