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BAFTAs 2012: The Artist and Tinker Tailor lead nominees

The Artist

Story by Jack Foley

SILENT movie homage The Artist and spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy lead the nominees for this year’s BAFTAs.

The Golden Globe winning The Artist garnered the most nominations with 11 in total, including best film, best director (for Michel Hazanavicius), and best actor and actress for Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo.

But Cold War-era spy movie Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy follows close behind with 11 nominations, including nods for best film, best director (Tomas Alfredson) and best actor for Gary Oldman.

Oldman, however, faces competition from not just The Artist‘s Dujardin but also George Clooney, who has been sweeping a lot of awards boards for his performance in The Descendants.

Clooney’s friend Brad Pitt is also in the running for Moneyball, as is Michael Fassbender for Shame.

As anticipated, Meryl Streep is nominated – and is seen as favourite – for best actress for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, but she’s also up against The Artist‘s Bejo as well as Michelle Williams for My Week With Marilyn, Tilda Swinton for We Need to Talk About Kevin and Viola Davis for The Help.

Movies contending for best film, meanwhile, Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy, The Descendants, Drive, The Artist and The Help.

Significantly, there is no room for Steven Spielberg’s War Horse in the main categories, even though it has just opened at the UK box office with better figures than last year’s big BAFTA winner The King’s Speech.

Instead, Spielberg’s five nominations come in mostly technical categories, apart from John Williams’ score.

One veteran filmmaker who can be pleased with the shortlist, however, is Martin Scorsese, whose Hugo garnered nine nominations, including a nod for best director, while his other recent film, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, is up for best documentary along with pre-awards favourite Senna.

The directors competing against Scorsese, meanwhile, are Drive‘s Nicolas Winding Refn, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy‘s Tomas Alfredson and Lynne Ramsey (We Need To Talk About Kevin) as well as The Artist‘s Hazanavicius.

In the other main categories,fFive films will battle it out to be named outstanding British film: My Week With Marilyn, Senna, Shame, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy and We Need to Talk About Kevin.

The best supporting actor category, meanwhile, will be contested by Jim Broadbent, who plays Denis Thatcher in The Iron Lady, Kenneth Branagh for his portrayal of Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn, Jonah Hill for Moneyball, Golden Globe Christopher Plummer for Beginners and Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Ides of March.

The female equivalent, meanwhile, sees Dame Judi Dench getting a nod for My Week With Marilyn, Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer for The Help, Carey Mulligan for Drive and Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids.

Actors turned directors Ralph Fiennes and Paddy Considine are recognised in the outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer category, for, respectively, Shakespeare adaptation Coriolanus and hard-hitting drama Tyrannosaur.

They’re both up against Joe Cornish for Attack The Block, Richard Ayoade for Submarine and Will Sharpe for Black Pond.

The best animation nominees are Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, Sarah Smith’s Arthur Christmas and Gore Verbinski’s Rango. Ironically, there’s no place for Pixar’s Cars 2, which means that for the first time in a while the studio could leave an awards year empty-handed.

The awards ceremony, which will be hosted by Stephen Fry, takes place at the Royal Opera House in London on February 12, 2012.

View the nominees at a glance