January 17, 2012 5:35 pm

‘The Artist’ leads Bafta nominations

The Artist, a French film about a 1920s silent film star brought down by the advent of the “talkies”, is leading this year’s nominations from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

The $12m French-made film, which was shot entirely in Hollywood using historic locations such as Mary Pickford’s former mansion, has 12 nominations including best film alongside the British cold war era spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Gary Oldman, who plays the consummate spy George Smiley in Tinker Tailor, has been nominated for best actor alongside Brad Pitt for his role in Moneyball and Michael Fassbender for his role as the Manhattan businessman in Shame, the film directed by Steve McQueen about sex addiction.

Senna, about the life of Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, is up for best documentary, as is Project Nim, the story of a chimpanzee who was raised as a child in the 1970s.

Asif Kapadia, director of Senna, which has three Bafta nominations, said: “Right from the beginning the reaction to the film has been incredible from audiences around the world: critics, Formula One fans, Ayrton Senna fans and people who cannot stand F1 or sport of any kind.”

Jim Broadbent, who plays Denis Thatcher in The Iron Lady, the biopic about Margaret Thatcher, is up for best supporting actor as is Kenneth Branagh for his portrayal of Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn.

Meryl Streep has been nominated for best actress in Iron Lady alongside Tilda Swinton as the mother of troubled teenager Kevin in the Lynne Ramsay’s adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s novel We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Five films are competing to be named outstanding British film at the awards ceremony next month: My Week With Marilyn, Senna, Shame, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and We Need to Talk About Kevin .

Hugo, Martin Scorsese’s eye-popping 3D adaptation of Brian Selznick’s children’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which features a performance by Ben Kingsley as France’s original “cine-magician”, Georges Méliès, has nine nominations including best director.

Best foreign film nominations are Canada’s Incendies, Germany’s Pina , French comedy Potiche, the Golden Globe-winning Iranian film A Separation and Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In.

Acclaimed British actress Dame Judi Dench has been nominated for My Week With Marilyn in the best supporting actress category.

Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse has five nominations including for best score, special visual effects, and cinematography.

Actors turned directors Ralph Fiennes and Paddy Considine are in the “outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer” category for their adaptations of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus and drama Tyrannosaur respectively.

Best animation nominees are Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, Sarah Smith’s Arthur Christmas and Gore Verbinski’s Rango.

The awards ceremony will be hosted by Stephen Fry at the Royal Opera House in London on February 12.

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