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'Bridge of Spies,' 'Carol' lead race for British Academy Awards; Redmayne up for acting prize

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LONDON — Cold War thriller "Bridge of Spies" and lush lesbian romance "Carol" lead nominations for the British Academy Film Awards, while has a chance to win a second straight best-actor prize with his role as a transgender artist in "The Danish Girl."

"Bridge of Spies" and "Carol" each have nine nominations for Britain's equivalent of the Oscars, including best picture. Survival saga "The Revenant" has eight, and dystopian thrill ride "Mad Max: Fury Road" has seven.

"The Danish Girl" — based on the life of early 20th-century transgender woman — received five nominations Friday, including acting nods for Redmayne and co-star Alicia Vikander. Last year Redmayne won the same prize — and an Oscar — for the biopic "The Theory of Everything."

Swedish rising star Vikander also received a supporting-actress nomination for sci-fi thriller "Ex Machina."

Vikander called both films "such gifts of projects for me" and said she was extremely grateful to be nominated.

The other best-actor contenders are for Red Scare drama "Trumbo"; for "The Revenant"; for space adventure "The Martian"; and for computing biopic "."

In the best-actress category, Vikander is up against for mother-son drama "Room"; for "Carol"; for Alan Bennett adaptation "The Lady in the Van"; and for Irish emigrant tale "Brooklyn."

Winners of the British trophies, known as BAFTAs, will be decided by 6,500 members of the British film academy and announced at London's Royal Opera House on Feb. 14, two weeks before Hollywood's Academy Awards.

The British awards are considered an omen of Oscars success, and the list puts awards-season propulsion behind 's sturdy vehicle "Bridge of Spies," ' gorgeously shot "Carol" and 's "The Revenant," which stars DiCaprio as a 19th-century fur trapper fighting for survival in the wilderness.

All three filmmakers are nominated for best director at the BAFTAs, along with for financial-crisis drama "The Big Short" and for "The Martian."

The best-picture nominees are "The Big Short"; "Bridge of Spies"; "Carol"; "The Revenant"; and newspaper drama "Spotlight." The separate category of best British film pits "The Danish Girl" against "Ex Machina"; "Brooklyn"; documentary "Amy"; marriage drama "45 Years"; and quirky sci-fi fable "The Lobster."

The year's biggest films at the British box office were relatively overlooked by the film academy. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" received four nominations — for production design, sound, music and visual effects — while James Bond adventure "Spectre" got nothing.

"Star Wars" newcomer John Boyega was nominated for the Rising Star Award — decided by public vote — alongside "Room" star Larson and performers Bel Powley, Dakota Johnson and Taron Egerton.


Online: http://www.bafta.org

Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless

PHOTO: FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015 file photo, actor Eddie Redmayne poses during the photo call for the movie The Danish Girl at the 72nd edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy. Cold War thriller "Bridge of Spies" and lush lesbian romance "Carol" lead nominations for the British Academy Film Awards, while Eddie Redmayne has a chance to win a second straight best-actor prize with his role as a transgender artist in “The Danish Girl.” “The Danish Girl” _ based on the life of early 20th-century transgender woman Lili Elbe _ received five nominations Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 including acting nods for Redmayne and co-star Alicia Vikander. Last year Redmayne won the same prize _ and an Oscar _ for Stephen Hawking biopic "The Theory of Everything." (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015 file photo, actor Eddie Redmayne poses during the photo call for the movie The Danish Girl at the 72nd edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy. Cold War thriller "Bridge of Spies" and lush lesbian romance "Carol" lead nominations for the British Academy Film Awards, while Eddie Redmayne has a chance to win a second straight best-actor prize with his role as a transgender artist in “The Danish Girl.” “The Danish Girl” _ based on the life of early 20th-century transgender woman Lili Elbe _ received five nominations Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 including acting nods for Redmayne and co-star Alicia Vikander. Last year Redmayne won the same prize _ and an Oscar _ for Stephen Hawking biopic "The Theory of Everything." (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

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