Entertainment & Arts

Bafta film nominations 2017: Seven things we learned

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Media captionBaftas 2017: La La Land leads film award nominations

The contenders for the 2017 Bafta Film Awards have been announced, with La La Land dancing ahead of the pack with 11 nominations.

Here are some things we've learned about this year's race.

1) La La Land isn't putting a foot wrong

Image copyright Summit Entertainment
Image caption The film stars Ryan Gosling as a jazz musician and Emma Stone as an aspiring actress

Fresh from sweeping the board at the Golden Globes, Damien Chazelle's crowd-pleasing Hollywood musical seems unstoppable during awards season.

At the Baftas it is joined in the best film category by Arrival, I, Daniel Blake, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight.

Whichever takes the top prize on 12 February, it's no guarantee of success at the Academy Awards in Hollywood two weeks later.

For the past two years the Bafta and Oscar winners have been different.

In 2015 Bafta backed Boyhood, while Birdman won in Hollywood. Last year's Bafta went to The Revenant, while the Oscar went to Spotlight.

2) I, Daniel Blake leads the British charge

Image copyright Joss Barratt
Image caption I, Daniel Blake stars Dave Johns and Hayley Squires

Ken Loach's drama, about a Newcastle man's struggle against the UK benefits system, is up against the effervescent La La Land in the best film category.

With five nominations in all, I, Daniel Blake is also up for outstanding British film and Loach is in the running for best director.

Hayley Squires, who plays a poverty-stricken young mother, gets a well-deserved nod for best supporting actress.

This is Loach's seventh Bafta film nomination in total. He was last nominated in the best director category for Kes in 1971.

And get this - it's the 50th anniversary of Loach's first Bafta win, for television drama production in 1967.

3) Hugh Grant is back...

Image copyright Nick Wall / Paramount Pictures

It's been more than 20 years since Hugh Grant won the lead actor prize for Four Weddings and a Funeral.

That was in 1995. Now he's back with a supporting actor nod for his role in Florence Foster Jenkins as the husband and manager of Meryl Streep's opera-loving heiress.

4) ...and so is Meryl Streep

It's like she never went away. This is Streep's 15th Bafta film nomination - which puts her on a par with Dame Judi Dench.

The US actress won in 2012 for her lead role as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Her only other win was in 1982 for The French Lieutenant's Woman.

If she wins, might we expect another headline-making speech such as the one she made at the Golden Globes criticising US President-elect Donald Trump?

5) Amy Adams is a nominations magnet

Image copyright Paramount Pictures

Snapping at the heels of La La Land's 11 nominations are Arrival and Nocturnal Animals, with nine apiece. Both films star Amy Adams.

Adams is up for leading actress for her role in Arrival as a linguistics professor brought in by the US government to communicate with some alien visitors.

It's her sixth Bafta nomination, although she's never won.

In psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals she plays an art gallery owner who becomes absorbed in the manuscript of an unpublished novel written by her ex-husband.

Despite its impressive array of nods, Tom Ford's film doesn't make the cut for best film.

6) The Outstanding British Film category is a mixed bag

Image copyright Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros
Image caption Eddie Redmayne plays the lead role in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I, Daniel Blake is up against five contenders that highlight the diversity of British film-making.

Andrea Arnold's road trip drama American Honey gets its sole Bafta nomination here, having triumphed at December's British Independent Film Awards.

Holocaust courtroom drama Denial, starring Rachel Weisz and Timothy Spall, also gets its only Bafta nod.

Also in the running are Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, sight-loss documentary Notes on Blindness and creepy Iran-set chiller Under the Shadow.

Expect to see JK Rowling on the red carpet as one of Fantastic Beasts' producers.

7) As ever, there were some notable omissions

Image copyright Paramount Pictures
Image caption Denzel Washington plays the lead role in Fences, which he also directed

With diversity a key issue within the film industry, awards nominations are under much scrutiny.

There has already been disappointment that Denzel Washington failed to get a best actor nod for Fences and that Moonlight's Barry Jenkins didn't make the list for best director.

Hidden Figures, which tells of a trio of African-American women working at Nasa during the space race, got a single nomination for adapted screenplay, but nothing for cast members Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer or Janelle Monae.

Elsewhere Clint Eastwood's aviation drama Sully, starring Tom Hanks, and Martin Scorsese's religious epic Silence were totally snubbed.

There was also nothing for British comedies Absolutely Fabulous, Bridget Jones's Baby and Dad's Army.

Some have also wondered why French actress Isabelle Huppert, whose best actress win for Elle at the Golden Globes was one of the night's big surprises, doesn't get any Bafta recognition.

The answer is simple: Elle wasn't eligible due to its UK release date.

The Bafta Film Awards, hosted by Stephen Fry, take place on 12 February at London's Royal Albert Hall.

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