Baftas 2015 nominations: Acclaimed Mike Leigh and Timothy Spall film Mr Turner snubbed

Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel leads with eleven nominations

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The Independent Culture

It was hailed at Cannes, praised by critics - and is already Mike Leigh’s most successful film at the box office.

But Mr Turner - the biopic of painter JMW Turner - was snubbed by the Bafta Awards nominations announcement today, failing to pick up a single nomination in the most prestigious categories.

Insiders expressed their surprise that the 6,500 “industry professionals” of Bafta’s voting membership overlooked a film that had struck such a chord with the public - especially as 71-year-old Leigh has previously been favoured by the academy.

There was particular sympathy for Timothy Spall, who won the best acting award at Cannes last year for his depiction of Turner.

Samantha Horley, a Bafta member and managing director of film sales company Salt, said: “I’m flabbergasted. Ironic his most popular film has been the least resonant with voters. It’s my favourite Mike Leigh film in 20 years.”

Colin Vaines, a film producer and Bafta member, said: “The big surprise was that Tim Spall didn’t get recognised. It’s an amazing performance.”

Mr Turner opened in September to five star reviews and posted a record opening weekend for a Leigh film taking £900,000. It went on to become his biggest grossing film at the cinema overtaking Vera Drake. 

Yet it has only secured Bafta nominations for its cinematography, production design, costume and hair and make-up. Nick James, editor of Sight & Sound magazine, described the snub as “utterly mystifying”.

 

US comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel leads the field with 11 nominations. It was recognised in categories including best film, best director for Wes Anderson, and best actor for Ralph Fiennes.

Two British films about flawed scientific geniuses secured a string of nominations. Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything secured 10 and Alan Turing film The Imitation Game received nine. Both are up for best film and outstanding British film.

It pits two of the UK’s finest acting talent against each other with Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Hawking going up against Benedict Cumberbatch’s Turing. Both actors have been nominated for a Bafta for the first time.

Redmayne’s co-star Felicity Jones, who was nominated for best actress for her role as Hawking’s wife Jane said she screamed when she heard the news. “It’s fantastic for a film like this to be supported at home,“ she said.

Strong competition was posted by two acclaimed American films in Birdman, with 10 nominations, and Boyhood, with five, both of which will compete for best film.

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