The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced the nominees for their annual awards on Tuesday. Seeing as the BAFTAs are the British equivalent of the Academy Awards, they are certainly worth taking note of. As was expected, The Artist leads the pack with 12 nominations, including Best Picture.
There are, however, numerous surprises, specifically the fact that Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy received a whopping 11 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Leading Actor (Gary Oldman), and Best Director. This film has hardly been acknowledged this awards season, so it’s inclusion in 11 categories will likely raise some eyebrows. It ought to be noted that these awards are distinctly British and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a distinctly British movie.
Another surprise is the inclusion of Drive in the Best Picture category, but the snub of it’s leading man, Ryan Gosling, for any of his critically praised performances this year. Also interesting is Carey Mulligan’s nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Drive, despite the fact that her performance in Shame is what has garnered her accolades.
I feel it’s important to mention that Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) nabbed a Supporting Actress nod, even though she was snubbed by the Golden Globes. Bridesmaids also snagged a Best Original Screenplay nomination.
Martin Scorsese is nominated for Best Director (Hugo) as well as for his work on the documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World. Notably, Scorsese is also set to receive the BAFTA’s Academy Fellowship, which is essentially a lifetime achievement award. It will be interesting to see if that affects his chances at winning the directing trophy, either for the better or the worse.
Last year the BAFTAs swung all the momentum away from The Social Network and into the lap of The King’s Speech. With The Artist looking like this year’s runaway winner, I wonder if the BAFTAs will try to do something similar again. Perhaps a British film, such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, will be the recipient of its benevolence, as happened in 2011; or maybe one of the other Best Picture nominees (The Help, Drive, or The Descendants) will finally take a shot at being 2012’s big front runner.
The winners of this year’s BAFTAs will be announced on February 12, just two weeks before the Oscars. You can check out the complete list of nominees here.