Bridge of Spies, Carol lead BAFTA nominations

LONDON: Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies and lush lesbian romance Carol lead nominations for the British Academy Film Awards while Eddie Redmayne has a chance to win a second straight best-actor prize with his role as a transgender artiste in The Danish Girl.

Bridge of Spies and Carol each have nine nominations for Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars, including best picture. Survival saga The Revenant has eight, and dystopian thrill ride Mad Max: Fury Road has seven.

The Danish Girl — based on the life of early 20th Century transgender woman Lili Elbe — received five nominations on January 8 including acting nods for Redmayne and co-star Alicia Vikander. In 2015, Redmayne won the same prize — and an Oscar — for the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything.

Swedish rising star Vikander also received a supporting-actress nomination for sci-fi thriller Ex Machina.

The other best-actor contenders are Bryan Cranston for Red Scare drama Trumbo; Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant; Matt Damon for space adventure The Martian; and Michael Fassbender for computing biopic

Steve Jobs.

In the best-actress category, Vikander is up against Brie Larson for mother-son drama Room; Cate Blanchett for Carol; Maggie Smith for Alan Bennett adaptation The Lady in the Van; and Saoirse Ronan for Irish emigrant tale Brooklyn.

Winners of the British trophies, known as BAFTAs, will be decided by 6,500 members of the British film academy and announced at London’s Royal Opera House on February 14, two weeks before Hollywood’s Academy Awards.

The British awards are considered an omen of Oscars success, and the list puts awards-season propulsion behind Steven Spielberg’s sturdy Tom Hanks vehicle Bridge of Spies, Todd Haynes’ gorgeously shot Carol and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s The Revenant, which stars DiCaprio as a 19th-century fur trapper fighting for survival in the wilderness.

They are nominated for best director at the BAFTAs, along with Adam McKay for financial-crisis drama The Big Short and Ridley Scott for The Martian. The best-picture nominees are The Big Short; Bridge of Spies; Carol; The Revenant; and newspaper drama Spotlight.