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LONDON – David O. Russell, who previously won a best adapted screenplay BAFTA award for Silver Linings Playbook, said he was “humbled and beyond grateful” for American Hustle‘s showing in this year’s nominations.
The film scored a whopping 10 nominations, including nods in all four major acting categories, for Christian Bale (leading actor), Amy Adams (leading actress), Bradley Cooper (supporting actor) and Jennifer Lawrence (supporting actress). The movie also was nominated for best film, best original screenplay and best director, among other nominations.
“Mind-blowing,” Russell said of the nominations. “It means everything to have our actors and our craftspeople, who put their hearts into this picture, acknowledged.”
PHOTOS: Behind the Scenes of ‘American Hustle’
Wednesday’s BAFTA nominations also conjured a delighted reaction from Oscar winner Judi Dench, who broke BAFTA’s own record as the most nominated actor ever, with her 15th nod, this time for her turn in Stephen Frears‘ Philomena opposite Steve Coogan.
“I’m very proud to be associated with this film and I thank BAFTA voters for their nomination,” Dench said. “I’m honored and thrilled to be in such fine company.”
Dench has won BAFTA plaudits six times, including one for most promising newcomer in a leading film in 1966 for Anthony Simmons‘ Four in the Morning.
Coogan described the film, which garnered four nominations including ones for best film, best adapted screenplay and best British film, and which he co-wrote, starred in and produced as a “labor of love” to make.
STORY: ‘Gravity’ Tops BAFTA Nominations
“To make a film with the very best people, where comedy and pathos sit side by side, is not easy,”said Coogan. “We all wanted to make something sincere and uncynical without being naive. To have it acknowledged by BAFTA is very satisfying.”
Leonardo DiCaprio, nominated for his outing in Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street, said he was honored to have been included on the BAFTA roster, ahead of the film’s British premiere Thursday evening. The film received a total of three nominations.
“These nominations reflect the determination of an extraordinary cast, crew and of course, the great Marty Scorsese”
Emma Thompson, who has bagged two BAFTA acting awards previously for turns in Howards End and Sense and Sensibility employed her trademark humor in her reaction to her leading actress nomination for Saving Mr Banks.
“Getting the nod from BAFTA means I can hold my head high on Piccadilly. I haven’t been able to say that in years,” said Thompson.
Screenwriter Kelly Marcel, currently working on the big-screen adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey, was nominated for her script for Saving Mr. Banks, in the outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer category.
“Thanks, that’s lovely, a nomination for one of us is a nomination for the whole Banks family. I’m having a cup of tea to celebrate,” Marcel said.
Directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, on the nomination of Despicable Me 2 in this year’s best animation category, said: “It’s a great honor to have our work recognized and appreciated by both the U.K. audiences and the British Academy.”
Philomena, backed by BBC Films, the stand-alone movie-making unit for the public broadcaster, along with support from French-owned Pathe U.K., accounted for four of the 11 nominations that boasted BBC involvement. (The others were Saving Mr. Banks with five nominations and The Invisible Woman and Good Vibrations with one apiece).
BBC Films chief Christine Langan said: “This has been a great year for BBC Films. The spread of BAFTA nominations from outstanding debuts to recognition for stars like Judi Dench and Emma Thompson demonstrates the breadth and depth of talent working in the U.K. today.”
Across town, broadcaster Channel Four’s standalone film unit Film4 was basking in the glow of having received 12 nominations across the categories, including 10 nods for Steve McQueen‘s 12 Years a Slave, Film4’s third collaboration with the filmmaker following Hunger and Shame.
STORY: BAFTA’s Best Brit Movie Category Includes ‘Gravity,’ ‘Rush’ and ‘Saving Mr. Banks’
Tessa Ross, controller of film and drama at Channel 4, said: “With Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave receiving 10 nominations and so much recognition for British talent, this is certainly a proud moment for British film. Congratulations to all of our nominees, Film4 is privileged to have supported them on their journey.”
Another important backer of British projects, the British Film Institute’s film fund, now the U.K.’s largest public investor in film, also celebrated a positive showing after pumping cash into Philomena, The Selfish Giant, Paul Wright‘s For Those in Peril, Scott Graham‘s Shell, and three films in the British Short Film category (Orbit Ever After, Keeping Up With the Joneses and Sea View).
Said BFI Film Fund director Ben Roberts: “The BAFTAs can provide a huge boost for new film talent, and it’s fantastic to see bold new voices like Paul Wright and Scott Graham included in the outstanding debut category.”
Nigel Sinclair and Guy East, Exclusive Media co-chairmen and executive producers of Ron Howard‘s Formula 1 1970s-set drama Rush, celebrated their movie’s nominations for star Daniel Bruhl and outstanding British film.
“Congratulations to Ron Howard, Andrew Eaton, Eric Fellner, Brian Oliver, Peter Morgan and Brian Grazer and especially to Daniel Bruhl, who delivered such an exceptional performance as Niki Lauda,” Sinclair and East said in a statement. “His nomination for best supporting actor is thoroughly deserved.”
The EE British Academy Film Awards take place on Feb. 16 at the Royal Opera House in London.
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