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'La La Land' leads race for British Academy Film Awards

Agencies | Updated: 2017-01-12 07:26

'La La Land' leads race for British Academy Film Awards

Emma Stone with her Golden Globe award for best actress in La La Land in Beverly Hills, California, on Jan 8. [Photo/Agencies]

The perky, pastel-hued jazz musical La La Land quick-stepped into an awards-season lead on Tuesday, gaining 11 nominations for the British Academy Film Awards, the UK equivalent of the Oscars.

The sweet-tempered Ryan Gosling-Emma Stone romance is up for best picture, director, actor and actress at the British awards, which are considered a strong indicator of likely success at Hollywood's prize-giving next month.

The nominations add to the musical's momentum after it won seven prizes at the Golden Globes on Sunday.

Philosophical sci-fi yarn Arrival and psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals have nine nominations each for the UK prizes, known as the BAFTAs. The contenders were announced at the British academy's London headquarters by actors Dominic Cooper and Sophie Turner.

Best-picture nominees are La La Land; Arrival; welfare-state drama I, Daniel Blake; Miami coming-of-age story Moonlight; and soul-baring domestic drama Manchester by the Sea.

Best-actor nominees are Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge; Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea; Jake Gyllenhaal for Nocturnal Animals; Gosling for La La Land; and Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic.

Best-actress contenders are Amy Adams for Arrival; Emily Blunt for The Girl on the Train; Stone for La La Land; Meryl Streep for Florence Foster Jenkins; and Natalie Portman for Jackie.

Among supporting actor and actress nominees are Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water; Viola Davis for Fences; and Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel for Lion.

London-born Patel says it was an honor to be recognized in his home city. "My family is literally freaking out right now," he says.

Also up for best supporting actor is Hugh Grant, for his performance as minor actor St. Clair Bayfield, partner of Streep's tone-deaf opera singer in Florence Foster Jenkins.

"This is so kind of BAFTA, and I feel very pleased both for myself and for St. Clair Bayfield, neither of us having been exactly awards-season habitues," Grant says.

Best-director nominations went to Denis Villeneuve for Arrival; Ken Loach for I, Daniel Blake; Damien Chazelle for La La land; Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea; and Tom Ford for Nocturnal Animals.

Winners of the British trophies will be announced at London's Royal Albert Hall on Feb 12, two weeks before the Oscars.

The BAFTAs differ from their US counterpart in having a separate category for best British film. Nominees are I, Daniel Blake; raucous road trip American Honey; courtroom drama Denial; wizarding adventure Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; documentary Notes on Blindness; and Iran-set horror film Under the Shadow.

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