Gravity leads Bafta nominations

Alfonso Cuaron’s space thriller “Gravity” scored 11 nominations for the British Academy Film and TV Awards (BAFTA), including for film, actress for Sandra Bullock, director for Cuaron and screenplay for Cuaron and his son, Jonas. It’s worth noting that Gravity is actually a British Film.

Meanwhile, Steve McQueen’s “12 Years A Slave” and David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” received 10 nominations each, followed by Paul Greengrass’ “Captain Phillips” with nine nods.

All the aforementioned movies will be competing in the best film category, alongside “Philomena,” and their directors will be facing Martin Scorsese for “The Wolf of Wall Street” in the best director category. All five directors are also nominated for the Directors Guild of America award.

Surprisingly, Robert Redford (All Is Lost) and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club), who are considered solid Oscar contenders, are missing in the lead actor category, which included Bruce Dern for “Nebraska,” Chiwetel Ejiofor for “12 Years A Slave,” Britain’s Christian Bale for “American Hustle,” Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Tom Hanks for “Captain Phillips.”

The omission of Jared Leto for “Dallas Buyers Club” in the supporting actor list was also surprising. This category features Matt Damon for “Behind the Candelabra,” which, unlike in the US, was released theatrically in the UK, Michael Fassbender for “12 Years A Slave,” Barkhad Abdi for “Captain Phillips,” Daniel Bruhl for “Rush,” and Bradley Cooper for “American Hustle.”

In the lead actress competition, Bullock is joined by Amy Adams for “American Hustle,” Cate Blanchett for “Blue Jasmine,” Emma Thompson for “Saving Mr. Banks” and Judie Dench for “Philomena.” Notably absent was Meryl Streep for “August: Osage County.”

Nominated for supporting actress were Jennifer Lawrence for “American Hustle,” Julia Roberts for “August: Osage County,” Lupita Nyong’o for “12 Years A Slave,” Oprah Winfrey for “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” and Sally Hawkins for “Blue Jasmine.”

Competing for the best foreign language movie BAFTA are Indonesia’s “The Act of Killing,” France’s “Blue is the Warmest Colour,” Italy’s “The Great Beauty,” the Philippines set British film “Metro Manila” and Saudi Arabia’s “Wadjda.”

The BAFTA doesn’t have the accuracy of predicting the Oscars as the Hollywood Guilds, in spite of some overlapping of membership between the academies on both sides of the pond.  Frankly, there are hardly any surprises in BAFTA’s nominations and apart from the odd oversight, they invariably seem to correlate with the preceding nominations announcements of other organisations, so whatever difference they make, it’s likely to be imperceptible.

The BAFTAs will handed out on 16th February at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.