Timing doesn’t get any better than this. Just two days before it’s released in cinemas, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave nabbed a total of ten nominations from BAFTA this morning. Just what you need to put bums on seats.
Not that it’s in the lead. David O Russell’s American Hustle also received ten – if there was a category for Film Title Rhyming With Director’s Name, it would have been a shoo-in – with Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity nudging ahead of the pack on eleven. Other main contenders were Captain Phillips, Rush, The Wolf Of Wall Street and Philomena.
In the main categories, Robert Redford was overlooked again as Best Actor, with Bruce Dern, Tom Hanks, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale making the final cut. And, despite her Golden Globe nomination, Meryl Streep was nowhere to be seen among the Best Actress contenders, who were Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench, Amy Adams and Emma Thompson.
The Supporting Actress category didn’t include June Squibb’s feisty performance in Nebraska, but Jennifer Lawrence, Oprah Winfrey, Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) and Julia Roberts (August:Osage County) are all there, alongside newcomer Lupita Nyong’o, who is also in the running for the Rising Star Award.
There is one film, however, that’s noticeable by its complete absence. Dallas Buyers Club would have been expected to get at least one nomination – Jared Leto for Best Supporting Actor. He’s currently looking the most likely winner for the Golden Globes on Sunday, but he’s nowhere to be seen at BAFTA, losing out to his main rival, Michael Fassbender, as well as Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips), Bradley Cooper, Daniel Bruhl and Matt Damon. Matthew McConaughey’s out in the cold as far as Best Actor BAFTA is concerned, so whether he gets the same treatment from the American Academy next Thursday remains to be seen.
The Best Film category lines up with the usual suspects but the Best Director nominations don’t quite match up, with Martin Scorsese nudging out Stephen Frears. Gravity also makes it onto the list for Outstanding British Film – this is, after all, the British Academy – as does Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant. And tucked away in the Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director or Producer category is a nomination for the writers of the joyous Good Vibrations.
The full list of nominees can be found on the BAFTA website, www.bafta.org and the awards will be presented on Sunday, 16 February.