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LONDON – Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Leonardo DiCaprio, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock are all confirmed to attend this year’s EE British Academy Film Awards, presented by BAFTA.
The U.K. movie’s ultimate back-patting shindig, the most prestigious and glitziest of the British awards, said all 10 names in the running for the night’s best actor and actress nods will be in town as the envelope is opened.
Also coming to the glitzy evening are Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Emma Thompson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch, along with filmmakers including David O. Russell, Steve McQueen, Martin Scorsese, Alfonso Cuaron, Paul Greengrass and Ron Howard.
It is an endorsement of the efforts made by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to make the event a serious-minded player in awards season and allow it to claim relevance in the Oscar race that such a big presence from Hollywood is due to attend. But in some quarters, the high-profile Hollywood presence is regarded as a source of hand-wringing over whether the ceremony is failing British talent in deference to U.S. stars and filmmakers.
TV critic and occasional Guardian scribe Andrew Collins said British films are “cruelly ignored” by the awards. He wrote in the Radio Times, the U.K.’s big-selling TV listings magazine, that aside from the awards’ two specifically local categories — outstanding British film and outstanding British debut — “our best must battle it out against the vast budgets and promotional might of the Hollywood dream factory.”
Titles overlooked, according to Collins, in the global categories include A Field In England, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Trance and Le Week-end.
Going into the night, Cuaron’s Gravity leads the field with 11 nominations for this year’s British Academy Film Awards, presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and sponsored by cell operator EE. The movie’s main challenge on the night will come from McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave and American Hustle, directed by O. Russell, which picked up nominations in 10 categories.
The EE British Academy Film Awards take place on Sunday, Feb. 16 at the Royal Opera House in London, with the ceremony broadcast exclusively on BBC One in the U.K. and in all major territories around the world. The awards shindig will be hosted by Stephen Fry and will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One.
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