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18 Jan 2012

Silent movie The Artist leads this year's Baftas with 12 nominations, including best film and best director.

Its two stars, Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo, are in the running for best actor and actress.

British Cold War-era spy movie Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is close behind The Artist, with 11 nominations.

Meryl Streep is nominated for best actress in The Iron Lady, with George Clooney among best actor hopefuls.

Streep and Bejo are up against Michelle Williams for My Week With Marilyn, Tilda Swinton for We Need to Talk About Kevin and The Help's Viola Davis.

Clooney and Dujardin take on Brad Pitt for Moneyball, Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Shame's Michael Fassbender.

Reacting to The Artist's brace of nominations, Dujardin said: "It makes me so happy that so many people are embracing this movie, a black and white silent film, and that it is becoming so universally celebrated.

"To be recognized in a category with these other actors, whose work I have admired for a long time, is a true honour."

His co-star Bejo added: "If I were in London right now, I would dance for you. Thank, you, Bafta members! "

Gary Oldman, one of Tinker Tailor's stars, said the film was among those representing the "very Best of British" at this year's Baftas.

Martin Scorsese's Hugo has nine nominations - Scorsese gains a nod for best director, while his other recent film, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, is up for best documentary.

Other movies in the running for best film are Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Descendants, Drive and The Help.

Stiff competition

Drive's Nicolas Winding Refn, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy's Tomas Alfredson and Lynne Ramsey - We Need To Talk About Kevin - are nominated for best director.

Five films will battle it out to be named outstanding British film at the awards ceremony next month - My Week With Marilyn, Senna, Shame, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Tim Bevan, producer of the British spy movie, said: "A producer's dream is both commercial and critical success.

"The British audience with their whole-hearted support of the movie has given us the first, and the UK press and now the Bafta nominations have given us the latter."

Senna, about the life of Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, is also up for best documentary, as is Project Nim, about a chimpanzee raised as a child in the 1970s.

Jim Broadbent, who plays Denis Thatcher in The Iron Lady, is up for best supporting actor, as is Kenneth Branagh for his portrayal of Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn.

Jonah Hill is also recognised in the same category for Moneyball, along with Christopher Plummer for Beginners and Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Ides of March.

Judi Dench also gets a nod for My Week With Marilyn in the best supporting actress category, but faces stiff competition from two actresses in civil rights drama The Help.

Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer are pitched against Carey Mulligan, who stars in Drive and Melissa McCarthy for her role in comedy Bridesmaids.

Best foreign film nominations are Canada's Incendies, Germany's Pina, French comedy Potiche, the Golden Globe-winning Iranian film A Separation and Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In.

Actors turned directors Ralph Fiennes and Paddy Considine are recognised in the outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer category, for Shakespeare adaptation Coriolanus and hard-hitting drama Tyrannosaur respectively.

Joe Cornish is also nominated for Attack the Block, alongside Richard Ayoade for Submarine and Will Sharpe for Black Pond.

Abi Morgan's The Iron Lady, which has four nominations in total, is cited for best original screenplay, as is The Artist - written by best director nominee Hazanavicius.

Best animation nominees are Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, Sarah Smith's Arthur Christmas and Gore Verbinski's Rango.

Spielberg's adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse has five nominations, largely in technical categories, although John Williams is recognised for the score.

Clooney's Descendants is up for adapted screenplay, alongside another Clooney vehicle, The Ides of March. The Help, Moneyball and Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy are also in the running.

The awards ceremony, hosted by Stephen Fry, will take place at the Royal Opera House in London on 12 February.


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