After box office success will Bond unmask a Bafta?

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The Independent Online

Shortly after becoming the highest grossing film in UK box office history, Skyfall has secured eight Bafta award nominations, as expectation grows that it could become the first Bond film to be nominated for an Oscar.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts yesterday announced the nominations for its 2013 Film Awards, with Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg, inset, leading the way on 10 nominations, followed by Les Miserables and Life of Pi with nine apiece.

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 Dame Judi Dench and Javier Bardem featuring on the shortlists for supporting actress and supporting actor respectively.

At the announcement of the nominations at Bafta in London, Duncan Kenworthy, a producer whose credits include Notting Hill, 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."

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 today in Los Angeles, 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 BAFTA. Director Tom Hooper said he was "delighted" with the number of nominations including the best film category, 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."

Elsewhere, Zero Dark Thirty's star Jessica Chastain is in a hugely competitive shortlist in the best actress category, with Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Lawrence, Helen Mirren and Emmanuelle Riva also challenging.

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

Film producer Duncan Kenworthy said at yesterday's announcement event in London that this year's Bafta nominations are a "solid, respectable list of films."