Bafta Brits battle Hollywood heavyweights

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Blockbuster sci-fi spectacle Avatar, coming-of-age movie An Education and Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker lead this year's film Bafta nominations with eight nods apiece.

The Orange British Academy Film Awards shortlist, announced today, sees British talent including Carey Mulligan, Colin Firth and Andy Serkis battling against Hollywood heavyweights like George Clooney and Meryl Streep.

Avatar was nominated for Best Film, while the movie's James Cameron received a nod in the Director list, competing with ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow who was nominated for The Hurt Locker, about an elite bomb disposal team.

An Education is also vying for Best Film, against The Hurt Locker, Precious and Up In The Air.

The Leading Actor category sees Up In The Air star Clooney against Firth for A Single Man, Serkis for Ian Dury biopic Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker and Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart.

Serkis said he was "totally blown away" to be shortlisted, describing his nomination as a fitting tribute to the late singer and songwriter Dury.

He said: "To get this nomination is not only a great thrill for all of us involved, but a fitting tribute at a time that we mark the 10-year anniversary of the passing of the magnificent man himself, the unique Ian Dury."

Mulligan was nominated for Orange Rising Star as well as Leading Actress for An Education, based on the memoirs of journalist Lynn Barber.

She will do battle in the Leading Actress category with Julie and Julia star Streep, who bagged a Best Actress Golden Globe earlier this week.

Completing the list are Irish teen star Saoirse Ronan for The Lovely Bones which is based on Alice Sebold's best-selling novel, Gabourey Sidibe for Precious, and Julia and Audrey Tautou for Coco Before Chanel.

Other films honoured in the shortlist include sci-fi movie District 9 with seven nominations, Inglourious Basterds and Up in the Air with six nominations apiece, and Coco Before Chanel, Nowhere Boy, Precious and Up with four each.

An Education received a nod in the Outstanding British Film category, as did In The Loop, the movie spin-off of the BBC's political comedy The Thick Of It.

Fish Tank, Nowhere Boy and Moon rounded off the list.

Competing with Cameron and Bigelow for a Director gong are Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds, Lone Scherfig for An Education, and Neill Blomkamp for District 9.

Christoph Waltz appears in the Supporting Actor section for Inglourious Basterds for his role as a bloodthirsty Nazi.

He faces competition from Alec Baldwin for It's Complicated, Christian McKay for Me And Orson Welles, Alfred Molina for An Education and Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones.

Bury-born McKay told of his delight at the nod for playing maverick actor Orson Welles.

He said: "I thought there could be no greater accolade than getting to play Orson Welles in my first film but being Bafta-nominated is very close.

"I am very grateful."

The Supporting Actress category is a battle of the co-stars.

Anne-Marie Duff, who plays John Lennon's mother Julia, and Kristin Scott Thomas, who plays his aunt Mimi, are both up for their roles in Nowhere Boy.

Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick were also nominated, both for Up In The Air, along with Golden Globe winner Mo'Nique for the hard-hitting tale Precious.

The Animated Film section promises a three-way fight between Coraline, Fantastic Mr Fox and Up.

The Orange British Academy Film Awards will take place on February 21 at the Royal Opera House in London, ahead of the Oscars in March - where Avatar is expected to win big after its double Golden Globe success.

In the Music category, Avatar is pitted against country movie Crazy Heart, Fantastic Mr Fox, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, and animated comedy adventure Up.

The White Ribbon, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, is in the Film Not In The English Language category, against Penelope Cruz movie Broken Embraces, A Prophet, Let the Right One In, and Coco Before Chanel.

The Baftas will also recognise an Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.

Artist turned film-maker Sam Taylor-Wood was nominated in the section for her directorial debut on Nowhere Boy.

She will battle it out with David Bowie's son Duncan Jones, who directed low-budget science fiction film Moon, which won a British Independent Film Award last month.

Other nominations include Lucy Bailey, Andrew Thompson, Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock and David Pearson, who directed and produced Mugabe And The White African.

Eran Creevy, who wrote and directed Shifty, and Stuart Hazeldine, who wrote and directed Exam, complete the category list.

Film4 received six Bafta nominations in total, for Nowhere Boy and The Lovely Bones.

Its previous releases include Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, which dominated the Baftas and the Oscars last year.

The UK Film Council said movies awarded Lottery funding to support their development and production, including Nowhere Boy, Fish Tank and In The Loop, had 14 nominations.

John Woodward, UK Film Council chief executive officer said: "In 2009 British independent films were more popular with cinema-goers than they have been for a decade - that, together with today's news that three UK Film Council-backed films have been nominated in the Bafta Outstanding British Film category, underlines the current strength of British film-making talent and the crucial importance of public investment in creative excellence."

Arts and Entertainment
'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tvReview: Bread-making skills of the Bake Off hopefuls put to the test
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
Arts and Entertainment
Cliff Richard performs at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on 17 May 2014

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Educating the East End returns to Channel 4 this autumn

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush

Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Mark Crown, DJ Locksmith and Amir Amor of Rudimental performing on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park, Birmingham

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Peter Capaldi and Chris Addison star in political comedy The Thick of IT

Arts and Entertainment
Judy Murray said she

Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.

Arts and Entertainment
Seoul singer G-Dragon could lead the invasion as South Korea has its sights set on Western markets
Arts and Entertainment
Gary Lineker at the UK Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Bale as Batman in a scene from
Arts and Entertainment
Johhny Cash in 1969
musicDyess Colony, where singer grew up in Depression-era Arkansas, opens to the public
Arts and Entertainment
Army dreamers: Randy Couture, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and Jason Statham
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tvReview: It's not going to set the comedy world alight but it's a gentle evening watch
Arts and Entertainment
Umar Ahmed and Kiran Sonia Sawar in ‘My Name Is...’
Arts and Entertainment
This year's Big Brother champion Helen Wood
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Full company in Ustinov's Studio's Bad Jews
Arts and Entertainment
Harari Guido photographed Kate Bush over the course of 11 years
Arts and Entertainment
Reviews have not been good for Jonathan Liebesman’s take on the much loved eighties cartoon

A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend

Arts and Entertainment
Untwitterably yours: Singer Morrissey has said he doesn't have a twitter account

A statement was published on his fansite, True To You, following release of new album

Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

    Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

    Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home