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News! The Favourite reigns supreme over the 2019 BAFTA nominations

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With the Golden Globes behind us and the Oscar nominations ahead of us, we're officially in the midst of awards season. And today's reveal of the 2019 BAFTA nominations has further fuelled speculation as to this year's awards front runners.

Joanna Lumley is back to host this year's BAFTAs from the Royal Albert Hall in London, which gets underway on 10th February. Scroll down for the full list of 2019 nominations.

The Favourite

This critically acclaimed black comedy drama from The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos has already scooped five Golden Globes nominations, winning one, and 10 British Independent Film Awards, and now leads the BAFTA nominations with 12 nods. Applying a surreal, contemporary sensibility to the early 18th century court of Queen Anne, The Favourite has been lauded for its unpredictable yet timely storyline, which focuses on three powerful yet flawed women surrounded by a mass of seething male fops.

Following her deserved win at the Golden Globes, Olivia Colman has now further cemented her position as this year's Best Actress favourite by scooping a BAFTA nomination – her first for a feature film after receiving five in the past for her multi-faceted TV work. (Of those, she won three for Broadchurch, Accused and Twenty Twelve.)

The movie also generated nominations in every major category besides Best Actor – hardly surprising given the focus of the storyline. With nominations for Best Film, Best British Film, Best Director for Lanthimos, Best Original Screenplay (for Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara) and a Best Supporting Actress duo of Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, the way is seemingly paved for The Favourite to reign over the Oscar nominations. (Those are announced on 22nd January.)




Bohemian Rhapsody

It was the surprise winner of Best Film – Drama at the Golden Globes and has emerged as the most financially successful music biopic of all time. So it's little surprise that Bohemian Rhapsody also performed well at the BAFTA nominations with seven in total, although that comes with a caveat – the movie has been shut out of the Best Film race.

Even so, the movie has scored where it counts in the form of a Best Actor nod for Rami Malek. The actor's electrifying performance as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury has been universally acclaimed as the movie's most prized asset, and given his earlier Golden Globe win, he now poses a serious threat to the likes of A Star is Born's Bradley Cooper.

And to make up for its Best Film absence, the movie has been recognised in the Outstanding British Film category, although it's pitted against strong competition including the aforementioned The Favourite, moody Jessie Buckley thriller Beast, documentary McQueen, Laurel and Hardy biopic Stan & Ollie and Lynne Ramsay's gruelling revenge thriller You Were Never Really Here.

Of course, given the movie's glam rock flavour, all big hair and platform shoes, it's no surprise to note the film's nominations for Best Make-up/Hair, Best Costume Design, Best Sound and Best Cinematography. (Don't forget about our Bohemian Rhapsody sing-along screenings.)


A Star is Born

Bradley Cooper's lauded directorial debut fell somewhat flat at the Golden Globes, winning just one award for Best Original Song (the explosive, cathartic 'Shallow' performed in the movie by Cooper and Lady Gaga, in collaboration with Mark Ronson and Anthony Rossomando Andrew Wyatt). However, there was always a chance the BAFTA nominations would make up for that disappointment, and indeed they have: A Star is Born has received an impressive seven nominations.

Interestingly, besides the recognition for Best Film, Best Actor (Cooper), Best Actress (Gaga) and Best Adapted Screenplay (none of which are a massive surprise given the film's critical kudos), the movie hasn't generated a BAFTA nod for Best Original Song. This is because the BAFTAs don't have a designated category in that field, meaning the equivalent nomination for A Star is Born is instead Best Original Music.

Whereas the movie walked the Golden Globes in the realm of original song, and is likely to do so again at the Oscars, the BAFTA music field places it up against some hefty competition. Also nominated are BlacKkKlansman by Terence Blanchard, If Beale Street Could Talk by Nicholas Britell, Isle of Dogs by Alexandre Desplat and Mary Poppins Returns by Marc Shaiman, all musical scores that have been critically lauded.

Will A Star is Born lose out where it counts? And seriously, where's that Best Supporting Actor nod for Sam Elliott?


First Man

Following its celebrated debut at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, this stirring staging of the Neil Armstrong moon landings seemed to be front and centre as an awards favourite. However, following a somewhat disappointing box office performance, which played in sharp contrast to the film's critical plaudits, a subsequent lack of Golden Globe nominations (all but two) appeared to consign First Man to the sidelines.

This was especially surprising given the Oscar-winning prestige of director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling, whose earlier La La Land was a sensational hit. However, the BAFTAs have stepped into the breach and recognised this immersive space drama for the engrossing triumph it is: the movie has been nominated for seven awards.

