Early this morning, this year's BAFTA nominees were announced. Now widely considered as one of the major award ceremonies (along with The Golden Globes) in the run up to the Oscars, the BAFTA awards have long been a well respected and coveted prize on both sides of the Atlantic. Below is a full list of the 2014 BAFTA Award nominees, the winners of which will be announced at the 67th BAFTA Award ceremony on February 16th at the Royal Opera House. Alongside the list of nominees you'll find my prediction and personal choice of which film or person I'd like to see win.
BAFTA gave us no real surprises with its announcement this morning with the most nominations going to Gravity (11), 12 Years a Slave (10) and American Hustle (10). Saving Mr. Banks performed strongly with (9) nominations, continuing its showing as a dark horse during this year's awards season. Behind the Candelabra received (5) nominations, this despite it not being released theatrically in the States. It's Mandela (1) nomination that will perhaps be dubbed this year's snub but there are no nominations for Spike Jonze's Her and Dallas Buyer's Club, the latter especially I expect to perform better in America.
Best picture12 Years a Slave
12 Years a Slave seems a nailed on certainty in this category and it would be my choice to win too. An outside bet would be Gravity.
Best British filmGravity
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Saving Mr Banks
The Selfish Giant
With Gravity's surprise inclusion in this category (British produced and filmed at Pinewood and Shepperton) it instantly becomes the front runner here. Philomena will push it close but with 12 Years a Slave surely to take Best Film, Gravity is well placed for Best British Film. I can't really argue with that.
Best directorAlfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
This will be a close run category. All five are in the running but I think Steve McQueen will get it. He's British and his film is a masterpiece. I'd like to see him win but would be equally happy if the award went to Cuarón.
Best actorChristian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
I'd love to see Bruce Dern win this one but I don't think he will. Christian Bale was excellent, as was Tom Hanks but the strength of Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance makes him the front runner.
Best actressAmy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr Banks
Amy Adams is the surprise inclusion here and I see her and Sandra Bullock as the outsiders. I'd like to see Cate Blanchett win and expect that's where the award will go.
Best supporting actorBarkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Daniel Brühl, Rush
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
A three horse race for me with Abdi, Brühl and Fassbender the favourites. Fassbender is superb and long overdue a BAFTA but BAFTA likes to go left field with its Supporting Actor/Actress awards. I can see Barkhad Abdi win but would love one of my favourite actors Daniel Brühl take the award home.
Best supporting actressSally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Oprah Winfrey, The Butler
A very strong quintet in this category. I think Jennifer Lawrence gives her strongest performance yet in American Hustle and Sally Hawkins was brilliant but Lupita Nyong'o looks the favourite. Personally I'd like Sally Hawkins win.
Best original screenplayAmerican Hustle, Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
Inside Llewyn Davis, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Nebraska, Bob Nelson
The Coen's latest is yet to be released in the UK so judging it is difficult. I don't think Gravity's screenplay is strong while David O. Russell always goes well in this category. I'd love Nebraska to win and will stick my neck out and say BAFTA will go that way too.
Best adapted screenplay12 Years a Slave, John Ridley
Behind the Candelabra, Richard LaGravenese
Captain Phillips, Billy Ray
Philomena, Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope
The Wolf of Wall Street, Terence Winter
12 Years a Slave will be strong here (as everywhere else). Philomena will be popular with the British voters but I'd like The Wolf of Wall Street to win (if only to give Scorsese's film an award).
Best film not in the English LanguageThe Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen
Blue Is the Warmest Colour, Abdellatif Kechiche, Brahim Chioua, Vincent Maraval
The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino, Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima
Metro Manila, Sean Ellis, Mathilde Charpentier
Wadjda, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Gerhard Meixner, Roman Pau
I'm disappointed that I haven't seen all of these films, especially Blue is the Warmest Colour but The Act of Killing is so strong, I can't see the award going elsewhere.
Best documentaryThe Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer
The Armstrong Lie, Alex Gibney
Blackfish, Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Tim's Vermerr, Teller, Penn Jillette, Farley Ziegler
We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, Alex Gibney
Blackfish was excellent but even if The Act of Killing doesn't pick up Best Foreign language, it's a sure fire winner here.
Best animationDespicable Me 2, Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
Frozen, Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Monsters University, Dan Scanlon
I've only seen Monsters University and it wasn't great. Disney's Frozen is getting good reviews in a rare weak year for Pixar.
