LONDON – Oscar winner Helen Mirren took a break from rehearsing for The Audience, a play written by Peter Morgan and directed by Stephen Daldry, to share the love generated by her BAFTA film award nomination for her turn in Hitchcock.
The actress, who previously won a BAFTA film plaudit and an Oscar for her role in the Morgan-penned feature The Queen in 2007, said her latest nod as Alfred Hitchcock wife Alma Reville had to be spread amongst everyone involved with the film.
“There were many people involved in the making of the film, all of whom played a part in this nomination,” Mirren said: “I would particularly like to thank my co-star Anthony Hopkins and our director Sacha Gervasi who helped me to shape ‘Alma’ on to the screen.”
Mirren described the role as a “wonderful” outing, noting that Reville “was more than Hitchcock’s wife, in many ways she was his muse, his assistant, his editor and more and I am proud to have had the opportunity to portray her.”
BAFTA film award organizers, looking to host a show packed with stars likely to feature on photo editors’ wish lists will be pleased with the reaction from Bradley Cooper.
The actor, who picked up a leading actor nomination for his outing in Silver Linings Playbook, is gearing up to attend.
“I am deeply humbled and extremely grateful for the honor of being recognized among these fantastic actors by the British Academy Film Awards,” Cooper said. “And now I have another excuse to visit one of the greatest cities in the world!”
Fellow Silver Linings star Jennifer Lawrence, nominated for a lead actress award, embraced her first time.
“This is really special for me because it’s the first time I’ve been recognized by BAFTA,” Lawrence said. “So to have Silver Linings Playbook and this character be so embraced … makes for a really good day.”
A polar opposite but perhaps not unexpected reaction came from Joaquin Phoenix, whose turn in The Master garnered him a best actor nomination.
“I am uncomfortably honored!” he said in terse statement.
Meanwhile, filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow thanked the British Academy not just for the five nominations, which include one for best film and one for best director, but for the support in general for her film Zero Dark Thirty.
“When you’re making a film you have no idea how it will be received, and I can assure you it is overwhelming to receive news like this, and to know your colleagues support your efforts,” Bigelow said. “BAFTA has been very good to us over the years, and we’re immensely grateful.”
A double Oscar winner in best film and best director categories for The Hurt Locker, Bigelow also picked up the same brace of nods from BAFTA in the same year, 2010.
Mark Boal, the producer and writer of Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker, thanked BAFTA for the movie’s nominations, describing the recognition as a “humbling compliment.”
Said Boal: “It’s quite an honor to be recognized for the work you do in this business, especially the work we writers do, as it’s done in oftentimes small, cramped rooms stacked with papers and books and seemingly no way out alive.”
While Cooper gave a shout-out to the British capital, it was another part of the U.K. that was occupying hearts and minds for filmmakers in the British Academy’s film awards animation section.
Director Mark Andrews, who co-wrote Brave, the Walt Disney-backed Scottish set animation, thanked BAFTA for its recognition in the best animation category.
“Scotland is the heart of Brave. It inspired our imaginations, moved us with its mystery and magic, and became the perfect host for our adventure,” Andrews said. “Our story and Scotland became one, a tapestry made of the unique character of the land, and those within our tale. Thank you to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for this honor.”
Also nominated in the animation category is Tim Burton‘s Frankenweenie, a film which opened last year’s London International Film Festival.
“Creating Frankenweenie was a lengthy and challenging process and was only possible because of the talented team assembled in the U.K.,” Burton noted. “I’m very pleased that Frankenweenie has received a BAFTA nomination for best animated film.
The nominations for the British Academy Film Awards, presented by the British Academy of Film And Television Arts, are always used as indicators of the health of the U.K. industry.
With Les Misérables garnering nine nominations across all the major categories and Anna Karenina picking up six nominations as well as a nomination for the publicly-voted-on rising star nod for Alicia Vikander for her turn in Karenina, British banner Working Title Films has once again much to crow about.
Producer Tim Bevan, co-chairman of Working Title Films along with Eric Fellner, two of the producers on the best film and best British film nominee Les Miserables as well as the multi-nominated Anna Karenina told The Hollywood Reporter the sheer spread of nominations is a good sign for the industry: not just the Working Title-produced films but also for the nominations picked up by other British movies in the running such as Skyfall, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Seven Psychopaths.
“It’s a wide open field this year and shows the real strength and breadth of the craft in film in the U.K.,” Bevan said.
Bevan also credited the British tax credit system as playing a large part in such projects – big or small – being made in the U.K.
“It is not wrong to point out the role played by the tax credit system here in helping the industry to get access to and use the wealth of craft skills we offer here,” Bevan said. “It’s not just about the small budget films either, those credits help the big commercial projects also.”
Bevan noted it was a shame that Les Miserables director Tom Hooper had missed out on a best director nomination slot.
“I am very disappointed to see that but I guess he’s in good company with Steven Spielberg also not getting a best director nomination either,” Bevan said.
While Spielberg’s historical epic Lincoln garnered the most nominations with 10 including best film, the director is omitted from a shot at the ceremony’s best director award.
Fellner and Bevan issued a joint statement as co-chairmen of Working Title Films describing the plethora of nominations as a “wonderful start to 2013.”
Said the duo: “Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) and Joe Wright (Anna Karenina) made two beautiful films of which we are incredibly proud. These two British movies, shot in Britain are a great showcase for British talent in front of and behind the camera.”
With Skyfall garnering eight nominations including best Briitsh film, supporting actor and actress for Javier Bardem and Judi Dench respectively and also a cinematography tilt for Roger Deakins, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have much to be pleased about.
“We thank everybody who has voted for Skyfall and all those who have contributed to the film’s continuing success,” the duo said.Also enjoying a BAFTA film award nomination success is Film4, the standalone movie-making unit of U.K. broadcaster Channel 4.
Four nominations rang up on the roster for projects Film4 played a part in bringing to the screen and the attention of BAFTA voters.
Seven Psychopaths, written and directed by Martin McDonagh, is nominated for outstanding British film while Bart Layton’s critically acclaimed debut feature The Imposter is up for two awards in the best documentary and outstanding debut for a British writer, director or producer; Fyzal Boulifa’s short film The Curse is nominated for short film.
Channel 4 controller of film and drama Tessa Ross said: “We are delighted that these films and the very talented teams behind them have been recognized by BAFTA. The nominations are truly deserved in what has been a diverse and bold year for British filmmaking – I wish all the nominees the very best of luck on the night.”
BFI Film Fund director Ben Roberts, whose fund often plays a small but vital component in finalizing movie budgets, said: “Coming just ahead of tomorrow’s Oscar nominations, BAFTA is once again doing a fantastic job of spotlighting ambitious, large-scale British filmmaking just as the international awards season gets into full swing. I’m also really proud to see three films backed by the BFI Film Fund nominated, and my warmest congratulations go to everyone involved in those and indeed all the nominated films.”
The trio of titles benefitting from BFI support Seven Psychopaths for outstanding British Film, Mike Newell’s Great Expectations for costume design and Boulifa’s short film The Curse.
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