‘The Artist’ Leads The Field At The 2012 BAFTA Film Awards

This year’s BAFTA Film Awards nominations are out, and for once, the biggest film of the year appears to be French, and in black and white…and silent. The Artist is very well represented indeed, being up for awards in the big four categories – Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor AND Best Actress.

Other notable award magnets include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, We Need To Talk About Kevin, and The Iron Lady, which can boast a Best Actress/Best Supporting Actor nominations double whammy.

And let’s not forget, where BAFTA goes, Oscar often follows. So here’s a rundown of the most notable awards categories (you can compare with EW.com’s own longlist of Academy Awards predictions), with a look at the likelihood that the winner will end up having to find shelf-space for a tall gold man next to the winkyface man.

Best Film

Of the past five winners of the Best Film Academy Award, three have also been BAFTA winners, the exceptions being The Queen in 2007 (the Oscar went to The Departed),  and Atonement in 2008 (beating No Country For Old Men). The nominees are:

The Artist
The Descendents
Drive
The Help
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Best Actor

Again, three out of the past five winners have been a direct match, Mickey Rourke’s astonishing work in The Wrester took BAFTA gold over the Academy-preferred Sean Penn in 2009, and Colin Firth getting his BAFTAs in early for A Single Man in 2010. He won both the following year for The King’s Speech. The BAFTA nominations are:

Brad PittMoneyball
Gary OldmanTinker Tailor Soldier Spy
George ClooneyThe Descendents
Jean DujardinThe Artist
Michael FassbenderShame

Best Actress
Here we’re on even safer ground, with four of the past five winners being a direct match. The sole exception being Carey Mulligan, who won the BAFTA for her role in An Education, where Sandra Bullock won the Oscar for The Blind Side.

Bérénice BejoThe Artist
Meryl StreepThe Iron Lady
Michelle WilliamsMy Week With Marilyn
Tilda SwintonWe Need To Talk About Kevin
Viola DavisThe Help

Best Supporting Actor

And once again the two academies are in almost total accord, with Geoffrey Rush’s win last year for The King’s Speech being the sole exception over the past five years. Christian Bale won the Oscar for The Fighter.

Christopher PlummerBeginners
Jim BroadbentThe Iron Lady
Jonah HillMoneyball
Kenneth BranaghMy Week With Marilyn
Philip Seymour HoffmanThe Ides of March

Best Supporting Actress

Had Melissa Leo not won the Academy Award last year, and allowed Helena Bonham Carter to sweep in regally and swipe it for her performance as The Queen Mother in The King’s Speech, there would be a clean sweep of accord between our two nations. So close, and yet…

Carey MulliganDrive
Jessica ChastainThe Help
Judi DenchMy Week With Marilyn
Melissa McCarthyBridesmaids
Octavia SpencerThe Help

Best Director

Here, we’re on shakier ground again, with only three out of five shared winners. Last year, David Fincher won the BAFTA for The Social Network, whereas the Oscar went to Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech. And back in 2007, Paul Greengrass won the BAFTA while Martin Scorsese took the Academy Award.

Michel HazanaviciusThe Artist
Nicolas Winding Refn – Drive
Martin ScorseseHugo
Tomas AlfredsonTinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Lynne RamsayWe Need To Talk About Kevin

Elsewhere in the BAFTA nominations sheet, there are a couple of noteworthy categories that have no equal at the Oscars:

Outstanding British Film
My Week With Marilyn
Senna
Shame
Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy
We Need To Talk About Kevin

Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director or Producer
Attack The BlockJoe Cornish (Director/Writer)
Black PondWill Sharpe (Director/Writer), Tom Kingsley (Director), Sarah Brocklehurst (Producer)
CoriolanusRalph Fiennes (Director)
SubmarineRichard Ayoade (Director/Writer)
TyrannosaurPaddy Considine (Director), Diarmid Scrimshaw (Producer)

Some critics have already noted that Olivia Colman has been cruelly snubbed for her astonishing performance in Tyrannosaur, either as Best Supporting Actress or even Best Actress. So if you want our tip for a future awards dead cert, it is her.

The full list of nominees is here.

The BAFTA Film Awards will air on BBC America, Sunday, February 12 at 8 pm ET, followed by the second Absolutely Fabulous special at 11 pm ET.

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 13 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Music.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

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