‘The Artist,’ ‘Tinker Tailor’ lead BAFTA nominations

The Artist” landed a leading 12 BAFTA nominations while “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is right behind with 11 bids. Both are among the five films up for Best Picture as are “The Descendants” (3 noms), “The Help” (5) and “Drive” (4). See complete list of nominations here.


Hugo” reaped nine nods but was snubbed in the top race as were “My Week with Marilyn” (6, including three acting bids), “War Horse” (5 technical nods), “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” (4 tech nods). 

Hugo” helmer Martin Scorsese, who is being feted with BAFTA fellowship, is contending for Best Director against four Europeans: Tomas Alfredson (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”), Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”), Lynne Ramsay (“We Need to Talk About Kevin”) and Nicholas Winding Refn (“Drive”). Snubbed were DGA nominees Woody Allen (“Midnight in Paris”) who had to settle for a writing bid, David Fincher (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) and Alexander Payne (“The Descendants”) as well as Steven Spielberg (“War Horse”). 

Both Golden Globe lead actor champs — George Clooney (“The Descendants”) and Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”) — compete for Best Actor against Michael Fassbender (“Shame”), Gary Oldman (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) and Brad Pitt (“Moneyball”). Clooney also contends in Adapted Screenplay for “The Ides of March.” Biggest snub: Leonardo DiCaprio (“J. Edgar”)

Both of the Globes leading ladies — Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”) and Michelle Williams (“My Week With Marilyn”) — vie for Best Actress with Berenice Bejo (“The Artist”), Viola Davis (“The Help”) and Tilda Swinton (“We Need to Talk About Kevin”). As with the Oscars, Streep holds the BAFTA record for most nominations — now 14 — although she has but one win (“The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” 1981). With Bejo contending here in lead (she has been supporting Stateside), there was no room for Rooney Mara (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) or Charlize Theron (“Young Adult”).

Both of the featured players who have dominated the precursor prizes — Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”) and Octavia Spencer (“The Help”) — picked up bids from BAFTA. Plummer faces off against Kenneth Branagh (“My Week with Marilyn”), Jim Broadbent (“The Iron Lady”), Jonah Hill (“Moneyball”) and Phillip Seymour Hoffman (“The Ides of March”). Albert Brooks (“Drive”) was snubbed despite the love for his film. 

Spencer competes against her “Help” co-star Jessica Chastain as well as Carey Mulligan (“Drive”), Judi Dench (“My Week with Marilyn”) and Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids”). This is the 13th film bid for Dench who has won six times; she also has four TV BAFTAS to show for her record dozen nods on that side. Shaliene Woodley (“The Descendants”) was the most noticeable snub. 

BAFTA has a two-part nominating process, with these nominees culled from longlists determined by votes from the respective chapters, which are akin to the academy’s branches, and the membership as a whole. On the longlists, “My Week with Marilyn” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” merited a leading 16 mentions, including five for performances, while “The Iron Lady” earned 14, including four for the cast. “The Artist,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Midnight in Paris” and “War Horse” all reaped 13 listings. Scoring an even dozen were “Hugo” and “The Help” while “Drive,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” and “The Ides of March” netted 11 apiece. “We Need to Talk About Kevin” earned 10, “Moneyball” scored 8 and “The Descendants” managed 7. 

BAFTA indicates on the longlists the top five from the respective chapters so all voters can see what the experts prefer. These proved to be a good barometer of the eventual nominees as “The Artist” led with 10 of its 12 chapter mentions making the top five while “Hugo” had nine and “Tinker Tailor” eight in this top tier. While support for “My Week with Marilyn” was relatively weak as it only had six of its 16 bids make this top tier, it translated five of these into nominations plus a bid for Best British Film. 

The Directors slate and all but one of the 20 acting nominees (Carey Mulligan, “Drive”) were in the top five on the longlists. So were all the screenplay nominees but for “The Iron Lady.” “War Horse” picked up two of its five technical bids despite not being among the top tier for Cinematography and Visual Effects. The only other outliers were in Costumes (“Tinker Tailor Solider Spy”), Score (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) and Sound (“The Artist”). 

The winners — except for the two picture prizes, performance and foreign language film — are chosen by the chapters and will be announced in London on Feb. 12.

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