Throwback silent film "The Artist" led the nominations for the 2012 British Academy Film Awards on Tuesday, with Britain's own Cold War spy thriller "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" coming in a close second.
"The Artist," a French romance that follows a silent film actor in Hollywood at the dawn of talkies, took 12 nominations. "Tinker Tailor" followed with 11.
As expected, Meryl Streep was given a best actress nomination for her performance as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady." Streep won the best actress Golden Globe on Sunday.
Streep goes up against Berenice Bejo ("The Artist"), Michelle Williams ("My Week with Marilyn"), Tilda Swinton ("We Need to Talk About Kevin") and Viola Davis ("The Help").
Best actor nominations went to Brad Pitt ("Moneyball"), Gary Oldman ("Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"), George Clooney ("The Descendants"), Jean Dujardin ("The Artist") and Michael Fassbender ("Shame").
"The Artist" and "Tinker Tailor" were joined by "The Descendants," "Drive" and "The Help" in best picture nominations.
The BAFTAs are to be awarded at a ceremony at London's Royal Opera House on February 12. They are considered a barometer for how films will fare at the Oscars in Los Angeles two weeks later.
Author: Andrew Bowen (AP, Reuters)
Editor: Nancy Isenson