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It may look just like any other London street right now
but on Sunday 16th February, the red carpet will have been laid,
the fans will be out in force
and spirits will be high
for this year's EE British Academy Film Awards.
The biggest stars in the world of cinema will be drawn
to London's esteemed Royal Opera House like moths to a flame,
with this year's nominees hoping that their name will be
drawn from one of those iconic golden envelopes.
Welcome to the BAFTAs.
It's been a bumper year for film, as Gravity leads the nominations pack
with 11 nods, followed closely by 12 Years A Slave and American Hustle,
with ten apiece.
But it's all to play for with plenty of other contenders
well in the frame.
So, how on earth do you pick your favourites?
Join me, Zoe Ball, as we take a closer look at the films that have
racked up the most nominations this year.
We have to go. We have to go, go, go.
I think I did it.
This is not a story about doping, it's a story about power.
You don't wear make-up. You look like a lesbian.
Can you see me now?
See what you could have had, Keith?
I was forced to take a job selling shoes on Madison Avenue. Oh!
A total of 40 feature films and eight shorts make up the nominations
for this year's awards, with entries from all over the world.
Today, we're going to focus on just nine key titles,
all of which have at least four nominations each.
We start with a home-grown success, Philomena,
from a whole team of past BAFTA winners that includes
Steve Coogan, Judi Dench and director Stephen Frears.
The film tells the remarkable true story of one woman's desperate search
for the son taken from her 50 years earlier.
- I met him. - Where?
- At the White House. - Dear God!
About ten years ago, when I was with the BBC.
What was he like?
I can't remember, it was a Republican thing...
You must remember something.
I... He was by the door when we went. I shook hands with him.
But...well, what kind of a handshake did he have?
It... It was firm.
I mean, I would remember if he'd had a weak handshake.
You don't get to that position with a weak handshake.
So he had a firm handshake. What else?
He was smart.
Oh, I always kept him smart. Did you remember anything he said?
- Hello, hello. - Might have been "hi".
- Hello. - He was polite.
No, well...he was smart and he had a firm handshake.
He said hello.
And he said hello, hello.
He was polite.
'Incredibly, the film marks Judi Dench's 26th BAFTA nomination
'and if she wins, she'll take home her 11th BAFTA mask.
'Dench says she felt a great responsibility to the real life
'Philomena Lee in translating her story to film.'
God in his infinite wisdom decided to spare that from the flames.
I signed it because I believed I committed a terrible sin
and had to be punished.
'Steve Coogan was so moved by a Guardian article
'about Philomena's tale
'that he optioned journalist Martin Sixsmith's book
'and committed to co-writing and starring in the film.'
Just wonderful, Martin. I thought I was floating on air.
He was so handsome.
'It's one of two films this year, alongside Gravity,
'that feature on both the Best Film and Best British Film categories.
'Can it do the double?'
I¹m in the Opera House¹s magnificent Paul Hamlyn Hall,
where the stars will gather straight from the red carpet
to take a breath and settle their nerves with a glass of champagne.
One man more than accustomed to the champagne lifestyle
is Jordan Belfort, the high-living stockbroker
at the heart of Martin Scorsese¹s The Wolf Of Wall Street,
which has four nominations.
'Leonardo DiCaprio¹s third BAFTA nomination
'sees the actor on fine form.
'He says the film is an exploration of greed,
'the most destructive force in our modern era.'
Jordie, look what you got here? Look at this. 26,000 for one dinner?
No, no, no, this can be explained.
Dad, we had clients. We had Pfizer...the Pfizer clients.
Right, the porterhouse from Argentina.
Expensive champagne, the wine. We had to buy champagne.
And you ordered all the sides, tell him about the sides?
I ordered sides.
Sides? 26,000 worth of sides!
What are these sides? They cure cancer?
The sides did cure cancer, that¹s the problem.
- That¹s why they were expensive. - Shut up!
- I¹m serious... - Stop!
