Having triumphed at the Golden Globes, infectiously upbeat musical La La Land now leads the way at the BAFTA nominations. Here's your breakdown to the movie's success, and that of the other movies in the running.
La La Land does it again!
Amassing a barnstorming 11 nominations, it seems that Damien Chazelle's toe-tapping musical treat is poised to be this year's showstopper (although of course BAFTA could throw a curveball and not give it anything – this is an awards show, after all). Recognised for the likes of Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Ryan Gosling) and Best Actress (Emma Stone), La La Land proves once again that it has the magic formula for winning over audiences and awards voters alike.
A savvy, happy and intoxicating blend of old-school Hollywood pastiche and contemporary love story, the movie clearly has appeal for both young and old, puncturing through these gloomy times and carrying us on a wave of euphoria. Of course, this being a musical, it's only right that the richly rewarding soundtrack be recognised: composer Justin Hurtwitz has bagged the Best Original Score nomination for interweaving the catchy songs around his bittersweet melodies.
So will it triumph? We'd be surprised if it didn't clean up at least half of its 11 nominations, but when it comes to the Best Actor field, we reckon Gosling has got formidable competition in the form of Manchester by the Sea's Casey Affleck. The latter of course lost out to Gosling at the Globes, so will BAFTA award him a consolation prize? Watch this space. And on the subject of Manchester by the Sea, it's also up for Best Film and given its critical clout, could very well give La La Land a sleepless night.
The homegrown hit
Upon its release last October, Ken Loach's searing social-realist drama I, Daniel Blake galvanised audiences with its harrowing look at life in modern-day Britain. Very much a movie for the times, in the director's usual style it identifies working class characters battling against the system, in this case job benefits, and has clearly resonated with viewers in its mixture of hardship and humour.
The movie has picked up five nominations, impressive when one considers the stiff Hollywood competition it's up against. Up for the likes of Best British Film and Best Director, there's every chance the movie could triumph on domestic shores. Although the former category is a strong one this year, featuring the likes of Fantastic Beasts and American Honey, I, Daniel Blake's ability to communicate with audiences shouldn't be underestimated.
The dark horse contenders
Tom Ford's stylishly disturbing thriller Nocturnal Animals was largely snubbed by the Golden Globes, so it's thrilling to see BAFTA picking up the slack and awarding it nine nominations including Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay (it's based on the novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright) and, in a pleasant surprise, Best Actor for Jake Gyllenhaal. The movie may have proved to be something of a challenging and aloof watch for the more conservative Globe voters, so it's heartening to see the movie's elegant thrills being recognised here.
Wonderful also to see Denis Villeneuve's engrossing sci-fi masterpiece Arrival also bagging nine nominations, including Best Director, Best Actress for Amy Adams (making up for her Nocturnal Animals omission – she clearly fell victim to the 'double-booking' scenario) and Best Original Score for Johan Johansson. Its omission for Best Film is disappointing but at the very least Villeneuve's visionary helming of this intelligent and atmospheric first contact story has been recognised. Few directors last year were as praised for being at the helm of their respective movie, so he may well have this in the bag.
Moving adoption drama Lion also featured strongly, getting five nominations including Best Supporting Actress for Nicole Kidman, Best Supporting Actor for Dev Patel and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Meanwhile it's really satisfying to see Babak Anvari's Tehran-set, Jordan-filmed, British-backed political ghost story Under the Shadow being recognised in the Best British Film category. A horror movie with both brains and scares to chew over, we're firmly behind this one. And it's great to see Viggo Mortensen getting some spotlight for his moving performance as a father raising his kids in the wilderness in drama Captain Fantastic.
Has Moonlight been snubbed?
Barry Jenkins' multi-generational drama has been cleaning up on the independent awards circuit but given it's only received a paltry two BAFTA noms (albeit biggies – Best Film and Best Supporting Actress for Naomie Harris), are its chances slipping away? The movie is one of the most confidently realised and powerful of this year's run but it seems the movie is constantly running up against the feel-good behemoth that is La La Land.
The actual snubs
We were really plumping for Hell or High Water to get both Best Film and Best Director recognition (the latter for David McKenzie), but it wasn't to be. Nevertheless it's great to see Jeff Bridges' nomination for Best Supporting Actor – his crusty Texas Ranger was one of the best movie characters of 2016. Scriber Taylor Sheridan has also been deservedly recognised for his richly multi-layered script.
The real shocker is the continued cold shoulder given to Martin Scorsese's Silence. Given the esteemed Taxi Driver director's long-gestating passion project was lined up for a prime awards movie release date back in December in America, its poor showing must be considered a disappointment. Maybe the movie was released too close to the awards window? Nevertheless, it is great to see star Andrew Garfield nabbing a Best Actor nod for Mel Gibson's World War II epic Hacksaw Ridge, a movie otherwise only nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing.
Meanwhile another Hollywood veteran, Clint Eastwood, has also been snubbed for his plane crash drama Sully. Ultimately, the success of the movie may have rested more on the shoulders of star Tom Hanks (whose lack of a nomination is perhaps more surprising) with Eastwood's typically sturdy direction rarely calling attention to itself, unlike the splashier competition.
What were the BAFTA results that caught your attention? What are you delighted by? What's made you angry? Tweet us your thoughts @Cineworld. The 2017 BAFTA ceremony takes place on 12th February.