LONDON (AP): Hollywood stars and U.K. royalty are due to attend the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, where German-language antiwar drama “All Quiet on the Western Front” leads the pack of nominees.
The visceral depiction of life and death in the World War I trenches is up for 14 awards, including best picture, while Irish tragicomedy “The Banshees of Inisherin“ and madcap metaverse romp “Everything Everywhere All at Once” have 10 nominations each.
Actor Richard E. Grant is hosting the televised ceremony at London’s Royal Festival Hall, attended by nominees including Cate Blanchett, Ana de Armas and Colin Farrell. Guests and presenters include Eddie Redmayne, Brian Cox, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Cynthia Erivo, Julianne Moore and Lily James
Heir to the throne Prince William, who is president of Britain’s film academy, is due to attend alongside his wife Kate, Princess of Wales. Helen Mirren is scheduled to pay tribute to William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September. Mirren portrayed the late monarch onscreen in “The Queen” and onstage in “The Audience.”
The awards, known as BAFTAs, are Britain’s equivalent of Hollywood’s Academy Awards and will be watched closely for hints of who may win at the Oscars on March 12.
Last month’s BAFTA nominations announcement helped propel the somber, Netflix-backed “All Quiet” into an awards-season favorite. Its tally of nominations is a joint record for a film not in the English language, equaling the 14 for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” in 2001.
“All Quiet,” “Banshees” and “Everything Everywhere” are all best-picture contenders at the Oscars, where “Everything Everywhere” has a leading 11 nominations.
Martin McDonagh’s Irish tragicomedy “Banshees” has BAFTA nominations including best picture, best director and best actor, for Farrell. Nominations for “Everything Everywhere” include nods for co-directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — known jointly as “the Daniels” — and a best-actress nomination for Michelle Yeoh.
Baz Lurhmann’s flamboyant musical biopic “Elvis” is up for nine awards, including best picture.
The BAFTA best-picture nominees are “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “The Banshees of Inisherin,” “Elvis,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and Todd Field’s symphonic psychodrama “Tár.”
The 10 nominees for outstanding British film, a separate category, include Charlotte Wells’ 1990s family drama “Aftersun,” Sam Mendes’ semi-autobiographical “Empire of Light” and Sophie Hyde’s smart sex comedy “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.”
Britain’s film academy introduced changes to increase the awards’ diversity in 2020, when no women were nominated as best director for the seventh year running and all 20 nominees in the lead and supporting performer categories were white.
This year there are 11 female directors up for awards across all categories, including documentary and animated films. But just one of the main best-director nominees is female: Gina Prince-Bythewood for “The Woman King.” The other nominees are “All Quiet” director Edward Berger, McDonagh for “Banshees,” Kwan/Scheinert for “Everything Everywhere”, Field for “Tár” and Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, for “Decision to Leave.”
Leading actress contenders are Yeoh; Cate Blanchett for “Tár”: Viola Davis for “The Woman King”; Danielle Deadwyler for “Till”; Ana de Armas for “Blonde” and Emma Thompson for “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.”
The best-actor category pits Farrell against Austin Butler for “Elvis”; Brendan Fraser for “The Whale”; Daryl McCormack for “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,” Paul Mescal for “Aftersun” and Bill Nighy for “Living.”
Three-time Oscar winner Sandy Powell is set to become the first costume designer to be awarded the academy’s top honor, the BAFTA fellowship.
The harsh world outside showbiz intruded on the awards when Bulgarian journalist Christo Grozev, who works for investigative website Bellingcat, said he had been “banned” from the awards because of a risk to public security. He features in the BAFTA-nominated documentary “Navalny,” about jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny.
The Metropolitan Police said it would not comment “on the safety of an individual or the advice they may have been given.
“However, the situation that journalists face around the world and the fact that some journalists face the hostile intentions of foreign states whilst in the U.K. is a reality that we are absolutely concerned with,” the force said in a statement.