LONDON â€” Hollywood stars will mingle with British royalty on Sunday at the British Academy Film Awards, where “La La Land” is favoured to dance away with multiple trophies.
Prince William and his wife Kate are expected on the red carpet at London’s Royal Albert Hall, along with nominees including Meryl Streep, Casey Affleck and Nicole Kidman.
“La La Land,” an effervescent musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, has 11 nominations, including best picture, best actor and best actress.
The U.K. awards are often seen as an indicator of who will win at Hollywood’s Academy Awards, held two weeks later. “La La Land” is a firm Oscars favourite, with 14 nominations. It has already won seven Golden Globes.
The movie and its stars will bring a dose of sunshine to grey, wintry London, but the ceremony could choose to reward less escapist fare.
The philosophical sci-fi yarn “Arrival” and the psychological thriller “Nocturnal Animals” have nine nominations each for the prizes, known as BAFTAs. Director Ken Loach’s gritty “I, Daniel Blake,” a stinging critique of Britain’s welfare system, is up for five awards.
Best-picture contenders are “Arrival,” ”I, Daniel Blake,” ”La La Land,” the wrenching New England drama “Manchester By The Sea” and the Miami-set coming-of-age story “Moonlight.”
The BAFTAs differ from their U.S. counterpart in having a separate category for best British film. Nominees in that category include “I, Daniel Blake”; the raucous road trip “American Honey”; the courtroom drama “Denial”; the wizarding adventure “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”; the documentary “Notes on Blindness”; and the Iran-set horror film “Under the Shadow.”
Gosling’s rivals in the best actor race are Andrew Garfield for “Hacksaw Ridge”; Casey Affleck for “Manchester by the Sea”; Jake Gyllenhaal for “Nocturnal Animals”; and Viggo Mortensen for “Captain Fantastic.”
Best-actress contenders are Stone; Amy Adams for “Arrival”; Emily Blunt for “The Girl on the Train”; Meryl Streep for “Florence Foster Jenkins”; and Natalie Portman for “Jackie.”
Prince William, who is also president of Britain’s film academy, is to present the British academy’s lifetime-achievement honour to veteran comedian Mel Brooks during Sunday’s ceremony.
Jill Lawless, The Associated Press