“La La Land” leads race for British Academy Film Awards

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

LONDON — The perky, pastel-hued jazz musical “La La Land” quick-stepped into an awards-season lead Tuesday, gaining 11 nominations for the British Academy Film Awards , the U.K. 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.

Gosling’s nomination comes two days after the London, Ont.-native scored a Golden Globe win for his role as a struggling jazz musician in “La La Land.” It was one of the musical’s record-breaking seven awards nabbed on Sunday. Gosling is also in contention for a Screen Actors’ Guild Award on Jan. 29.

Philosophical sci-fi yarn “Arrival” by Quebec director Denis Villeneuve and psychological thriller “Nocturnal Animals” have nine nominations each for the U.K prizes, known as 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 said it was an honour to be recognized in his home city. “My family is literally freaking out right now,” he said.

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 said.

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 U.S. 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.”

Jill Lawless, The Associated Press

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