La La Land, the musical romance starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, continues its seemingly unstoppable quickstep towards next month’s Oscars by taking 11 nominations at the Baftas. The film, which won a record-breaking seven Golden Globes in Los Angeles on Sunday evening, is in the running in almost every category bar those open only to Brits.
But its competition this time round is less predictable, with two until now underloved contenders, time-shuffle sci-fi Arrival and crime thriller Nocturnal Animals, also performing healthily. Those films took nine nominations apiece, while Kenneth Lonergan’s grief drama Manchester By the Sea, which took best actor for Casey Affleck on Sunday, trails with six.
I, Daniel Blake, Ken Loach’s searing tale of an unwell carpenter battling the benefits system, leads the British pack with five nominations – the same number as Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Mel Gibson’s war story Hacksaw Ridge and adoption weepie Lion.
Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight, however – perceived as the major rival to La La Land at the Academy Awards – took just four, as did Stephen Frears’s comedy about a deluded singer, Florence Foster Jenkins, which also scored nods for stars Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, as well as costume design and hair.
But there was disappointment for Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, which took just one nomination for outstanding British film, where its eclectic competitors include Denial, the story of the trial involving Holocaust denier David Irving, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I, Daniel Blake, Tehran-set horror Under the Shadow and sight-loss docu-drama Notes on Blindness. That film scored a remarkable three nods, also being named in the best documentary and outstanding debut fields.
And there was further upset for Martin Scorsese, as his religious epic Silence was again snubbed. Following a complete lack of nominations from the Globes, it also failed to pick up a single nod from the UK-based voters. Clint Eastwood’s plane crash drama Sully followed suit.
The Baftas diverge strikingly from the Globes in other categories, however. While Paul Verhoeven’s acclaimed rape revenge comedy Elle was the surprise winner of the foreign language award on Sunday – and its star, Isabelle Huppert, an even more unlikely best actress victor – neither film nor actress are nominated at the Baftas, as it doesn’t open in the UK until March. By contrast, last year’s best foreign language Oscar winner, Son of Saul, is up for this year’s Baftas.
Huppert’s absence in the best actress category means space is found for The Girl on the Train’s Emily Blunt among the best actress nominees, who also include Natalie Portman for Jackie, Meryl Streep for Florence Foster Jenkins, Emma Stone for La La Land and Amy Adams for Arrival.
That film was in the running for just two Golden Globes – for Adams and for its score. At the Baftas it added seven more to those, including best director, best film, best adapted screenplay and best cinematography, as well as a slew of technical nods, such as best sound and best visual effects.
Meanwhile, Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, which was an unexpected victor in the supporting actor category on Sunday for Aaron Taylor-Johnson, is also nominated eight further times, including best actor for Jake Gyllenhaal.
Bafta voters even lavished a little affection on box office monster Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is up for make up & hair and visual effects. Marvel blockbuster Doctor Strange is also in the running for those two awards, as well as a third, for production design.
The remainder of the awards are voted for by some 6,500 members – a number equivalent to the Oscars membership (the Golden Globes, meanwhile, are voted for by 93 members).
Last year, Bafta sought to address a perceived diversity imbalance both by widening its pool of members (after considering the results of a survey on their backgrounds) and introducing new rules that mean British film and outstanding debut nominees must show they have boosted opportunities for ethnic minority and socially disadvantaged film-makers. These edicts will not come into effect until 2019.
Last year’s best film Bafta went to The Revenant, which was pipped to the post at the Oscars by Spotlight. The outstanding British film award went to Brooklyn.
Sophie Turner and Dominic Cooper read out the nominations; this year’s prizes will be unveiled at a ceremony hosted by Stephen Fry in London on 12 February. The Oscars take place a fortnight later, on 26 February.