Slave drama tipped to sweep Bafta film awards

Dame Judi Dench, Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio will be among the stars on the red carpet later for the Bafta film awards.

Space thriller Gravity leads the way with 11 nominations, including best film, but 12 Years a Slave is tipped to be the night's big winner.

The Baftas are the last major movie awards before the Oscars on 2 March.

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, will attend Sunday's event at London's Royal Opera House.

The awards, which will be broadcast on BBC One at 21:00 GMT, are hosted for a ninth time by actor Stephen Fry.

Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, about a free black man who is kidnapped and enslaved, has 10 nominations - including best film, best director and best actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor.Bookies think the harrowing historical drama will scoop five of the major categories.

"The odds suggest that 12 Years A Slave will sweep the boards on Sunday night," said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.

American Hustle also has 10 nominations, and its stars Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence appear in all the acting categories.

The 1970s drama, about two con artists who get entangled with the FBI, is also up for best film, with David O Russell nominated for best director and original screenplay.

Other movies competing for best film include Somali piracy thriller Captain Phillips, and Philomena, based on the true story of an Irish woman trying to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption.

Captain Phillips has nine nominations while Behind the Candelabra, with Michael Douglas as Liberace, and Disney story Saving Mr Banks have five nominations each.

Philomena's Dame Judi competes in the best actress category against American Hustle's Adams, Gravity's Sandra Bullock, Emma Thompson for Saving Mr Banks and the runaway favourite Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine.

The nominations saw Dame Judi set a Bafta record, with her 15th acting nomination.


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