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Fassbender and Irish film Philomena get the nod for BAFTAs

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NOMINEE: Michael Fassbender

NOMINEE: Michael Fassbender

NOMINEE: Michael Fassbender

IT was not the most sympathetic role.

But Killarney actor Michael Fassbender's decision to take a part as a cruel slave owner has led to him being nominated for a BAFTA.

The nomination is one of ten for acclaimed historical drama 12 Years A Slave.

Heavily tipped for the Oscars, 12 Years A Slave also picked up nominations for director Steve McQueen and three of its stars, and is in the running to be named best film.

Also of Irish interest in the list of BAFTA list released this morning were nominations for Philomena, based on the true story of Limerick woman Philomena Lee's tries to find the son she gave up for adoption.

Shot here, the film received a nod for Best Film and Leading Actress for Dame Judi Dench, who plays Philomena. She will be up against rivals Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr Banks) and Sandra Bullock (Gravity).

In the Best Picture category, Philomena will be battling out with American Hustle, Captain Phillips and Gravity.

PRIZES

The list of nominations was announced at Bafta's HQ in Central London this morning by Hobbit star Luke Evans and Harry Potter star Helen McCrory.

Film critic Mark Kermode said he expected the outer space drama Gravity to provide the main competition to 12 Years A Slave for prizes.

He said: "The nice surprise has been, in the case of 12 Years A Slave, not only has it been nominated for best film, best director, you've got a best supporting actor nomination for Lupita Nyong'o, who's terrific, and just a couple of days ago got a nomination for the Bafta Rising Star award so that's two nominations for her.

"Great to see Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) nominated for best actor, his performance is absolutely outstanding, although he's up against Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips."

"When it comes to wins you're looking at 12 Years A Slave and Gravity. American Hustle has done well numerically in the nominations; I'd be surprised if it did as well when it comes to the awards themselves," Mr Kermode said.

The 2014 BAFTA ceremony will be held at the Royal Opera House in London on February 16.

hnews@herald.ie


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