Often dubbed as the British equivalent of the Oscars, the BAFTA has always made a point of being a very British institution, but it also boasts a shortlist that is quite international. It's normally easy to tell which films are going to walk away with the big awards, in 2012 it was The Artist, in 2011 it was The King's Speech, and in 2009 it was Slumdog Millionaire. But other times there can be a few surprises as was the case in 2010 when The Hurt Locker beat Avatar in the award for Best Film. This year the nominees look like they'll be something of a mixed bag. The awards will be announced Wednesday morning and here are our predictions.
Name the last Bond film that was nominated for an Oscar. Answer? They never are. Critics have always said that Bond films are more crowd pleasers than award winners and so they are often overlooked. But that seems to have changed with the arrival of Daniel Craig as 007.
Last year BAFTA celebrated 50 years of Bond, marking a change in the status of Bond films as more than just a crowd pleaser with explosions. It is likely that Skyfall will buck the trend and receive a handful of nominations including cinematography, sound, editing and or visual effects. It could even be nominated for categories it's never traditionally nominated for like best director, best film and best actor.
It's not the BAFTAs unless there is at least one film starring Keira Knightley in the shortlist. Joe Wright, who directed Knightley in Atonement could get a best director nod for his adaptation of Tolstoy's classic, but given that the film received mixed reviews it's unlikely he will win. The film is likely to be nominated for best costume design, best direction and maybe even best score by Dario Marianelli who also composed the score for Atonement.
Martin Freeman is something of a staple on British television; he is well known for starring in the original British version of The Office and in 2011 won the BAFTA for best supporting actor in the TV series Sherlock, where he played Dr. John Watson. The Hobbit could be nominated for best adapted screenplay, cinematography, production, make up and hair.
A possible black horse for this year. John Madden's film about a group of British pensioners who move to a retirement home in India run by Slumdog Millionaire's Dev Patel could see a few nominations in the best actor and actresses categories for an ensemble cast that includes Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup and Tom Wilkinson. Based on the 2004 novel These Foolish Things, it could also get a nod for best adapted screenplay.
The long-awaited adaptation of the stage musical was well-received by critics and is expected to pick up a few BAFTAs in costume design, production, make up, best adapted screenplay and maybe a best supporting actor nomination for Eddie Redmayne who plays Marius and a best supporting actress nomination for Samantha Barks who plays Eponine. Tom Hooper who also directed The King's Speech stands a good chance of winning best director this year along with Anne Hathaway who is likely to win best supporting actress.
Ang Lee's adaptation of the Booker Prize winning novel has already received one nomination at the BAFTAs; Suraj Sharma has been shortlisted for the BAFTA's rising star award, an award that recognises new talent, shortlisted by industry hacks and voted for by the public. Previous recipients of the award have included James McAvoy, Tom Hardy, Eva Green, Shia LaBeouf and Kristen Stewart.
Life of Pi is also expected to get a nod for best adapted screenplay and could receive plaudits for best cinematography and special effects.
The final instalment of the Batman trilogy could receive just as many nominations as its predecessor The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight was nominated for nine BAFTAs but walked away with one (best supporting actor for Heath Ledger). The final instalment could be nominated for many of the same categories again, including best director, music, cinematography, editing, costume design and visual effects.
British actress Juno Temple who played Jen in the film has also been shortlisted for the BAFTA rising star award.