Low-budget British-Indian drama Slumdog Millionaire received 11 nominations on Thursday for the British Academy awards. The well-deserved esteem comes on the heels of the film’s success at the Golden Globes and gives it another boost ahead of the Oscars next month.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which stars Brad Pitt as a man who ages backward, was also nominated in 11 categories, including best film, best actor and best director for David Fincher.
Slumdog Millionaire, a film about a Mumbai street boy's rise to game-show glory, was nominated in six major categories including best picture, best actor for Dev Patel, best adapted screenplay for Simon Beaufoy and best director for Danny Boyle. It received several design nominations as well.
They are followed by Batman blockbuster The Dark Knight, which won nine BAFTA nominations, including best supporting actor for the late Heath Ledger; while Clint Eastwood's L.A. noir Changeling, was nominated in eight categories, including best director.
Political drama Frost/Nixon won six nominations, including best actor for Frank Langella and best director for Ron Howard. Post-war Germany picture The Reader was nominated in five categories, including best picture and best actress for Kate Winslet. In Bruges, Milk and Revolutionary Road picked up four nods apiece.
Double-Golden Globe-winner Winslet is competing against herself in the best actress category, with nominations for both The Reader and Revolutionary Road. She is up against Angelina Jolie for Changeling, Meryl Streep for Doubt and Kristin Scott Thomas for the French film I've Loved You So Long.
The best-actor nominees are, Sean Penn for Milk, Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler Patel, Langella and Pitt – who was also nominated in the supporting actor category for the Coen Brothers' spy comedy Burn After Reading.
In a statement, 18-year-old Patel said to be nominated alongside Pitt, Rourke, Langella and Penn “is unbelievably exciting and such a huge honour.”
The televised ceremony will be hosted by controversial presenter Jonathan Ross, who was recently suspended without pay from the BBC for his participation in obscene prank calls made to actor Andrew Sachs.