With the Golden Globes last week, the awards season is officially underway and just after we had the Hollywood Foreign Press Association winners, this year's BAFTA nominations were announced. The highlight of our film industry year, the British Academy Film Awards are often the big indicator for the Oscars themselves but usually come with a focus on more homegrown talent.
This year though, it is the French film The Artist that is leading the way with 12 nominations, closely followed by the film that stars seemingly every British actor bar Alan Rickman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with 11. Martin Scorsese's Hugo has 9 while My Week With Marilyn has 6 nominations and then there is War Horse and The Help each with 5. The jewel in the crown of recent British cinema, Harry Potter's final installment, The Deathly Hallows - Part 2, is tying with Margaret 'The Iron Lady' Thatcher and Ryan Gosling's hammer-wielding wheelman in Drive with 4 nominations each. While going with the usual artsy awards-bait films, it's refreshing to see that hits like Kristen Wiig's Bridesmaids and more indie fare like John McDonaugh's The Guard have received screenplay nominations while Paddy Considine's directing debut Tyrannosaur also gets a look in.
The only award voted for by the public, the Orange Wednesday Rising Star BAFTA is looking like it's going to be the most hotly contested of the acting awards this year (let's face it, if Meryl Streep doesn't walk away with the Leading Actress gong, reality will likely fall in on itself). Previously won by such luminaries as Bond girl Eva Green, upcoming Batman baddie Tom Hardy and Professor X himself, James McAvoy, you can usually expect the Rising Star to also be The Next Big Thing.
The two major names in the nominations are Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, replaying the brotherly battle of this year's Thor in which Hemsworth's Nordic superhero defeated Hiddleston's Loki. Chris O'Dowd has always impressed in the IT Crowd and has gone on to do so with Bridesmaids while Eddie Redmayne's profile is slowly increasing after My Week With Marilyn and television work such as the upcoming Birdsong. Adam Deacon is probably the lesser known name on the list but has given excellent performances in previous Rising Star Noel Clarke's Kidulthood and its follow-up Adulthood.
The British Academy Film Awards will be held at the Royal Opera House in London on February 12. If you're a film awards nut like me, you can view the full list of nominations here.
Whilst I sadly won't be attending the awards ceremony (I'm assured the Assorted Buffery invitation was lost in the post…), I'll be writing up my review of the night and bringing you all the glitz, glamour, and extraordinarily lengthy thank-you speeches after the event itself!