There is something for everyone in this year’s Bafta film nominations, with a list that pits first-timers against superstars and low budget against very big budget.
I’m so looking forward to seeing Lady Gaga, great in the spectacle that is House of Gucci, compete against Joanna Scanlan, superb in the British independent film After Love, for best actress.
The latter film has also seen a nomination for Aleem Khan, in a best directors’ list that is full of surprises - no sign of Sir Kenneth Branagh though his film Belfast with six nominations, had been tipped to sweep the board.
That list has three female directors in it, though the award surely belongs to Jane Campion, for The Power of the Dog, a film that has picked up eight nominations including best actor for Benedict Cumberbatch.
He will be taking on two other Brits for that award - Adeel Akhtar for the touching Ali & Ava and Stephen Graham for Boiling Point, the film famously shot as one take.
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It is a great year for British indie films, though I would wager that Will Smith for his performance in King Richard will be the one to beat for best actor here and at the forthcoming Oscars.
There had been predictions that two award powerhouses, Olivia Colman and Nicole Kidman, would feature in the best actress category, but their surprise omissions have meant room for talent from two of my favourite films of the year - Brit Emila Jones (daughter of Aled Jones) gets a nomination for her role in Coda, and first time actress Alana Haim (better known as part of the siblings group Haim) is nominated for the utter delight that is Licorice Pizza.
This category will be the most fascinating to watch.
It has been another good year for the streamers, in particular Netflix, though it is the big budget, big screen, sci-fi epic Dune that rules the nominations with 11 nods.
The James Bond team will be gratified to see No Time To Die get five nominations including outstanding British film, after the film did much to bring crowds back to cinemas.
It has been a challenging period that has seen the cinema industry battered and Bafta too - after last year’s Noel Clarke furore when the writer/director was given, and then had suspended the Outstanding Contribution Award amid sexual misconduct allegations he denies.
Bafta won’t be giving special awards this year it says, while a review is carried out into how recipients are chosen.
They will be hoping that this year’s varied list will give us plenty to focus on. There are certainly enough surprises. The award ceremony will take place on March 13.