Sci-fi epic Dune and The Power Of The Dog lead the nominations for this year’s Bafta film awards.
Dune, directed by Denis Villeneuve and based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, featured a star-studded ensemble cast including Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson and Oscar Isaac, and has received the most nominations overall with eleven, including original score, casting, cinematography and best film, with no nominations in the performance categories.
New Zealand director Jane Campion’s dark western, The Power Of The Dog, has received eight nominations among them best director for her, best film, and three nominations across the acting categories.
Benedict Cumberbatch, who stars as gritty rancher Phil in the film, is nominated in the leading actor category, with his co-stars Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee both nominated in the supporting actor category.
Other supporting actor nominees include West Side Story’s Mike Faist, Belfast’s Ciaran Hinds, Troy Kotsur for Coda and 11-year-old Woody Norman for C’mon C’mon, making him this year’s youngest nominee.
Hollywood star Will Smith is among the first time nominees in the performance categories this year, with a leading actor nomination for his role in King Richard, in which he stars as the father of tennis champions Serena and Venus Williams.
Also nominated in the leading actor category alongside him and Cumberbatch are Mahershala Ali for Swan Song, Adeel Akhtar for Ali & Ava, Leonardo DiCaprio for Don’t Look Up and Stephen Graham for Boiling Point.
Sir Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical film Belfast, starring Jude Hill, Jamie Dornan and Caitriona Balfe and which focuses on the Troubles in Northern Ireland, has six nominations among them best film, but Sir Kenneth is absent from the directing category.
Reacting to the film’s nominations, which also included outstanding British film and original screenplay, Sir Kenneth said “an amazing tribute to a remarkable part of the world”.
He added: “This news on top of the incredible box office support from UK cinema audiences is truly fantastic. We are humbly and delightfully gobsmacked!”
Actress Caitriona Balfe is nominated in the supporting actress category for her role in Belfast, alongside Jessie Buckley for The Lost Daughter, Ariana DeBose for West Side Story, Ann Dowd for Mass, Aunjanue Ellis for King Richard and Ruth Negga for Passing.
Nominees in the leading actress category include Lady Gaga for House Of Gucci, Alana Haim for Licorice Pizza, Emilia Jones for Coda, Renate Reinsve for The Worst Person In The World, Joanna Scanlan for After Love and Tessa Thompson for Passing.
Absences in the final list for the leading actress category include Olivia Colman and Kristen Stewart, while in the supporting categories Jamie Dornan and Kirsten Dunst also did not secure a shortlist nomination.
Elsewhere, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza, the latest Bond instalment No Time To Die and Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story all have five nominations.
Licorice Pizza is a coming-of-age story starring Cooper Hoffman, the son of the late acting giant Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Haim, who rose to fame as part of Los Angeles band Haim.
On this year’s nominees list, in the performance categories, 19 out of 24 nominees are first-time Bafta film nominees with all of the talent in the supporting actor category also all first-time nominees, according to Bafta.
This year’s directing category includes an equal split of male and female directors, with Campion, nominated for The Power Of The Dog, featuring alongside Julia Ducournau for Titane and Audrey Diwan for Happening, and Anderson nominated for Licorice Pizza, Aleem Khan for After Love and Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi for Drive My Car.
Belfast and No Time To Die, which marked Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007 are the most nominated British films on the list, Bafta said, while nominees Buckley, Thompson and Negga were all previously nominees for the EE Rising Star Award.
Less than a third of acting nominations have gone to non-white performers – down sharply from a record two-thirds last year, but still above historic levels.
A majority of acting nominations have gone to non-British performers, in keeping with recent years.
Bafta chair Krishnendu Majumdar said: “This year’s nominations showcase a remarkable range of creative work in front of and behind the camera.
“We know that by celebrating outstanding achievement today, we are inspiring future generations for years to come. Two years ago, we launched a wide-ranging review into our voting, membership and campaigning processes and I want to thank the Bafta members and the wider industry for embracing these changes.
“Our goal is to level the playing field for awards entries so that more films and the true diverse range of exceptional creative talent in the UK and internationally is represented and celebrated.”
The Bafta film nominations were announced by AJ Odudu and Tom Allen from Bafta’s London headquarters.
This year the annual film awards celebrates its 75th anniversary and will see Australian actress and comedian Rebel Wilson host the ceremony being held at London’s Royal Albert Hall on March 13.
The 2021 ceremony, hosted by Dermot O’Leary and Edith Bowman, was a largely virtual ceremony broadcast from the Royal Albert Hall, with only the hosts and presenters appearing in person.