The 2013 British Academy Film Award nominations were announced this morning at the ungodly hour of 7.30am, and it was a good day to be Lincoln, which gathered most nods with ten. Steven Spielberg's film was closely followed by Life Of Pi and Les Misérables, both with nine nominations, while Skyfall took eight.
After that, Argo had seven nods, Anna Karenina six and there were five apiece for Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained. The Master and Amour both took four nods while Silver Linings Playbook and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (the latter entirely in the technical categories) saw three each.
The Best Film nominees are much as expected: Argo, Life Of Pi, Les Misérables, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty. Of those, only three got a matching Director nomination: Ben Affleck for Argo, Ang Lee for Life Of Pi and Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty. That means that, while Lincoln might have most nominations overall, it may not be the front-runner for the big prizes (though if Daniel Day-Lewis isn't still the front-runner for Best Actor, we'll eat our stovepipe hat).
Best British Film looks like it could be a duel between Les Misérables and Skyfall, but also nominated are last year's breakout hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, gorgeous tragedy Anna Karenina and the not-very-British-feeling Seven Psychopaths.
In the Acting categories, oft-nominated veterans rub shoulders with plucky upstarts. In Actor, it's Day-Lewis and Joaquin Phoenix up against Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck and Hugh Jackman; Actress sees Helen Mirren and Marion Cotillard against Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain and Amour's Emmanuelle Riva. That's a good showing for Silver Linings Playbook, which has generally had more support for acting than in any other field, and it's good to see two foreign language candidates acknowledged for extraordinary turns in Actress.
The Supporting categories see Alan Arkin nominated for, essentially, being Alan Arkin in Argo, and Judi Dench nominated for, essentially, being Judi Dench (albeit brilliantly) in Skyfall. Javier Bardem is up for the same film, while Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams get nods for The Master (welcome acknowledgment for a beautifully played role by Adams that might have been overlooked). As expected, Anne Hathaway gets a nod for Les Misérables, but Supporting Actor also sees love for Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained and Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln - we'd love to see the latter win if only to see how gruff it's possible for an award recipient to be. Sally Field also gets a Lincoln nod, and Helen Hunt is up for The Sessions.
The Screenplay categories saw the only acknowledgement of Beasts Of The Southern Wild and Moonrise Kingdom, while Prometheus, Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises got their sole nominations in the technical categories. Winner of the Most Surprising Film To Appear Anywhere prize is Snow White And The Huntsman, which is up for Best Costume. Then again, given that its costume designer is perennial nominee Colleen Atwood (whose costumes were impressive) even that isn't terribly shocking.
In the other categories, only three films qualify for Best Animated Film this year, two of them stop-motion, which is an impressive ratio but sees the likes of The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists sadly overlooked. But as if to make up for that small field Best Documentary should be a hard-fought category (the excellent Room 237 didn't even get a nomination, such were the embarrassment of documentary riches this year).
Omissions? Well, we might have hoped for more for Beasts Of The Southern Wild, and a British film nod for Berberian Sound Studio or Sightseers would have been a cool choice. BAFTA's choices, overall, feel classy but perhaps a teensy bit staid; still, who knows what surprises the results will bring?
The winners will be announced on February 10 at the Royal Opera House in London. We'll be there with all the news that's fit to print.
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
MAKE UP & HAIR
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
THE EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)