Steven Spielberg and Todd Hayness dramas have secured nine nominations apiece at this years Baftas, while The Revenant trails with eight and Mad Max: Fury Road surprises with seven but theres disappointment for Spectre and Suffragette
Well-upholstered American period dramas and one riotous Aussie adventure set in an apocalyptic future dominate the shortlist for the 69th annual Bafta awards. Carol, Todd Hayness 50s-set lesbian romance, is joint frontrunner with nine nominations, alongside Steven Spielbergs cold war drama Bridge of Spies.
Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu, whose film Birdman was pipped to the post by Boyhood last year for best film before proceeding to bag the Oscar a fortnight later is back in contention for brutal wilderness adventure The Revenant, which has eight nominations. Meanwhile, George Millers triumphant return with outback drama Mad Max: Fury Road has landed him seven.
Key British films such as Brooklyn trail with six nods, while The Danish Girl and Ex-Machina both have five, as does Adam McKays dark-horse financial comedy, The Big Short. That film, as well as all four other nominees for best film (Bridge of Spies, Carol, The Revenant and Spotlight), hails from the US.
The list of nominees did contain a few surprises. Suffragette and Spectre, both highly-successful and quintessentially British movies were both entirely ignored, failing to land a single nomination between them.
Charlotte Rampling was omitted from the best actress shortlist for her devastating performance in Andrew Haighs 45 Years which is only up for one award, for outstanding British film. Another oversight in the same category was Jennifer Lawrence; Joy, her latest collaboration with David O Russell, has already gone home empty-handed.
Alicia Vikander, meanwhile, features in both the best supporting actress list for her role as a seductive android in Ex Machina and the best actress field, for her part as Eddie Redmaynes supporting wife in The Danish Girl. Other best actress contenders are Maggie Smith for The Lady in the Van, Cate Blanchett for Carol and Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn.
Redmayne, who took the actor award last year for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, is up for best actor, but his main rival from 2015, Michael Keaton, has failed to secure one for Spotlight (other snubs include Tom Courteney for 45 Years, Colin Farrell for The Lobster, Tom Hardy for Legend and Ian McKellen for Mr Holmes). Redmaynes competition this year is Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant, Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs as well as two less widely predicted nods: Matt Damon in The Martian and Bryan Cranston in Trumbo.
The awards, which are voted for by around 6,000 Bafta members, are proving themselves to be energetically unafraid of the populist. As well as the seven technical nominations for Mad Max: Fury Road, new Star Wars film The Force Awakens took four, for music, production design, sound and visual effects.
Room, a drama about a woman and her son held hostage in a garden shed, is reckoned by many as an Oscars frontrunner; the Baftas appear less keen. Emma Donoghues screenplay, adapted from her own book, is in the running, likewise Brie Larson for best actress. But her nine-year-old co-star, Jacob Tremblay, does not feature among the supporting actor nominees.
Larson is also on the shortlist for the publicly-voted rising star award, which was revealed earlier this week. She will compete with Star Wars lead John Boyega, Kingsmans Taron Egerton, Fifty Shades of Greys Dakota Johnson and The Diary of a Teenage Girls Bel Powley.
Two key Oscar contenders Auschwitz drama Son of Saul and stop-motion sensation Anomalisa were not eligible for Baftas on account of their March UK release dates.
The announcement was made in London by returning host Stephen Fry, who was joined by Belle actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The awards will take place at the Royal Opera House on 14 February. Before that in the film awards calendar comes this Sundays Golden Globes ceremony and the announcement next Thursday of the Oscar nominations.
Baftas 2016 scorecard
Carol (film, director, actress, supporting actress, adapted screenplay, cinematography, production design, costume design, makeup & hair)
Bridge of Spies (film, director, original screenplay, supporting actor, music, cinematography, editing, production design, sound)
The Revenant (film, director, actor, music, cinematography, editing, makeup & hair, sound)
Mad Max: Fury Road (cinematography, editing, production design, costume design, makeup & hair, sound, visual effects)
The Martian(director, actor, editing, production design, sound, visual effects)
Brooklyn (British film, adapted screenplay, actress, supporting actress, costume design, makeup & hair)
The Big Short (film, director, adapted screenplay, supporting actor, editing)
The Danish Girl(British film, actor, actress, costume design, makeup & hair)
Ex Machina (British film, debut film, original screenplay, supporting actress, visual effects)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (music, sound, visual effects, production design)
Spotlight (film, original screenplay, supporting actor)
Sicario (supporting actor, original music, cinematography)
Steve Jobs(actor, supporting actress, adapted screenplay)
The Hateful Eight (supporting actress, music, original screenplay)
Amy (British film, documentary)
Inside Out(original screenplay, animation)
Theeb (debut, foreign language)
Beasts of No Nation (supporting actor)
45 Years(British film)
The Lobster (British film)
The Lady in the Van (actress)
Second Coming (debut)
A Syrian Love Story (debut)
Cartel Land (documentary)
He Named Me Malala (documentary)
Listen to Me Marlon (documentary)
The Assassin (foreign language)
Force Majeure(foreign language)
Timbuktu (foreign language)
Wild Tales(foreign language)
Shaun the Sheep Movie (animation)
Cinderella (costume design)