‘Gravity,’ ’12 Years a Slave,’ ‘American Hustle’ Lead BAFTA Nominations
Britain’s top film awards may look a lot like their U.S. counterparts this year, with Oscar frontrunners “12 Years a Slave,” “Gravity” and “American Hustle” picking up numerous nominations for the 2014 EE British Academy Film Awards.
In nominations announced by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) on Wednesday morning in London, Steve McQueen’s searing pre-Civil-War drama will compete for Best Film with Alfonso Cuaron’s spectacular space adventure and David O. Russell’s Abscam-inspired caper film.
Other nominees in the category are Paul Greengrass’ “Captain Phillips” and Stephen Frears’ “Philomena.”
“Gravity” and “Philomena” also qualified in the Best British Film category, where they will be competing against “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” “Rush,” “Saving Mr. Banks” and “The Selfish Giant.”
“Gravity” led all films with 11 nominations, followed by “12 Years a Slave” and “American Hustle” with 10 and “Captain Phillips” with nine. “Saving Mr. Banks” and Steven Soderbergh’s “Behind the Candelabra,” an HBO movie in the United States that debuted as a theatrical release in the UK, received five each.
BAFTA voters chose the same five directors that the Directors Guild of America voters did on Tuesday: McQueen, Cuaron, Russell, Greengrass and Martin Scorsese for “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
In the acting categories, most of the Oscar favorites landed nominations, though Robert Redford (“All Is Lost”) and Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club”) were passed over for Leading Actor in favor of Christian Bale in “American Hustle,” Bruce Dern in “Nebraska,” Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave” and Tom Hanks in “Captain Phillips.”
For Leading Actress, the biggest surprise was that Amy Adams was nominated for “American Hustle” but Meryl Streep was not for “August: Osage County.” Other nominees in the category were Emma Thompson for “Saving Mr. Banks,” Judi Dench for “Philomena,” Sandra Bullock for “Gravity” and Cate Blanchett for “Blue Jasmine.”
Supporting nominees included Daniel Bruhl for “Rush,” Barkhad Abdi for “Captain Phillips,” Matt Damon for “Behind the Candelabra,” Sally Hawkins for “Blue Jasmine” and Oprah Winfrey for “The Butler” — but not Tom Hanks for “Saving Mr. Banks,” Jared Leto for “Dallas Buyers Club” or June Squibb for “Nebraska.”
The absence of “Dallas Buyers Club” from the nominations led some to assume that it was not eligible because it doesn’t open in the UK until February — but films that debut before the BAFTA ceremony are eligible, and voters reportedly did have screeners of the film.
Other surprises in the nominations: “Gravity” received a screenplay nod, something it didn’t get from the Writers Guild, while the documentary “The Act of Killing” was not just nominated in the doc category, but also as Best Film Not in the English Language.
On Monday, BAFTA announced that the nominees for its EE Rising Star Award were Dane DeHaan, George MacKay, Lupita Nyong’o, Will Poulter and Lea Seydoux.