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The BAFTA Film Award nominations were announced today, and for the most part, the nominees were predictable. Slumdog Millionaire and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button both received a field-leading 11 nominations, and lo and behold, those two films are battling it out for Oscar supremacy. Notably absent is Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married, a film that won’t be released in the UK until next week.

One thing I notice with these awards is that people are actually in their appropriate categories. None of that Dev Patel slumming it in Supporting when he’s really the lead in Slumdog Millionaire; no Kate Winslet trying to make us forget she’s a lead in The Reader to avoid splitting votes with her other starring role in Revolutionary Road. The BAFTAs are immune to such deceit, it appears.

Other notes: what’s with all the Burn After Reading love? That film was rubbished here in the states.

Brad Pitt with two nominations?

There’s Frank Langella for Frost/Nixon, but no Michael Sheen?! I was nearly certain the BAFTAs would support their hometown boy.

Here’s a partial list of nominees:

Best film:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Best British film:
In Bruges
Mamma Mia!
Man On Wire
Slumdog Millionaire

Leading actor
Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon
Dev Patel – Slumdog Millionaire
Sean Penn – Milk
Brad Pitt – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

Leading actress
Angelina Jolie – Changeling
Kristen Scott Thomas – I’ve Loved You So Long
Meryl Streep – Doubt
Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road
Kate Winslet – The Reader

Supporting actor
Robert Downey Jr – Tropic Thunder
Brendan Gleeson – In Bruges
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
Brad Pitt – Burn After Reading
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt

Supporting actress
Amy Adams – Doubt
Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Freida Pinto – Slumdog Millionaire
Tilda Swinton – Burn After Reading
Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler

Danny Boyle – Slumdog Milllionaire
Stephen Daldry – The Reader
Clint Eastwood – Changeling
David Fincher – The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon

Original screenplay
Burn After Reading – Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
In Bruges – Martin McDonagh
I’ve Loved You So Long – Philippe Claudel
Milk – Dustin Lance Black
Changeling – J. Michael Straczynski

Adapted screenplay
The Curious case of Benjamin Button – Eric Roth
Frost/Nixon – Peter Morgan
The Reader – David Hare
Revolutionary Road – Justin Haythe
Slumdog Millionaire – Simon Beaufoy

In other news:

  • Emily Blunt is rumored to be playing the Black Widow in Iron Man 2.(MTV)

  • Take That singer Gary Barlow and his wife have welcomed a third child, a daughter, to their growing brood.(BBC)
  • The Daily Mail exposes “the violent past” of Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle‘s boyfriend, ex-NFL player Jason Bell.
  • Madonna is allegedly seeking therapy for her “control issues.”(Mirror)
  • The Stage‘s Natalie Woolman criticizes the National Theatre’s decision to beam theatrical productions into cinemas: “The problem with putting a theatrical performance onto the big screen is that it can lack intimacy: we get neither the intimacy of knowing that the actors are only a few feet away nor the intimacy of a camera close-up. It is a noble idea to bring the National to far-flung places but if the audience can’t engage with the performers, the idea is shot.”
  • An X Factor for the next great indie band? Say it ain’t so, Alex James.(Guardian)
  • The Guardian‘s Nirpal Dhaliwal hits back at Amitabh Bachchan‘s criticism of Slumdog Millionaire. “Bachchan is no doubt riled, as many other Bollwood no-talents will be, about the fact that the best film to be made about India in recent times has been made by a white man, Danny Boyle. Just as Spike Lee got hissy with Quentin Tarantino after he proved he could make hipper films about black people than Lee could, so many Indians will be upset about a westerner having a better understanding of their country than they do.” OK, I’m no fan of a lot of Spike Lee‘s post-Do the Right Thing work, but this guy is crazy – and clearly ignorant – if he thinks Quentin Tarantino has a superior grasp on black America. Crazy and bamboozled.
  • The Daily Telegraph is horrified at the “bloated and ill-looking” Boy George, who will be sentenced tomorrow in his escort-imprisonment trial.
  • Sienna Miller is naked and bald for her next movie.(The Sun)
  • Billie Piper explains “sploshing” to Carson Daly. (The Sun)
  • Jamie Oliver looks like the Brawny Paper Towel Man.(The Sun)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are in Wales filming the latest Sherlock Holmes update.(Wales Online)
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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.