LONDON (AP) — Hollywood stars and British royalty were gathering Sunday in London for the British Academy Film Awards, where “The Favourite” is living up to its name and leading the race for trophies.
Yorgos Lanthimos’ royal tragicomedy has 12 nominations, including best picture, for the U.K. equivalent of the Oscars. Olivia Colman already won a Golden Globe for her performance as Queen Anne in “The Favourite” and is favored to take the best-actress prize
The 18th-century queen’s distant relative, Prince William, and his wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge will join Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis and other stars for a black-tie ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
“Absolutely Fabulous” star Joanna Lumley is the host.
Front-runners for the prizes include the Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” lunar drama “First Man,” autobiographical Mexican story “Roma” and musical melodrama “A Star Is Born.” Each film has seven nominations.
The awards, known as BAFTAs , will be scoured for clues to who might triumph at Hollywood’s Academy Awards on Feb. 24, in what’s shaping up as an unpredictable awards season.
Colman is up against Glenn Close, who took Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards for “The Wife.” The other best-actress nominees are Lady Gaga for “A Star is Born,” Melissa McCarthy for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and Viola Davis for “Widows.”
Best-actor contenders are Bradley Cooper for “A Star is Born,” Christian Bale for “Vice,” Rami Malek for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Viggo Mortensen for “Green Book” and Steve Coogan for “Stan and Ollie.”
Best-picture nominees are “The Favourite,” Roma,” ”A Star is Born” and two very different movies about racism in America: “Green Book” and “BlacKkKlansman.”
Nominees for best British film – a separate category – are Channel Islands thriller “Beast,” ”The Favourite,” ”Bohemian Rhapsody,” fashion documentary “McQueen,” Laurel and Hardy biopic “Stan and Ollie” and crime thriller “You Were Never Really Here.”
The red carpet glamour is unfolding against a backdrop of soul-searching and scandal about abuses in the entertainment industry.
Last week, the British academy suspended director Bryan Singer’s nomination as part of the team behind “Bohemian Rhapsody” after four men accused him of sexually assaulting them when they were minors.
BAFTA said the alleged abuse was “completely unacceptable” and incompatible with its values. Singer, who was fired while “Bohemian Rhapsody” was in mid-production in 2017, denies the allegations. The film itself is still nominated.
At last year’s BAFTAs ceremony, many women wore black as a symbol of opposition to harassment, abuse and inequality in the wake of allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
A British wing of the “Times’s Up” campaign founded last year is vowing to keep the campaign going and to double the number of women in film, on and off screen.
The number of female nominees is up this year, but there has been criticism of the academy’s failure to nominate any female filmmakers in the best-director category. Only one woman has ever won the directing prize, Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker” in 2010.
By JILL LAWLESS , Associated Press