Lincoln front runner for Bafta awards

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 6:41pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 6:52pm


Historical biopic Lincoln leads the race for the British Academy Film Awards, with 10 nominations including best picture at the UK equivalent of the Oscars.

Epic musical Les Miserables and boy-meets-tiger saga Life of Pi received nine nominations each. James Bond adventure Skyfall got eight – rare awards recognition for an action movie – and Iran hostage thriller Argo took seven.

Lincoln focuses on the last months in the life of US president Abraham Lincoln, as he struggled to end the American civil war and pass a constitutional amendment banning slavery.

Britain’s Daniel Day-Lewis is nominated for leading actor for his uncanny embodiment of the iconic president, and there are supporting nominations for Sally Field as his wife Mary Todd Lincoln and Tommy Lee Jones as abolitionist firebrand Thaddeus Stevens. But the film’s director, Steven Spielberg, failed to get a nod.

The best picture nominees are Lincoln, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Argo and Osama bin Laden thriller Zero Dark Thirty.

Les Miserables is also a contender in the separate category of best British film, alongside Anna Karenina, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Seven Psychopaths and Skyfall.

Ben Affleck is nominated both as director of Argo and as its leading actor. The other male acting contenders are Day-Lewis, Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook, Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables and Joaquin Phoenix for The Master.

Skyfall star Daniel Craig was snubbed, but the film received supporting acting nominations for Judi Dench’s spy chief and Javier Bardem’s scene-stealing baddie.

The best-actress shortlist includes 85-year-old Amour star Emmanuelle Riva – who was nominated for the same prize 52 years ago for Hiroshima, Mon Amour – Helen Mirren for Hitchcock, Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook, Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty and Marion Cotillard for Rust and Bone.

The heavyweight best-director list includes Affleck, Michael Haneke for Cannes Film Festival prize-winner Amour, Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained, Ang Lee for Life of Pi and Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty.

Poignant old-age portrait Amour is up for best foreign-language film, along with Norway’s Headhunters, Denmark’s The Hunt and French films Rust and Bone and Untouchable.

In recent years, the British awards, known as Baftas, have helped underdog films including Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech and The Artist gain momentum for Oscar success.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on February 10, two weeks before the Hollywood awards.