‘The Favourite’ leads race for British Academy Film Awards

LONDON (AP) — Wickedly funny royal comedy-drama “The Favourite” lived up to its name Wednesday, leading the race for the British Academy Film Awards.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ film received 12 nominations for the U.K. equivalent of the Oscars, including best film, best director and best actress, for Olivia Colman. Colman won a Golden Globe on Sunday for her performance as Britain’s 18th-century Queen Anne.

Colman’s co-stars, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, received supporting actress nominations as the two women competing for the monarch’s patronage.

“‘The Favourite’ has been many, many years in the making and we, the entire filmmaking team, are incredibly proud to have received this profound recognition today,” Lanthimos said. “I’m especially happy for the magnificent triumvirate that is Olivia, Rachel, and Emma, whose immense talent bring our film to life.”

Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” lunar drama “First Man,” autobiographical Mexican story “Roma” and musical melodrama “A Star Is Born” each received seven nominations for the prizes, considered an indicator of likely success at Hollywood’s Academy Awards in what’s shaping up to be an unpredictable awards season.

The winners will be announced Feb. 10 — two weeks before the Oscars — at a ceremony in London hosted by “Absolutely Fabulous” star Joanna Lumley.

Best-picture nominees are “The Favourite,” Roma,” ’'A Star is Born” and two very different movies about racism in America: “Green Book” and “BlacKkKlansman.”

Nominees for best British film — a separate category — are Channel Islands thriller “Beast,” ’'Bohemian Rhapsody,” ’'The Favourite,” fashion documentary “McQueen,” Laurel and Hardy biopic “Stan and Ollie” and crime thriller “You Were Never Really Here.”

Best actress nominees are Colman, Glenn Close for “The Wife,” Lady Gaga for “A Star is Born,” Melissa McCarthy for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and Viola Davis for “Widows.”

Best actor contenders are Bradley Cooper for “A Star is Born,” Christian Bale for “Vice,” Rami Malek for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Viggo Mortensen for “Green Book” and Steve Coogan for “Stan and Ollie.”

Coogan, who plays funnyman Stan Laurel, said it was odd to be nominated when John C. Reilly, who plays the other half of the comedic duo, Oliver Hardy, was overlooked.

“It’s always odd when I get a nomination and John doesn’t,” he told The Associated Press in an interview alongside his co-star. “But John got a nod from the Golden Globes and I didn’t, so we’re evens at the moment so we can move on.”

He said the film was “a collaboration. It’s a 50/50 right down the middle thing ... like Laurel and Hardy, this film can’t exist with one of us and not the other.”

Added Reilly: “It’s like giving an award to salt and pepper is like, ‘Hey, come on.’”