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Hawking biopic leads the field for Bafta nods

Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything has been tipped for Bafta glory after being nominated in the four main categories, including best film.

Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, who play on-screen couple Hawking and his first wife Jane, both received nods for their roles in the critically acclaimed drama.

Redmayne faces competition from stars including Michael Keaton and Benedict Cumberbatch for the best actor award, while Jones is up against names including Amy Adams and Reese Witherspoon for best actress.

However, Redmayne insisted there was no rivalry between him and fellow Brit Cumberbatch. "I absolutely adore that man and think he's the most brilliant actor," he said.

"For me, it's a real privilege to be in a list alongside him. He's an old friend and a wonderful talent."

The Grand Budapest Hotel, a comedy directed by Wes Anderson, led the nominations with 11, while superhero drama Birdman and The Theory of Everything each won ten.

The Imitation Game, which stars Cumberbatch as codebreaker Alan Turing, received nine nods.

All four are contenders for best film along with Richard Linklater's Boyhood, a family drama which tracks a young, suburban Texan boy between the ages of six and 17.

Outstanding British film nominees include '71, a drama set in Belfast during the Troubles, The Imitation Game, Paddington and The Theory of Everything.

Redmayne's performance as Hawking won rave reviews and saw him tipped for both Bafta and Oscar glory.

responsibility

But the actor insisted that the real honour in playing Prof Hawking was meeting the man himself.

"The most rewarding part of it was getting to meet Stephen, Jane and the Hawking family. The whole film was this extraordinary mixture of great privilege and great responsibility and just being able to enter the lives of these people for a few months and to hear their stories. Even just to spend time with them was truly an honour," he said.

Jones faces competition in the best actress category from Gone Girl star Rosamund Pike, Julianne Moore and Reese Witherspoon.

Ralph Fiennes is nominated in the best actor category for his role as the hotel concierge in The Grand Budapest Hotel, a pink palace perched high on a misty mountain range.

The film, released almost a year ago, is set in the fictional eastern European state of Zubrowka in the late 1930s, and follows the action in and around the deluxe hotel.

Other nominations include best supporting actress nods for Keira Knightley, who plays the Bletchley Park codebreaker Joan Clarke in The Imitation Game, and Imelda Staunton for Pride, a low-budget British film based on the story of gay and lesbian activists who lent their support to the 1984 miners' strike.

Both Mark Ruffalo and Steve Carell are nominated in the best supporting actor category for Foxcatcher, a true-crime thriller, alongside Edward Norton for Birdman, Ethan Hawke for Boyhood and JK Simmons for Whiplash.

The nominations were announced by Stephen Fry, who will host the Bafta award ceremony next month, and Hunger Games star Sam Clafin.

hnews@herald.ie


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