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‘Suffragette’ Leads Acting Charge for British Indie Film Awards

Photo Source: Carey Mulligan in “Suffragette” - Courtesy Focus Features

The U.K. is keeping the “independent” in the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA). Rather than recognizing the “new-age” indies—complete with substantial financial backing and an Oscar push to boot (i.e. “Silver Linings Playbook”)—BIFA kept its nominations, announced Nov. 3, focused on films like “The Lobster.”

From Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos, the indie leads the list with seven nominations, including for starring actor Colin Farrell and supporting players Ben Whishaw (“Spectre”) and Olivia Colman (“Broadchurch”). Set in a world where people turn into animals if they don’t find a romantic partner, “The Lobster” also received best British independent film, best director, best screenplay for Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou, and best producer nods.

Predicted awards season player “The Danish Girl” came up empty for last year’s Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (for “The Theory of Everything”) but squeezed into the running with a single nod for his co-star Alicia Vikander in the best actress category. Vikander’s other lead role this year in “Ex Machina” didn’t earn her a second acting nod, but surely contributed to the sci-fi flick’s recognition for best film; it also picked up slots in the best director (Alex Garland), best screenplay, and best achievement in a craft categories. Also tapped in the best film category was the Amy Winehouse documentary “Amy.”

However, “Suffragette,” another anticipated heavyweight, didn’t land best indie film, instead heading up the acting groups with four nominations spread evenly between lead Carey Mulligan, supporters Brendan Gleeson (“Calvary”), and competing female nominees Helena Bonham-Carter and Anne-Marie Duff (“Shameless”).

Another Gleeson—Domhnall, to be specific—was nominated alongside his father in the male supporting category for his turn in “Brooklyn”; his co-star, Saoirse Ronan, landed a spot on the lead actress list, as did female supporter Julie Walters (“Harry Potter”). Ronan portrays an Irish girl who emigrates to the United States, while Domhnall Gleeson (“Ex Machina”) plays one of her love interests. The film’s screenwriter Nick Hornby (“Wild”) is also in the BIFA running.

Best indie film nominee “Macbeth” had its two leads, Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, recognized in the best male and female actor categories. Also listed were Tom Hardy for his turn in “Legend,” where he plays infamous London gangsters, the Kray twins; Tom Hiddleston (“The Avengers”) for “High-Rise”; and Tom Courtenay, star of “45 Years” (also nominated for best film). Courtenay’s co-star Charlotte Rampling landed herself a spot in the best actress category, and “High-Rise” saw two additional nominations in the supporting categories thanks to Sienna Miller (“American Sniper”) and Luke Evans (“Dracula Untold”).

Canadian-Irish film “Room,” starring Brie Larson as a captive housewife and mother, was chosen for the foreign film category, alongside the Cate Blanchett–starring “Carol”; the Swedish film “Force Majeure,” featuring Kristofer Hivju (“Game of Thrones”), about a marriage and family that falls apart after the patriarch only protects himself in Swiss Alps avalanche; “Girlhood,” the French nominee about an all-girl gang in the Parisian projects; and a Hungarian WWII film that takes place in Auschwitz titled “Son of Saul.”

The British Independent Film Awards ceremony will take place Dec. 6 in London.

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