'Lincoln', 'Les Mis' and 'Argo' lead race for Baftas

 

Presidential biopic "Lincoln," epic musical "Les Miserables" and boy-meets-tiger voyage "Life of Pi" lead the race for Britain's Academy Awards — but will Ben Affleck's pacey caper "Argo" beat them to the trophies?

Steven Spielberg's stately drama about slavery-abolishing US President Abraham Lincoln has 10 nominations, including best picture and best actor, for Daniel Day-Lewis — though no directing nomination for Spielberg.

British-made favorite "Les Miserables" and Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" received nine nominations each for Britain's equivalent of the Oscars. James Bond adventure "Skyfall" got eight — rare awards recognition for an action movie — and Iran hostage thriller "Argo" has seven.

Stars including Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Samuel L. Jackson and Helen Mirren are due to attend Sunday's ceremony at London's Royal Opera House,

The British Academy Film Awards, known as BAFTAs, are increasingly glamorous, and ever-more scrutinized as an indicator of likely success at the Hollywood Oscars. In recent years they have prefigured Academy Awards triumph for word-of-mouth hits including "Slumdog Millionaire," "The King's Speech" and "The Artist."

This season's movie with momentum is crowd-pleaser "Argo," based on the true story of a group of U.S. diplomats spirited out of Tehran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. It has been building steam with big prizes at ceremonies including the Golden Globes, the Producers Guild and the Directors Guild of America Awards.

"Argo" is now considered a front-runner for the best-picture Oscar, even though Affleck was not nominated for best director. Bookmakers also have made the film favorite to win the best picture BAFTA, over finalists "Lincoln," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi" and Kathryn Bigelow's Osama bin Laden thriller "Zero Dark Thirty."

"'Argo' is the big mover in the whole of the awards season," said Rupert Adams, spokesman for bookies William Hill.

"People have felt that ('Lincoln') is a great movie, Daniel Day-Lewis is fantastic, but the feeling is — we knew what was going to happen. Our customers are saying, when you leave the cinema, you don't have the same feeling as you do leaving 'Argo."'

Besides Affleck, the heavyweight best-director list includes, Michael Haneke for "Amour," Quentin Tarantino for "Django Unchained," Lee for "Life of Pi" and Bigelow for "Zero Dark Thirty."

The male acting contenders are Affleck, Day-Lewis, Bradley Cooper for "Silver Linings Playbook," Hugh Jackman for "Les Miserables" and Joaquin Phoenix for "The Master."

Day-Lewis is considered almost certain to win. Bookmaker William Hill put the odds at 1/25, with the next favorite, Jackman, a long way off at 10/1.

"The only time I have seen a shorter price than that in recent years was Helen Mirren in 'The Queen,"' said William Hill's Adams. "As far as we are concerned it is virtually done and dusted."

The best-actress shortlist includes: 85-year-old "Amour" star Emmanuelle Riva, who was nominated for the same prize 52 years ago for "Hiroshima, Mon Amour"; Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook"; Chastain for "Zero Dark Thirty"; Marion Cotillard for "Rust and Bone"; and Mirren for "Hitchcock."

"Les Miserables" is also a contender in the separate category of best British film, alongside "Anna Karenina," "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," "Seven Psychopaths" and "Skyfall."

Sunday's ceremony will also see director Alan Parker receive a BAFTA Fellowship, the academy's highest honor, for a career that includes "Midnight Express," "Fame" and "Mississippi Burning."

Arts and Entertainment

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade

radio
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

classical
Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?