‘Lincoln’ leads with 10 BAFTA nominations but Spielberg snubbed

Lincoln” landed a leading 10 BAFTA nominations Wednesday including Best Picture, but helmer Steven Spielberg was snubbed. Likewise for Tom Hooper who directed rival Best Picture nominee “Les Miserables,” which earned nine nods. Both men were nominated by the DGA on Tuesday.

The other three DGA contenders were cited by BAFTA for their films which round out the Best Picture race: Ang Lee (“Life of Pi,” 9 bids); Ben Affleck (“Argo,” 7) and Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty,” 5). (See complete list of nominations here)

The Best Director roster also includes Michael Haneke (“Amour,” 4 noms) and Quentin Tarantino (“Django Unchained,” 5).

Skyfall,” which tops the UK’s all-time box office, did not make the cut for Best Picture, which is limited to five unlike the Oscars which may go as high as 10. This 23rd installment in the Bond franchise numbers nods for Best British Film as well as featured players Javier Bardem and Judi Dench among its eight. That is one less than Daniel Craig‘s first foray as Bond in “Casino Royale” (2006) which earned him a Best Actor bid. 

Dench, a BAFTA darling, was snubbed for her leading performance in “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” Indeed, that film, a dark horse in the Oscars Best Picture race, was shut out save for a Best British Film bid. 

Other surprises include:

Affleck being nommed for Best Actor (his first such recognition of the season) over Denzel Washington (“Flight”) who has never contended here;

A strong showing by “Anna Karenina” (six noms including Best British Film);

Naomi Watts snubbed in Best Actress for “The Impossible;

Leonardo DiCaprio snubbed in Supporting Actor in favor of “Django” co-star Christoph Waltz; and

Beasts of the Southern Wild” reaping Adapted Screenplay bid over “Skyfall.”

This year, BAFTA did away with the long lists that preceded the final nominations and restructured the nomination process to be more like that of the Oscars. Winners will be revealed on Feb. 10, right in the middle of Oscar voting. 

All BAFTA members cast nomination ballots for Best Picture and the four performance prizes. Chapters (akin to the academy’s branches) determined the nominees for a slew of creative categories —  Adapted Screenplay and Original Screenplay; Cinematography; Costume Design; Director; Editing; Make-Up & Hair; Original Music; Production Design; Sound; and Special Visual Effects.

The membership as a whole will vote on the winners of all these races. Members could opt in to chapters and vote for the nominees and winners of the feature prizes for: Animation, British; Documentary; and Foreign-language.

Last year, “The Artist” won seven of its leading 12 BAFTA bids — Best Picture, Director & Original Screenplay (Michel Hazanavicius), Actor (Jean Dujardin), Cinematography, Costume Design and Score. It repeated in all these races but screenplay and cinematography at the Oscars. 

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” which was second with 11 nominations, had to settle for Adapted Screenplay and Best British Film. Two of the other five films up for Best Picture — “The Descendants” (3 noms), and “Drive” (4) — were shut out while “The Help” won just one of its five races — Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer); she also claimed the Oscar.

“The Iron Lady” won two of its three bids: Best Actress (Meryl Streep) and Makeup and repeated with both at the Oscars. 

Hugo,” which reaped nine nods but was snubbed in the top race, won two as well — Production Design and Sound. It won both those plus Cinematography, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects at the Oscars.  

Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”) became the oldest BAFTA acting champ with his Supporting Actor win for “Beginnners” before doing the same at the Oscars. 

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