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Stars prepare to return to in-person ceremony

Stars prepare to return to in-person ceremony

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The Bafta Film Awards will take place later, marking a return to a full-capacity in person ceremony.

Last year’s event was a subdued affair, with many nominees appearing via Zoom amid tight Covid-19 restrictions.

But the stars will return to the Royal Albert Hall this year for a ceremony hosted by comic actress Rebel Wilson.

Sci-fi saga Dune leads the nominations, followed by intense western The Power of the Dog and Sir Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical Belfast.

The Bafta Film Awards are taking place on the same day as the Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles. Stars who are nominated at both have had to choose which ceremony to attend.

The Critics Choice Awards are not traditionally as prestigious as the Baftas, but their location means they could be a more attractive option for US-based nominees.

Bafta Film Awards: The top nominees
Dune – 11
The Power of the Dog – 8
Belfast – 6
Licorice Pizza – 5
No Time to Die – 5
West Side Story – 5

Dune is recognised in the top category, best film, as well as technical ones such as cinematography, visual effects, costume design and make-up and hair.

The other best film nominees are Belfast, Leonardo DiCaprio’s disaster satire Don’t Look Up, and coming-of-age comedy-drama Licorice Pizza.

The Power of the Dog’s nominations include best film, best director for Jane Campion and best actor for Benedict Cumberbatch.

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The UK actor will go head-to head with DiCaprio and King Richard star Will Smith for the leading actor gong, as well as another Brit, Stephen Graham, who is nominated for playing an under-pressure chef in Boiling Point.

The best actress nominees include House of Gucci’s Lady Gaga, fellow musician Alana Haim, Tessa Thompson for Passing, and Emilia Jones daughter of Welsh TV presenter Aled – for Coda.

Joanna Scanlan is also nominated for After Love, about a 60-year-old Muslim convert who suffers an identity crisis following the sudden death of her husband.

The best supporting actor category includes 11-year old British schoolboy Woody Norman for C’mon C’mon – about a radio journalist, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who takes his energetic nephew on a road trip.

It also includes Ciaran Hinds for Belfast, plus Jesse Plemons and Kody Smit-McPhee, both for The Power of the Dog.

Jessie Buckley, who starred in The Lost Daughter as a younger version of Olivia Colman’s character, is shortlisted for best supporting actress alongside King Richard’s Aunjanue Ellis, Belfast’s Catriona Balfe, Ariana Debose for West Side Story and Ruth Negi for Passing.

Notable omissions from the nominations include Colman; Kristen Stewart, who played Princess Diana in Spencer; and Sir Kenneth, who has a screenwriting nomination but did not make the cut for best director.

There will be no Fellowship or other lifetime achievement award this year, after last year’s recipient Noel Clarke was accused by multiple women of sexual harassment following his win.

Clarke said he was deeply sorry for some of his actions but vehemently denied sexual misconduct.

Like last year, the Bafta nominations list is somewhat out of step with the rest of awards season particularly the main event, the Academy Awards.

Many Oscar favorites have not made the British Academy’s shortlists, while some outlier films and actors have.

Traditionally, the Baftas are seen as an indicator of who might go on to triumph at the Academy Awards, which will be held at the end of March.

But there has been less overlap recently than in previous years. For example, not a single best actress nominee at this year’s Oscars is also nominated at the Baftas.

While some of the major nominated films match up, the inclusion of less obvious nominees is a result of changes made following criticism that there was not enough racial diversity at the 2020 Baftas.

In the acting categories, only the top two contenders voted for by British Academy members now automatically get nominated, with the other slots decided by a jury to ensure the nominees are diverse.

Meanwhile, the best director shortlist is chosen from a 20-strong longlist, which has to include 10 men and 10 women.

After this year’s nominations were announced, The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg, a Bafta member, wrote: At this point I think it is quite clear that there has been an overcorrection, however well intended.

Of course it is important that people of every race, gender and nationality have a fair shot at garnering recognition. But largely disregarding the preferences of the membership is insulting, and mandating parity is just a cosmetic fix.

Wilson has a long-standing relationship with Bafta she has gone viral twice in the past after stealing the show while presenting individual categories.

The Australian star, who is known for Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect and JoJo Rabbit, will bring some Hollywood stardust to the Baftas, improve the entertainment value and hopefully provide some viral moments for the all-important YouTube and social media audience.

Speaking on BBC One’s The One Show ahead of her Bafta debut, Wilson said: Everybody who could potentially employ me is in the audience, so no pressure.

But it’s really cool that award shows are back. It’s like, wow, the actors don’t need to do wellness podcasts any more.

They can wear their fancy outfits, they can come on the red carpet, it’s going to be really like glamorous. And I think people are up for that, they’re up for a good night and it’s all about celebrating films.

Dame Shirley Bassey will open the Baftas with a performance of one of her James Bond themes, and Emilia Jones will perform Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, which she also sang in Coda.

However, the event may be more muted given the current conflict in Ukraine. At the last major awards show, the Screen Actors Guild Awards two weeks ago, actors including Brian Cox and Jessica Chastain sent messages of support to the people of Ukraine from the podium.

bbc