'Scorsese insisted to his long-time editor, Thelma Schoonmaker,
'that the film be ferocious, like an attack.
'The result is Schoonmaker¹s ninth nomination
'in this category, having last won for Scorsese¹s Goodfellas in 1990.'
We live in the same building. I'm just... I'm not understand...
How much money do you make?
I don¹t know, 70,000 last month.
'The film has attracted more than its fair share of criticism
'for its no-holds-barred portrayal of life within Belfort¹s firm.
' "All I know," says Martin Scorsese, "is that if you don¹t show it,
' "it¹s not going to go away." '
You make 72 grand in one month?
I tell you what...
..you show me a pay stub for 72,000, I quit my job right now
and I work for you.
'Martin Scorsese considers The Wolf Of Wall Street
'to be the third part of a loose trilogy exploring
'the allure of crime, after Goodfellas and Casino.'
No, yeah, yeah, everything¹s fine. Hey, listen, I quit.
Rush, from director Ron Howard, also receives four nominations.
In telling the true story of Formula One¹s bitter rivals
James Hunt and Niki Lauda,
the film shows the allure and the danger of this thrilling sport.
James, do you think you can cope with the pressure?
Well, I¹ve never really understood what that means,.
'The Outstanding British Film nominee passed its toughest test
'in July of last year
'when the film screened at the German Grand Prix.
'In the audience, Formula One drivers, team owners
'and Formula One boss, Bernie Ecclestone. They lapped it up.'
Hunt now has opportunity to win but it¹s not so easy
to become a champion.
You have to really believe it to make it possible.
James, is there anything you¹d like to add?
If Niki is being tricky and getting a kickie out of playing mind games,
then fine. I¹m flattered.
But the fact is momentum is with me. I¹ve never felt better.
And I fully expect the next press conference we all have
will be with me as world champion.
Five races in, how is it going so far?
'Daniel Bruhl, nominated for Best Supporting Actor,
'wore a prosthetic overbite to make him look more like Niki Lauda.
'He described the role as a gift,
'and spent a lot of time getting to know the real racing driver
'before filming began.'
But you complained, and your team of lawyers leaned
on the authorities. Now we¹ve had to rebuild the car
and it¹s become a monster.
At least it¹s a legal monster.
'The real Niki Lauda is thrilled with Bruhl¹s performance as him
'and wishes James Hunt were alive to see the film.
' "I know for sure he would have enjoyed it," he says.'
Do you really think it upsets me, James, calling me a rat
because I look like one?
I don¹t mind it.
Rats are ugly, sure, and nobody likes them
but they¹re very intelligent and they have a strong survival instinct.
'There¹s little doubt that Rush¹s spectacular racing sequences
'helped land the film¹s sound and editing teams
'with their nominations.
'Ron Howard and his team went to Germany¹s infamous Nurburgring
'and shot a real historical race meeting to get footage for the film.'
Behind The Candelabra, directed by Stephen Soderbergh,
celebrates an opulence of its own, the extravagant world of Liberace.
'The film tells the tale of the tempestuous relationship
'between the singer, played by Michael Douglas,
'and his much younger lover, Scott Thorson,
'brought to life by Matt Damon.'
Well, you could be my secretary.
I don¹t type.
Hell, Scott, I can pay people to type.
I need a companion, a bodyguard,
someone to keep people off my back,
someone I can talk to, the way we talked tonight.
You'd be my right-hand man, you can take care of the animals.
Now, Jack, I want to talk to you
about doing some surgery on Scott here.
Fine. What would you like me to do with Scott?
'The real life Scott Thorson wrote the book
'on which Behind The Candelabra
'is based but Best Supporting Actor nominee Matt Damon
'chose not to meet the man he played during shooting.
'He feared the passage of time would make the Thorson of today
'a different person than the boy who first met Liberace.'
He¹s going to need a nose job,
and I¹m going to have to restructure his cheekbones
and his chin with silicone implants, but it¹s not impossible.
