'Lincoln,' 'Argo' face off for Britain's Oscars
George Clooney, left, and Ben Affleck arrive for the BAFTA Film Awards at the Royal Opera House on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, in London. (Photo by Ki Price/Invision/AP)
LONDON (AP) — Hollywood stars squelched up a soggy red carpet Sunday at the British Academy Film Awards, which pitted presidential biopic "Lincoln" against epic musical "Les Miserables" and Iran hostage crisis drama "Argo."
Steven Spielberg's stately historical drama about slavery-abolishing U.S. President Abraham Lincoln has 10 nominations at Britain's equivalent of the Oscars, including best picture and best actor, for Daniel Day-Lewis — though no directing nomination for Spielberg.
British-made favorite "Les Miserables" and Ang Lee's magical realist journey "Life of Pi" received nine nominations each. James Bond adventure "Skyfall" got eight and "Argo" seven.
"Skyfall," the highest-grossing film in the Bond series' 50-year history, was named best British film — rare awards-season recognition for an action movie. Thomas Newman's score also won the best-music prize.
Laura Whitmore arrives for the BAFTA Film Awards at the Royal Opera House on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, in London. (Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP))
Director Sam Mendes said he was accepting the trophy on behalf of the "1,292 people" who worked on "Skyfall."
"We all had high expectations for this film and it's fair to say all of them have been exceeded," Mendes said. "Here's to the next 50 years."
The early prizes were shared widely, with "Les Mis" taking trophies for sound and makeup/hair, "Argo" winning the editing prize and "Life of Pi" receiving the honor for cinematography.
Quentin Tarantino picked up the original screenplay award for "Django Unchained," and Christoph Waltz was named best supporting actor for playing a loquacious bounty hunter in Tarantino's slave-revenge thriller.
Waltz said his victory was entirely due to Tarantino — "you silver-penned devil, you."