That said, Chazelle and Gosling have again been shut out, ceding the spotlight to Best Supporting Actress for Claire Foy and Best Adapted Screenplay for Josh Singer (who won an Oscar in 2016 for his incisive, angry Spotlight screenplay). As expected, First Man's astonishing space sequences have seen it nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Production Design and Best Editing.

Still, we can't help but feel Chazelle's movie is the bridesmaid rather than the bride in this year's awards race...


Vice

Director Adam McKay's polarizing yet thought-provoking look at former US vice president Dick Cheney's rise to power (released in the UK on 25th January; Unlimited screening on 16th January) hinges on another transformative performance from Christian Bale. So it hardly comes as a shock that the actor follows his Satan-thanking Golden Globes win with a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor – vindication for both his physical transformation and eerie assimilation of Cheney's soft-spoken yet quietly ruthless nature.

Vice received six BAFTA nominations in total, including Best Original Screenplay for McKay, Best Supporting Actress for Amy Adams (who plays Cheney's power-grabbing wife Lynne) and Best Supporting Actor for Sam Rockwell (playing US President George Bush). In another of this year's BAFTA surprises McKay has been shut out of the Best Director race – a sign that his handling of the movie is too controversial, or simply proof that this year's crop of directors is too strong?




BlacKkKlansman

Remarkably given he's been one of America's most incendiary filmmakers for the best part of three decades, Spike Lee has never been nominated for the BAFTA for Best Director. That all changed this year with Lee's first directorial recognition for BlacKkKlansman, the fiercely funny and disturbing story of African-American police detective Ron Stallworth who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan.

Lee's signature mixture of humanism, humour and righteous anger has clearly helped BlacKkKlansman stand out texturally and tonally from the competition this year, so let's take a moment to recognise his historic nomination. The movie has also been nominated for Best Film, Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Adam Driver, although disappointingly John David Washington's charismatic central performance as Stallworth has been overlooked.

Will BlacKkKlansman emerge as the surprise underdog choice as awards season heats up, or may it prove too hot for voters to handle?


The remaining BAFTA nominations

Alfonso Cuaron's atmospheric, black and white biographical drama Roma also made history by becoming the first BAFTA-nominated Netflix movie (it received seven nominations in total, including Best Film and Best Director).

Olivia Colman's closest rival for Best Actress, Glenn Close, follows her Golden Globe win with a BAFTA nomination for The Wife. Both seemed to have emerge ahead of initial favourite Lady Gaga, although the Oscars could always throw us a curveball come February.

Critically acclaimed drama Can You Ever Forgive Me? (released in the UK on 1st February; Unlimited screening on 20th January) added to its two Golden Globes nominations with three BAFTA nods: Best Actress for Melissa McCarthy, Best Supporting Actor for Richard E. Grant and Best Adapted Screenplay for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty.



And Golden Globes favourite Green Book (which won Best Film – Comedy or Musical) also performed strongly with five BAFTA nominations, including Best Supporting Actor for Globes winner Mahershala Ali (who won at that ceremony in the same category). Co-star Viggo Mortensen has been recognised in the Best Actor field (somewhat controversial given the movie is evenly weighted between the two men) and Peter Farrelly has been given the nod for Best Director. The movie reaches the UK on 1st February.


In terms of omissions, the poor showing for Widows and its director Steve McQueen, who surged to Best Picture and Best Director Oscar wins in 2014 for 12 Years a Slave, must be considered disappointing. His gritty crime thriller, which he adapted from Lynda La Plante's 1980s TV series with Gone Girl author and screenwriter Gillian Flynn, was at one point tipped to lead in awards circles. That said, celebrated lead Viola Davis was recognised for Best Actress, and is surely the person most likely to receive Oscars recognition in a couple of weeks time.

Marvel's Black Panther was also turned down, apart from a relatively token Best Visual Effects nod, a shame given its intelligence and topicality appeared to position it as an awards-friendly superhero movie. Disney's UK box office hit Mary Poppins Returns was also locked out of the top categories – Emily Blunt's absence in the Best Actress category is a particular shock.

And talking of which, Laurel and Hardy biopic Stan & Ollie's (released in the UK on 11th January) performance continues to confuse with John C. Reilly nominated at the Golden Globes and Steve Coogan being ignored. Now, Coogan is nominated at the BAFTAs with Reilly shut out. What gives?




Which film do you think will triumph at the BAFTAs? The ceremony gets underway on 10th February so tweet us your thoughts @Cineworld.