Best cinematography12 Years a Slave, Sean Bobbitt
Captain Phillips, Barry Ackroyd
Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska, Phedon Papamichael
Nebraska's beautiful monochrome could win this and 12 Years a Slave will be in the running but this one is all about Gravity.
Best editing12 Years a Slave, Joe Walker
Captain Phillips, Christopher Rouse
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger
Rush, Dan Hanley, Mike Hill
The Wolf of Wall Street, Thelma Schoonmaker
Gravity again looks to be a favourite here but Rush stands an outside chance. 12 Years a Slave features some nice touches and you can never count out a Thelma Schoonmaker film. I'm going for Gravity as a well deserved winner.
Best production design12 Years a Slave, Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker
American Hustle, Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
Behind the Candelabra, Howard Cummings
Gravity, Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woodlard
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn
Gravity could easily win this one too although the award often goes to more traditional fare. I'm going for a Great Gatsby win but think Gravity deserves it.
Best costume designAmerican Hustle, Michael Wilkinson
Behind the Candelabra, Ellen Mirojnick
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin
The Invisible Woman, Michael O'Connor
Saving Mr Banks, Daniel Orlandi
Another one for The Great Gatsby in my opinion although American Hustle could run it close.
Best make up and hairAmerican Hustle, Evelyne Noraz, Lori McCoy-Bell
Behind the Candelabra, Kate Biscoe, Marie Larkin
The Butler, Debra Denson, Beverly Jo Pryor, Candace Neal
The Great Gatsby, Maurizio Silvi, Kerry Warn
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor, Rick Findlater
American Hustle should win this one but The Hobbit will always be a threat.
Best soundAll Is Lost, Richard Hymns, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, Micah Bloomberg, Gillian Arthur
Captain Phillips, Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro, Oliver Tarney
Gravity, Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris Munro
Inside Llewyn Davis, Peter F. Kurland, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff
Rush, Danny Hambrook, Martin Steyer, Stefan Korte, Markus Stemler, Frank Kruse
A two way race between Gravity and Rush for me. I'd like Rush to win it but think it's Gravity's to lose.
Best original music12 Years a Slave, Hans Zimmer
The Book Thief, John Williams
Captain Phillips, Henry Jackman
Gravity, Steven Price
Saving Mr Banks, Thomas Newman
Hanz Zimmer's score is monumentally brilliant so he has to be favourite although John Williams could sneak it. Gravity is a film in which the music takes centre stage so will also be strong. I'm going for 12 Years a Slave.
Best special visual effectsGravity, Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Nikki Penny
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds
Iron Man 3, Bryan Grill, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Dan Sudick
Pacific Rim, Hal Hickel, John Knoll, Lindy De Quattro, Nigel Sumner
Star Trek Into Darkness, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton, Patrick Tubach, Roger Guyett
Nothing will beat Gravity here but I think Pacific Rim could be an outside bet.
Best British short animationEverything I can see from Here, Bjorn-Erik Aschim, Friederike Nicolaus, Sam Taylor
I Am Tom Moody, Ainslie Henderson
Sleeping with the Fishes, James Walker, Sarah Woolner, Yousif Al-Khalifa
Best British short filmIsland Queen, Ben Mallaby, Nat Luurtsema
Keeping up with Joneses, Megan Rubens, Michael Pearce, Selina Lim
Orbit Ever After, Chee-Lan Chan, Jamie Stone, Len Rowles
Room 8, James W. Griffiths, Sophie Venner
Sea View, Anna Duffield, Jane Linfoot
Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producerColin Carberry, (Writer), Glenn Patterson (Writer), Good Vibrations
Kelly Marcel, (Writer), Saving Mr Banks
Keiran Evans (Director/Writer), Kelly + Victor
Paul Wright (Director/Writer), Polly Stokes (Producer), For Those in Peril
Scott Graham, (Director/Writer), Shell
Saving Mr Banks has a great script so Marcel is in with a strong shout here. I've heard excellent things about Good Vibrations though.
The EE Rising Star award (voted for by public)Dane DeHaan
A strong five. Dane DeHaan has looked a star in the making for several years while Will Poulter has home advantage. Lupita Nyong'o's strong performance gives her an edge too. I'm going for Will Poulter.