London Critics’ Circle Film Awards: ’12 Years a Slave’ leads with 9 nominations

Oscar frontrunner “12 Years a Slave” continues to dominate the precursor prizes, scoring a leading nine nominations, including Best Picture, at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards. In second is “Philomena” with five bids, including Best British Picture but not Best Picture. (See the complete list of nominations here.)

Also notably absent from the lineup of 10 Best Picture nominees are three of our strongest Oscar contenders: “American Hustle,” “Captain Phillips” and “Saving Mr. Banks.” The British stars of “Hustle” and “Banks” — Christian Bale and Emma Thompson respectively — were snubbed in the main acting races but reaped bids for best home-grown talent while Tom Hanks scored noms for his leading role in “Captain Phillips” and supporting turn in “Banks.” 

While “The Butler” was shut out entirely, two other Oscar contenders — “August: Osage County” and “All is Lost” — were ineligible for these awards. 

Besides “12 Years a Slave,” the Best Picture slates includes just five other likely Oscar nominees — “Gravity, “Her,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Nebraska” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Rounding out the list are two foreign-language films — “Blue is the Warmest Color” and “The Great Beauty” — as well as “Blue Jasmine” and “Frances Ha.” 

Best Actor is led by Oscar frontrunner Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”), who also reaped a bid for Best British Actor, as well as Oscar hopefuls Bruce Dern (“Nebraska”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) and Hanks (“Captain Phillips”) and, surprisingly, Michael Douglas for his Emmy-winning turn in “Behind the Candelabra” which was released theatrically in the UK. 

The Best Actress lineup includes Oscar frontrunner Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”) as well as her nearest rival Sandra Bullock (“Gravity”), “Philomena” star Judi Dench, who also reaped a bid for Best British Actress, Adele Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Color”) and Greta Gerwig (“Frances Ha”). 

While Naomie Harris scored both Supporting and British Actress bids for “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” the film’s British leading man, #Idiris Elba#, was snubbed in both acting races. 

Another double nominee is Irishman Michael Fassbender, who reaped both supporting and British (!) acting bids for his performance in “12 Years a Slave.” 

And Sally Hawkins contends in both supporting and British Actress for “Blue Jasmine.”

The LCC, with 140 members, is chaired by Jason Solomons. The 34th edition of these kudos take place on Feb. 2. Gary Oldman will be feted with the Dilys Powell Award For Excellence In Film.

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