But first, we¹ve got to slim him down.
'Hair and make-up nominees Kate Biscoe and Marie Larkin
'had their work cut out for them too,
'most memorably transforming Rob Lowe into Dr Jack Startz,
'Liberace¹s plastic surgeon.
'The actor says his face was literally pulled back with tape
'to mimic the effect of a face-lift.'
Back then, classical piano players always wore black tuxedos,
plain old black tuxedos.
'The glittering lifestyle Liberace enjoyed was a gift
'for costume designer Ellen Mirojnick,
'nominated for her work on the film.
'She enlisted the help of the Liberace Foundation
'and was able to get hands-on with the entertainer¹s
'extensive archive of fabulous clothes.'
And I look at the black piano, I think,
"Hm, black piano, black tuxedo.
"Who is going to see me in this giant clam shell?"
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Well, I ask you, can you see me now?
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
With the excitement of the red carpet coming to a close,
guests will start making their way to their seats
through the magnificent corridors of the Royal Opera House.
Among them will be the creative team behind Saving Mr Banks,
which is nominated for five awards.
The making of Disney's Mary Poppins was fraught with difficulties,
most of them owing to the stern strictures of the novel's author,
PL Travers, who resisted Walt Disney's pleas to adapt her book
for more than 20 years.
What are you doing?
'Saving Mr Banks picks up the story as Mrs Travers' financial situation
'forces her to relent to Disney's proposals
'and nominee Emma Thompson plays Travers as she travels to America
'to meet with Disney, played by Tom Hanks.
'Thompson benefited from
'access to more than 39 hours' worth of audio tapes
'that recorded the tense atmosphere at the story meetings
'Travers took on the Disney lot.'
"Responstible..." is not a word.
'The author insisted that every decision she approved and denied
'be properly recorded, so there could be no misunderstanding.
'The film flashes back to Travers' young life
'with her family in Australia
'and offers an insight into the memorable characters she created
'for the book, especially that of Mr Banks,
'based loosely on her father.
'Remarkably, it's Kelly Marcel's first screenplay
'and she's recognised with
'an Outstanding Debut nomination for her work.'
WALT DISNEY: I swear every time a person walks into a movie house,
they will rejoice.
Here you are. At last.
Oh, my dear gal, you can't imagine...
'Nominated composer Thomas Newman teased moments of that famous
'Mary Poppins soundtrack in his score for Saving Mr Banks,
'but he was adamant that his music have its own identity.'
Come here, come here. Tommy!
Say hello to the one and only Pamela Travers.
It's so nice to meet you.
You know, I-I-I can't believe it. PL Travers, right here, in my office.
After all these years, almost 20 of them?
- Hmm, yes. - 20 long years.
Ah, I wish you could have seen me then, Pam.
Lean as a whippet, I was, a racehorse.
Well, anyway, now here you are and look at you!
Hell, I could just eat you up.
Well, that wouldn't be appropriate.
One of those nominees, Tom Hanks, has had a busy year.
As well as playing Walt Disney in Saving Mr Banks, he's picked up
a Best Actor nod for his turn in Paul Greengrass's Captain Phillips.
Shots fired, shot fired! Take the hoses.
'The film is adapted by nominee Billy Ray
'from the shocking account of freighter captain Richard Phillips.
'It's the harrowing story of an attack by Somali pirates
'that resulted in Phillips being taken hostage.'
CREW MEMBER: Coming in close, cap.
- Whoa. - Whoa!
Four pirates on board. Four pirates, coming towards us down the main deck.
'Best Director nominee, Paul Greengrass,
'was adamant that he shoot the film at sea for added authenticity.
'The logistical challenge of working this way created prodigious problems,
'he says, but for nominated cinematographer Barry Ackroyd,
'the atmosphere it added was essential.
