Entertainment News

  • 16 February 2014, 17:54

Gravity Aiming High In Baftas Battle

Space drama Gravity is the movie to beat at the Bafta film awards in central London tonight, leading the field with 11 nominations.

Close behind with 10 nods is the slick 1970s crime caper American Hustle, which is nominated in every acting category, and 12 Years A Slave.

Steve McQueen's harrowing story of a New Yorker kidnapped and sold into the slave trade in the 1840s is up for best film, best director and leading actor.

"It's fantastic," McQueen told Sky News.

"I think any time you do something and you get a pat on the back, you always feel good about it and we're very, very grateful.

"I'm also just grateful that people are recognised in the crew and the cast - it's one of those things where I can't feel unhappy about it and not proud."

Gravity, which was shot in the UK, is recognised in both the best film and outstanding British film categories, with nods too for Alfonso Cueron in the best director category and Sandra Bullock in the leading actress line-up.

Philomena is the only other film to be nominated in both the best film and outstanding British film categories - Steve Coogan who co-produced, co-wrote and co-starred in the movie would collect both awards if the film wins.

The film's lead, Dame Judi Dench, is nominated for leading actress. She is up against Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) and Emma Thompson (Saving Mr Banks), as well as Sandra Bullock.

It is Dame Judi's 25th TV and film Bafta nomination.

Pippa Harris, deputy chair of the Bafta Film Committee, said: "Apart from the Oscars, the Baftas is the big awards ceremony that people want to be at, and that actors and directors want to win.

"I think we have a duty both to look outwards and be an international awards ceremony but also to focus on British talent and make sure that British films are in the spotlight.

"It's great that this year we've managed to do both.

"What's terrific is the British impact across the board. So even in films like Captain Philips, which is an American movie, or 12 Years A Slave - both those films are helmed by British directors which I think shows the depth of the talent in this country at the moment."

Captain Phillips has nine nominations in total, with Tom Hanks named in the leading actor category.

He is up against British actors Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) and Christian Bale (American Hustle), as well as Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf Of Wall Street) and Bruce Dern (Nebraska).

The Bafta fellowship award for lifetime achievement will be collected by four-time Bafta winner Dame Helen Mirren, who is perhaps most famous for playing Elizabeth II in The Queen. It is the highest accolade bestowed by the Academy.

She told Sky News: "In my world we feel a bit uncomfortable with the whole 'who is best?' element, but this is something quite different thing.

"This is about being given respect and honour for a lifetime of work and that's fantastic.

"I'll feel amazing - I'll try not to cry because that would be terrible (and) really embarrassing. But it is a huge honour."

The Bafta winners will be announced at a glitzy, star-studded ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden.

The evening will begin with a live performance by Tinie Tempah and Laura Mvula.

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.

:: Sky News will be covering the Bafta Awards live from 4pm.

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