Jan. 8 - Space thriller ''Gravity'' leads the field at Britain's top film awards closely followed by ''12 Years A Slave'' and ''American Hustle''. Joel Flynn reports.
No signs of Alfonso Cuaron's space-thriller "Gravity" coming down to earth yet. The British-made film leads the nominations for this year's BAFTAs. The film, starring Oscar winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, leads the field with 11 nods, including best film, best actress and best director for Cuaron. BAFTA deputy chair of the film committee, Pippa Harris, said it was a big win for British cinema. SOUNDBITE: BAFTA Deputy Chair of the Film Committee, Pippa Harris, saying (English): "We're an international award ceremony but we want to focus particularly on British film, British talent, and you know this year we've added an extra nomination for British Film. So now we've got six in that category, which is great." David O. Russell's American Hustle narrowly missed out on the top spot with 10 nominations. Slavery biopic "12 Years a Slave", directed by British director Steve McQueen was also given 10 nods. The unflinching drama currently tops many U.S. awards lists. Film critic Mark Kermode said it currently looked like a favourite for many. SOUNDBITE: Film Critic, Mark Kermode, saying (English): "As far as the bookies are concerned "12 Years a Slave" kind of has the momentum. It's an extraordinary piece, obviously nominated for Best Film, also for Best Director. Very, very strong leading actor performance by actor Chiwetel Ejiofor who I think is absolutely on top of his game. Great also to see a Supporting Actress nomination for newcomer Lupita Nyong'o who just a couple of days ago was nominated for the EE BAFTA Rising Star award, so she now goes into the BAFTAs with two nominations to her name." Other notable nominations included Martin Scorese's tale of greed, "Wolf of Wall Street", and the Somali pirate thriller "Captain Phillips", starring Tom Hanks. The awards ceremony for the BAFTAs, formally called the EE British Academy Film Awards, takes place in London on Feb. 16.