'And Greengrass worked closely with his editor, Christopher Rouse,
'before he'd even shot a frame of film,
'to ensure they shot just the right material
'to edit the fast-moving action.'
- Don't get in there. - Got to get 'em off the ship!
Not like this!
'All of the interior shots of the lifeboat
'happened while it was out at sea
'and the cramped conditions caused many of the crew to be seasick.'
I've come too far. I can't give up.
'It was by chance that Best Supporting Actor nominee,
'saw an announcement for the open casting call for the role of Muse
'and decided to go along.
'Having won the part, he didn't meet Tom Hanks
'until the moment they shot their first scene together.'
- The computer's now offline. - Captain.
The ship's broken.
Captain, no-one gets hurt if you don't play no game.
Ah, it's... The ship's broken. We had to go...
Nobody gets hurt. Easy.
- Look at me. - Sure.
Look at me.
- Sure. - I'm the captain now.
Eight of the nine films we're exploring today
are based on true stories,
though American Hustle probably has the subtlest of connections.
'The film, which is up for ten awards,
'is very loosely based on the Abscam scandal -
' a sting operation by the FBI that resulted in the conviction
'of several members of the US Government.'
I think...also, always take a favour over money.
I think Jesus said that as well.
But I don't know if he said the second one.
He might have said the first one.
I chipped that moving furniture.
It's my new obsession - moving, redecorating...
it makes me feel better, like exercise...
- Oh, yeah. - ..but there's this...this top coat
that you can only get from Switzerland
and I don't know what I'm going to do because I'm running out of it,
but I LOVE the smell of it.
- Oh, I can get it for you. - That would be amazing.
There's something... The top coat, it's, like, perfumey,
but there's also something rotten and I know that sounds crazy,
but I can't get enough of it. You can smell it, it's true.
I don't like that you're in jail while he's going free.
I don't like any of that. I want to help you.
'David O Russell, it seems, is a BAFTA lucky charm for his cast
'with four of the principal actors receiving nominations.
'The director wrote the parts with his actors in mind,
'but the real stars of the show are surely their hairdos.
'Bradley Cooper insisted on giving his character a perm
'and Christian Bale's comb-over was so convincing
'that Robert De Niro didn't even recognise him.
'Thanks to its rich setting, the film also earns nods for its production
'and costume design.
'Both teams worked hard
'to nail period details of 1970s midtown Manhattan,
'a world of Studio 54, Lucite furniture and fur coats.'
Is that Duke Ellington on your bracelet?
Yeah, as a matter of fact it is.
- He died this year, you know. - I know.
I doubt anyone else here knows or cares about it.
Well, I care about it. He saved my life many times.
'Costume designer Michael Wilkinson
'used as much vintage clothing as possible
'to get a sense of authenticity
'and searched all over the United States for the right pieces,
'even asking collectors to loan him their finest.'
IRVING: I felt like we had a secret, just the two of us.
This corridor leading to the Opera House stalls
is one all of BAFTA night's nominees will enter.
The stalls, of course, are the seats closest to the stage
and all of our nominees will be hoping they'll be the ones
to make that all-important walk to the front.
12 Years A Slave is another film with ten chances to make that journey.
Our final true story is about a free man, kidnapped from his home
and sold into slavery for more than a decade.
Where are you from, Platt?
- I told you. - Tell me again.
- Washington. - Who were your master?
- Master name of Freeman. - Was he a learned man?
I suppose so.
He learn you to read?
A word, here or there. But I've no understanding of the written text.
Don't trouble yourself with it.
'Director Steve McQueen had been planning to write a fictional story
'following a similar narrative when his partner, Bianca Stigter,
'found Solomon Northup's book about his real-life ordeal.
'John Ridley wrote the script on spec,
'with no guarantee that the film would be commissioned.
'He says writing the script was eye-opening as he learned the truth
'about one of the darkest chapters in American history.
'Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Northup
'and has been nominated for Best Leading Actor,
'was initially uncertain he could do the part justice,
'but as he settled into the production,
'he realised the film, at its core,
'was about the triumph of the human spirit,
'something all of us can relate to.'
Days ago I was with my family...
..in my home.
Now you tell me all is lost?
Tell no-one who I am, that¹s the way to survive?
Well, I don¹t want to survive.
I want to live.
'One of the film's greatest discoveries
'is Supporting Actress nominee, Lupita Nyong'o.
'She was offered the role of Patsey
'weeks before graduating from drama school.
'For McQueen, there was no other choice.
' "She has this vulnerability to her", he says,
' "but she's also a tremendous force." '
I stink so much I make myself gag!
500 pounds of cotton, day in, day out.
More than any man here.
And for that I will be clean, that's all I ask.
Which brings us to our final film.
Gravity is edging ahead of the pack with a total of 11 nominations.
Directed by Alfonso Cuaron, best known for Y Tu Mama Tambien
and Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban,
it's a space thriller like no other.
STONE: Explorer, do you copy?
KOWALSKI: Explorer, permission to retrieve Dr Stone?
EXPLORER: You're a go, Kowalski. Houston, this is Explorer, copy.
KOWALSKI: All right.
EXPLORER: We¹ve lost Houston. We¹ve lost Houston.
KOWALSKI: Look, we need to get the hell out of here.
- STONE: Right. - SHARIFF: Need some help, Matt?
- KOWALSKI: No, don¹t wait for us. - STONE: It's stuck!
KOWALSKI: Man down, man down!
EXPLORER: Houston, this is Explorer, copy.
Houston, this is Explorer, copy.
- Kowalski, report... - STONE: Aah, ah...
KOWALSKI: Explorer's been hit. Explorer, do you read?
'The film follows astronauts Ryan Stone and Matt Kowalski,
'played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney,
'as a debris field destroys their shuttle
'and leaves them stranded in space.
'Alfonso Cuaron had to wait four years
'for film-making technology to catch up
'with the ambition of his orbital thriller.
'He re-teamed with Harry Potter producer David Heyman
'to bring the story to the big screen,
'with filming taking place at Shepperton Studios.'
KOWALSKI: Houston, I¹ve lost visual of Dr Stone.
'Cuaron worked closely with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki
'and visual effects supervisor Tim Webber
'to work out the logistics of shooting the film.
'They developed entirely new film-making techniques
'to shoot actors so they appeared to be weightless whilst at the same time
'delivering Cuaron's trademark kinetic shooting style.'
STONE: What do I do?
What do I do?!
'With so much of Gravity's visual impact created
'after the fact in visual effects
'and with director Alfonso Cuaron favouring long takes,
'Leading Actress nominee Sandra Bullock
'spent months prior to shooting preparing for a role
'that she described as a well-rehearsed dance routine.
'And while Gravity is the only
'totally fictional film we're looking at,
'its screenplay's attention to detail is so precise,
'the premise is based in absolute scientific fact.
'The orbital debris cascade scenario shown in the film
'is known as the Kessler syndrome,
'named after the NASA scientist who first proposed the theory.'
KOWALSKI: Gimme five.
STONE: I've got you. I've got you. I've got you...
Preparations are already well under way for this year's ceremony
and so the most exciting view in the house - of the stunning auditorium -
will have to be saved for the night itself.
By this point in the evening, the excitement will have reached
a crescendo and it's all in anticipation of who will go home
with this, British cinema's most coveted prize, the BAFTA mask.
Be sure to join me on the night, Sunday 16th February,
at the EE British Academy Film Awards,
where I'll be chatting to the stars on the red carpet
and getting reactions from the winners as they step off stage.
For now though, I'm going to enjoy my moment.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
So, let's get right to it. The nominees are...
And the BAFTA...
Well, a big thanks.
Thank you very much.
You guys are a really terrific organisation.
I'm so honoured.
This is incredibly flattering.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you, BAFTA.