Bafta film awards will likely hail Benedict Cumberbatch and Lady Gaga

IT is the biggest night in British film, as Hollywood’s most glamorous names mingle with our home-grown A-listers to celebrate the best of the big screen — and risk mockery from host Rebel Wilson.

The Bafta Film Awards return to the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday after last year’s event was online-only due to the pandemic.

The Bafta Film Awards return to the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday, the Best Actress nominee is Lady Gaga

The Bafta Film Awards return to the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday, the Best Actress nominee is Lady GagaCredit: Supplied by LMK

Among the super-stars joining guests of honour The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be Best Actress nominee Lady Gaga.

The American will be hoping to collect a gong for her starring role in House Of Gucci, and she will also present the EE Rising Star award.

Singer Dame Shirley Bassey will open the bash with a James Bond- inspired performance. And 007 producers hope it will be a night of celebration after No Time To Die — Daniel Craig’s final instalment as the spy — landed five nominations.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Stephen Graham go head to head as Best Actor for their roles in The Power Of The Dog and Boiling Point, respectively.

Film Belfast, by veteran actor and director Sir Kenneth Branagh, received six nods, while sci-fi blockbuster Dune has the most, with 11 nominations.

Superstars Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith are also up for prizes, but there are notable absentees too — with both Nicole Kidman and Olivia Colman overlooked for Best Actress despite previously being joint favourites to win with bookies.

And in a moment of relief for Bafta chiefs — who had feared an embarrassing clash with their royal patrons — Kristen Stewart failed to win a nomination for her role of Princess Diana in Spencer.

That film prompted significant anger from the Palace over its controversial portrayal of the late princess’s mental health battles. The Sun can reveal that other A-listers handing out prizes will include Bridgerton hunk Rege-Jean Page, Millie Bobby Brown, Daniel Kaluuya and Emma Watson.

But it is likely to be host Rebel who captures most of the attention — thanks to her dramatic new look after shedding six stone.

The actress, 42, first caught the attention of organisers in 2020 when giving a speech ahead of the Best Director presentation.

But it is likely to be host Rebel who captures most of the attention — thanks to her dramatic new look after shedding six stone.

In it, she made jibes about the absence of female nominees, shamed royals and fellow stars’ film flops — to hysterical laughter from the audience.

Unveiling her plans for this ceremony, she said: “I’m very honoured to be hosting the EE British Academy Film Awards in March, where Covid will no longer exist because it will clearly have been cancelled by then.

“It’s going to be so much fun. I don’t want to put any pressure on this — I know I’m not going to be funny because I am no longer fat. And besides, I’m not going to ‘sweat it’ with nerves because I have a peculiar medical condit- ion where I can’t sweat —  or cause offence to people because of my adorable Australian accent.”

Ahead of Sunday’s ceremony, The Sun’s film critic Dulcie Pearce gives her rundown of the main categories and says who should win — as well as will win when the high-brow judging panels make their final choice.

Host Rebel Wilson, here among the seating plan for the stars, said 'I know I’m not going to be funny because I am no longer fat'

Host Rebel Wilson, here among the seating plan for the stars, said ‘I know I’m not going to be funny because I am no longer fat’


DULCIE SAYS: In a year when women stole the screen – Olivia Colman in The Lost Daughter, Kristen Stewart in Spencer, Nicole Kidman in Being The Ricardos and Jessica Chastain in The Eyes Of Tammy Faye – the nominations are sadly lacking.

The seriously talented Joanna Scanlan, pictured, should pick it up, but the panel may go Hollywood glam Gaga.

DULCIE SAYS: The winner should be the criminally snubbed West Side Story.

I’d like to see the supreme sci-fi Dune take the prize, but it will go to this year’s luvvie favourite, The Power Of The Dog, pictured.

DULCIE SAYS: Relative newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee, pictured, has been universally praised for his dynamic performance, which stands out as a remarkable one.

He is the front-runner to pick up the Bafta.

DULCIE SAYS: Stephen Graham’s portrayal of the top chef on a knife edge in Baoiling point is a breathtaking piece of work.

But Benedict Cumberbatch, pictured, will most likely get the gong for his excellent turn as a repressed gay cowboy .

DULCIE SAYS: There’s such an array of excellent flicks in this category, it makes me proud to be British.

Theatrical musical Cyrano is a wonderful work of art and should be acknowledged. But this may well be Sir Kenneth’s year with his feelgood coming-of-age tale Belfast, pictured.

DULCIE SAYS: Jessie Buckley’s performance in the eerie The Lost Daughter deserves every gong going.

Jessie, pictured, is hypnotic on screen – and I think she may well come home with the Bafta, too.

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