As ever with their nominations announcement, BAFTA giveth, and BAFTA taketh away. Excited to see "Drive" up for Best Film and Best Director? Sure, but in return we have to accept Jim Broadbent nominated, ahead of Albert Brooks, for a career-worst performance in "The Iron Lady," which also somehow copped a Best Original Screenplay nod. (Despite this showing, the film mercifully didn't crack their Best British Film lineup.)

Glad to see a strong showing at last for "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?" Yes, but the flipside of that is zero nominations for "The Tree of Life" -- no, not even a cinematography nod for Emmanuel Lubezki. Even when trying to anticipate the Oscar race, BAFTA remain a law unto themselves -- which can be as exasperating as it is occasionally rewarding.

The frontrunners, of course, could have been spotted from space. Oscar favorite "The Artist" naturally leads the way with 12 nominations -- the (mostly) silent film scored even in the Best Sound category -- while British loyalty netted an impressive 11 nods for domestic hit "Tinker, Tailor." The two will fight it out for the top award, though with the latter primed for the consolation prize of Best British Film, I think we know how this is going to go.

The Best Film category is rounded out with "The Descendants," "The Help" and, in their most independent and adventurous move, the aforementioned "Drive." "The Help" is perhaps the most surprising of these, given that the distinctly Yank-flavored film didn't do much business in the UK, and that its slot comes at the expense of "Hugo," which nonetheless scored nine nominations, including a Best Director bid for this year's BAFTA Fellowship honoree, Martin Scorsese. You know what I've been saying about "The Help" invisibly picking up momentum in the Best Picture race? There's your evidence.

As usual, the nominations hewed closely to the chapter selections marked in the longlists -- and where the votes of the general membership did diverge from those of the relevant chapter, it wasn't generally for the better. Eddie Marsan out of Best Supporting Actor, Broadbent in. "Young Adult" out of Best Original Screenplay, "The Iron Lady" in. "Drive" out of Best Cinematography, "War Horse" in. Some other replacements are welcome ones, but for the most part, one wonders why BAFTA doesn't just leave it to the supposed experts.

If you're surprised to see Carey Mulligan mentioned in the Best Supporting Actress category for "Drive" rather than "Shame" -- in what other list would the British ingenue emerge as the only acting nominee from Nicolas Winding Refn's film? -- bear in mind that she was longlisted as a lead in the latter. BAFTA also overruled campaign categorization in the case of "The Artist" star Bérénice Bejo, correctly deeming her a lead -- she scores a Best Actress nomination, which does little to clarify the Oscar picture in that category. (Before Glenn Close's detractors pop the champagne, remember that "Albert Nobbs," which is still without UK distribution, wasn't eligible.)

Anything else? Well, the Brits clearly aren't buying this year's Americans in Paris quite as wholesale as voters across the pond -- in addition to "Hugo" missing out in the top race, "Midnight in Paris" scored a solitary Original Screenplay nod. And they're only half-sold on "The Descendants": the Golden Globe winner had enough residual heat for three nods, including Best Film, but is missing from the Best Director and Best Supporting Actress categories. (Joining Scorsese at the lone-director table, in one of the morning's most thrilling nominations, is Lynne Ramsay for "We Need to Talk About Kevin.") 

Another film that didn't do nearly as well with the Brits as it has with US Guild voters is David Fincher's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Last year, the Swedish original nagged Actress and Adapted Screenplay nominations, in addition to snagging Best Foreign Language Film; by contrast, the remake managed only a pair of technical nods. I can't help wondering if the Academy's response on Oscar nomination morning might be similarly deflating.

Anyway, I'll leave you to pick through the full list of nominees below. The awards will be handed out on February 12 in London.

Best Film
"The Artist"
"The Descendants"
"Drive"
"The Help"
"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

Best British Film
"My Week With Marilyn"
"Senna"
"Shame"
"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
"We Need to Talk About Kevin"

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Nicolas Winding Refn, "Drive"
Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"
Tomas Alfredson, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy"
Lynne Ramsay, "We Need to Talk About Kevin"

Best Actor
George Clooney, "The Descendants"
Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
Michael Fassbender, "Shame"
Gary Oldman. "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
Brad Pitt, "Moneyball"

Best Actress
Bérénice Bejo, "The Artist"
Viola Davis, "The Help"
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Tilda Swinton, "We Need to Talk About Kevin"
Michelle Williams, "My Week With Marilyn"

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, "My Week With Marilyn"
Jim Broadbent, "The Iron Lady"
Jonah Hill, "Moneyball"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Ides of March"
Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"

Best Supporting Actress
Jessica Chastain, "The Help"
Judi Dench, "My Week With Marilyn"
Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
Carey Mulligan, "Drive"
Octavia Spencer, "The Help"

Best Original Screenplay
"The Artist"
"Bridesmaids"
"The Guard"
"The Iron Lady"
"Midnight in Paris"

Best Adapted Screenplay
"The Descendants"
"The Help"
"The Ides of March"
"Moneyball"
"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

Best Foreign Language Film
"Incendies"
"Pina"
"Potiche"
"A Separation"
"The Skin I Live In"

Best Documentary

"George Harrison: Living in the Material World"
"Project Nim"
"Senna"

Best Animated Feature
"The Adventures of Tintin"
"Arthur Christmas"
"Rango"

Best Art Direction
"The Artist"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
"Hugo"
"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
"War Horse"

Best Cinematography
"The Artist"
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
"Hugo"
"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
"War Horse"

Best Costume Design
"The Artist"
"Hugo"
"Jane Eyre"
"My Week With Marilyn"
"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

Best Film Editing

"The Artist"
"Drive"
"Hugo"
"Senna"
"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

Best Makeup & Hair
"The Artist"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
"Hugo"
"The Iron Lady"
"My Week With Marilyn"

Best Music
"The Artist"
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
"Hugo"
"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
"War Horse"

Best Sound
"The Artist"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
"Hugo"
"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
"War Horse"

Best Visual Effects
"The Adventures of Tintin"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
"Hugo"
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
"War Horse"

Best Debut by a British Director, Writer or Producer
Joe Cornish, "Attack the Block"
Will Sharpe, Tom Kingsley and Sarah Brocklehurst, "Black Pond"
Ralph Fiennes, "Coriolanus"
Richard Ayoade, "Submarine"
Paddy Considine, "Tyrannosaur" 

Remember to keep track of the ups and downs of the 2011-2012 film awards season via The Circuit

For more views on movies, awards season and other pursuits, follow @GuyLodge on Twitter.

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