Sky's the limit for Skyfall with eight Bafta nominations (as Oscar buzz grows)

But the British Film and Television Academy appear to have snubbed directors Tom Hooper and Steven Spielberg

Shortly after becoming the biggest film of all time at the UK box office, Skyfall has secured eight Bafta nominations, as expectation grows that it could become the first Bond film to be nominated for an Oscar.

The British Film and Television Academy announced the nomination for the 2013 awards yesterday morning. Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg, led the way with 10 nominations, followed by Les Miserables and Life of Pi with nine apiece.

The awards will be announced at a ceremony in the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden on 10 February.

Bond’s producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said they were “thrilled” at Skyfall’s haul, although Sam Mendes, the mastermind behind the reinvention of the Bond franchise on its 50th anniversary, was one of several high-profile directors to miss out on a directing nod.

The 23rd film in the Bond franchise, which has raked in more than $1bn at the box office globally, was nominated in categories including outstanding British film, original music and cinematography, with supporting nods going to Dame Judi Dench and Javier Bardem.

Duncan Kenworthy, a producer whose credits include Notting Hill and who attended the announcement at Bafta, said: “It is an extraordinary achievement for a series of films to have lasted this long, and to still capture the imagination in its 50th year.” He added that the Bafta nominations were a “solid, respectable list of films. There aren’t too many surprises.”

In 2007, Casino Royale, the first time Daniel Craig played Bond, received nine nominations, but came away with just one, for sound.

The Oscar nominations are announced tomorrow, and with the best film category extended to 10 nominees, many in the industry are predicting a first best picture nomination for Bond. Traditionally the films have only featured in technical or music categories.

Les Mis was the British film to receive the most recognition from the British film and television academy.

Director Tom Hooper said he was “delighted” with the number of nominations including best film, leading actor Hugh Jackman, and Anne Hathaway as a supporting actress.

He said: “We were all united by the fact that no one had done a musical film before. There was a great sense of camaraderie.”

Eric Fellner, co-chairman of Working Titles which produced Les Mis, said that the scale of the musical made the film a risk. “Was it scary? Yes. If we had missed with the fans we’d have a big problem. It was a high stakes game but looks to have paid off.”

As with Skyfall, the director was snubbed. Fellner said: “In my mind, all nine nominations are Tom’s.”

Fellner did express surprise saying: “Without a director doing a great job there is no movie. It’s weird that the director wasn’t recognised with two of the films with the most nominations.”

Hooper said: “I seem to be in good company with Mr Spielberg. The best film and director list was very different year, and I don’t know why.”

The directors missed out to rivals including Quentin Tarantino, Michael Haneke and Kathryn Bigelow, whose first film after critical hit The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, picked up five nominations.

This includes star Jessica Chastain who is in a hugely competitive category for leading actress. In a hugely competitive shortlist, she is challenged by Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Lawrence, Helen Mirren and Emmanuelle Riva.

Mirren was nominated for her role in Hitchcock as Alma Reville the great director’s wife. “In many ways she was his muse, his assistant, his editor and more and I am proud to portray her.”

Fellner said of all the nominations: “It’s a pretty good year. It’s competitive, and there are a few surprises, as well as a strong British presence.”

The five films nominated were all studio made. Fellner said: “Hopefully this proves they can make challenging movies and it will encourage them to be braver. They can shake off the formulaic route of the past four or five years and take risks.”

Daniel Day-Lewis is in the running for his fourth leading actor Bafta for his performance in the title role of Lincoln. He previously won for My Left Foot, Gangs of New York and There Will Be Blood.

One producer at the announcement yesterday said Day-Lewis “can write his name on the trophy right now”.

Ben Affleck is in the running for leading actor and is nominated as best director for his film Argo, which was also named in the best film category.  The shortlist for leading man is rounded out by Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix and Bradley Cooper.

In response to his nomination for The Master Phoenix said: "I am uncomfortably honoured!"

One producer said the latter nomination was a credit to Cooper’s acting. “Who could believe he would receive a nomination like this even a year ago?”

Cooper said he was “deeply humbled” by the award, adding: “Now I have another excuse to visit one of the greatest cities in the world.”

Alongside Skyfall and Les Mis in the category for outstanding British film was Anna Karenina, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Seven Psychopaths.

The surprise omissions include Denzel Washington for his performance in Flight, and the British film Sightseers. Some raised an eyebrow at the failure of The Master to challenge for best film.

FULL LIST OF BAFTA CONTENDERS

* Best Film

Argo

Les Miserables

Life Of Pi

Lincoln

Zero Dark Thirty

* Outstanding British Film

Anna Karenina

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Les Miserables

Seven Psychopaths

Skyfall

* Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

Bart Layton, Dimitro Doganis - The Imposter

David Morris, Jacqui Morris - McCullin

Dexter Fletcher, Danny King - Wild Bill

James Bobin - The Muppets

Tina Gharavi - I Am Nasrine

* Film Not in the English Language

Amour

Headhunters

The Hunt

Rust And Bone

Untouchable

* Documentary

The Imposter

Marley

McCullin

Searching For Sugar Man

West Of Memphis

* Animated Film

Brave

Frankenweenie

Paranorman

* Director

Michael Haneke - Amour

Ben Affleck - Argo

Quentin Tarantino - Django Unchained

Ang Lee - Life Of Pi

Kathryn Bigelow - Zero Dark Thirty

* Original Screenplay

Michael Haneke - Amour

Quentin Tarantino - Django Unchained

Paul Thomas Anderson - The Master

Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola - Moonrise Kingdom

Mark Boal - Zero Dark Thirty

* Adapted Screenplay

Chris Terrio - Argo

Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin - Beasts Of The Southern Wild

David Magee - Life Of Pi

Tony Kushner - Lincoln

David O Russell - Silver Linings Playbook

* Leading Actor

Ben Affleck - Argo

Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln

Hugh Jackman - Les Miserables

Joaquin Phoenix - The Master

* Leading Actress

Emmanuelle Riva - Amour

Helen Mirren - Hitchcock

Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook

Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty

Marion Cotillard - Rust And Bone

* Supporting Actor

Alan Arkin - Argo

Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained

Javier Bardem - Skyfall

Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Master

Tommy Lee Jones - Lincoln

* Supporting Actress

Amy Adams - The Master

Anne Hathaway - Les Miserables

Helen Hunt - The Sessions

Judi Dench - Skyfall

Sally Field - Lincoln

* Original Music

Anna Karenina

Argo

Life Of Pi

Lincoln

Skyfall

* Cinematography

Anna Karenina

Les Miserables

Life Of Pi

Lincoln

Skyfall

* Editing

Argo

Django Unchained

Life Of Pi

Skyfall

Zero Dark Thirty

* Production Design

Anna Karenina

Les Miserables

Life Of Pi

Lincoln

Skyfall

* Costume Design

Anna Karenina

Great Expectations

Les Miserables

Lincoln

Snow White And The Huntsman

* Make-up and Hair

Anna Karenina

Hitchcock

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Les Miserables

Lincoln

* Sound

Django Unchained

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Les Miserables

Life Of Pi

Skyfall

* Special Visual Effects

The Dark Night Rises

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Life Of Pi

Marvel Avengers Assemble

Prometheus

* Short Animation

Here To Fall

I'm Fine Thanks

The Making Of Longbird

* Short Film

The Curse

Good Night

Swimmer

Tumult

The Voorman Problem

* THE EE Rising Star Award (voted for by the public)

Elizabeth Olsen

Andrea Riseborough

Suraj Sharma

Juno Temple

Alicia Vikander

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