Day-Lewis as Lincoln set for home triumph at top UK film awards

Sat Feb 9, 2013 6:14pm EST
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By Estelle Shirbon

LONDON (Reuters) - Home fans will be hoping for British success at the BAFTAs on Sunday with Daniel Day-Lewis the strong favorite to win best actor for the title role in "Lincoln" and local box office hits "Les Miserables" and "Skyfall" up for a shelf-full of prizes.

U.S. hopes at Britain's top film awards ceremony will be resting on "Argo", Ben Affleck's drama about the rescue of American hostages from Iran in 1979, which eclipsed Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" at several major Hollywood award nights.

"Argo" has seven BAFTA nominations including for best film. The other contenders for the top honor are "Lincoln", "Les Miserables", "Life of Pi" and "Zero Dark Thirty".

Top of the nominations table with 10 entries is the biopic of President Abraham Lincoln but a sweep of statuettes may not be a foregone conclusion after disappointing performances at the Golden Globes and elsewhere.

However, Day-Lewis seems a safe bet for the leading actor gong, with odds of 1/25 offered by gambling firm William Hill.

The elusive Briton, hailed last year as "the world's greatest actor" by Time magazine, has already won a string of U.S. awards for his performance as Lincoln and he is nominated for what would be his third best actor Oscar for the role.

In the best film category the odds suggested "Argo" was in pole position with odds of 1/4, ahead of "Lincoln" on 9/2.

Ang Lee's "Life of Pi", about a man and a tiger lost at sea, has nine BAFTA nominations including best director for the eclectic Taiwanese veteran.   Continued...

Actors Daniel Day-Lewis shown in a scene from the film "Lincoln" in this publicity photo released to Reuters January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Walt Disney Pictures/20th Century Fox/Handout