Joker leads nominations at sustainable Bafta ceremony

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Joker leads the nominations at the British Academy film awards, which will be handed out today amid controversy about the lack of diversity in the acting nominees.

The movie, starring Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, is in the running for best film, best actor, best adapted screenplay and best director.

It is closely followed by Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic The Irishman and Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood, which both scored 10 nominations and will also compete in the best film category, alongside Sir Sam Mendes’ war film 1917 and Korean film Parasite.

Bafta bosses have said it is “disappointing” and “infuriating” that its membership have selected all-white performers to recognise at the ceremony.

There was also dismay that no female directors were recognised for the seventh year in a row, since Kathryn Bigelow was nominated for The Hurt Locker in 2013.

The star-studded ceremony, which is one of the last stops on the awards circuit before the Oscars on February 9, will see guests walk on a recycled red carpet before tucking into a dinner made of sustainably sourced food, including a vegan starter and pudding, as it endeavours to be carbon neutral for the first time.

Single use plastic will be banned at the ceremony and branding that has not been re-used from previous years will be made using reclaimed and recyclable materials.

The traditional gift bags have been axed in favour of a “gifting wallet,” made from recycled plastic by sustainable travel goods company Groundtruth and containing redeemable vouchers.

The gifting wallet (Grountruth)

Guests have also been asked to make sustainable fashion choices for the ceremony and consider the impact of their travel options.

This will likely win the approval of Phoenix, who used his speech at the Golden Globes to praise its vegan menu and scold celebrities for flying to Palm Springs on private jets.

The actor, who has already won a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for his turn in Joker, will compete with Once Upon A Time star Leonardo DiCaprio, Marriage Story’s Adam Driver, Rocketman star Taron Egerton, and Jonathan Pryce for The Two Popes in the leading actor category.

It had been hoped that Greta Gerwig would land a directing nomination for her adaptation of Little Women, but she is only recognised in the adapted screenplay category, leaving an all-male directing line-up of Sir Sam for 1917, Todd Phillips for Joker, Scorsese for The Irishman, Tarantino for Once Upon A Time, and Bong Joon-ho for Parasite.

Presumptive frontrunner Renee Zellweger is nominated in the leading actress category for Judy, alongside Jessie Buckley for Wild Rose, Scarlett Johansson for Marriage Story, Saoirse Ronan for Little Women and Charlize Theron for Bombshell.

Johansson is also nominated in the supporting actress category, this time for Jojo Rabbit, while Margot Robbie has two nods in the category, for her roles in Bombshell and Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood.

The other nominees are Laura Dern for Marriage Story and Florence Pugh for Little Women.

The supporting actor nominees are Tom Hanks for A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood, Sir Anthony Hopkins for The Two Popes, Al Pacino for The Irishman, Joe Pesci for The Irishman, and Brad Pitt for Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood.

The winners and nominees in the majority of categories are voted for by 6,500 Bafta members, who are comprised of industry professionals and creatives from around the world.

Technical, writing and craft awards are chosen by the relevant specialist chapter.

The public votes for the winner of the EE Rising Star award, which has shortlisted Awkwafina, Jack Lowden, Kaitlyn Dever, Kelvin Harrison Jr and Micheal Ward.

Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy will be honoured with the Bafta Fellowship at the ceremony, which will be hosted by Graham Norton at the Royal Opera House.