Eddie Redmayne set to win Bafta battle

Mike Leigh with his sons Toby, left and Leo at the Fellowship lunch yesterday. Picture: PA
Mike Leigh with his sons Toby, left and Leo at the Fellowship lunch yesterday. Picture: PA
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EDDIE REDMAYNE’S triumphant awards season tour looks set to continue in Lodnon tonight when he is tipped to add a Bafta to his haul of acting honours.

Redmayne, who has been lauded by the critics for his portrayal of scientist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, has already won a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe for the role.

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He faces competition for the Bafta best actor award from Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, Ralph Fiennes and Jake Gyllenhaal.

His on-screen wife, Felicity Jones, could triumph as well after she was nominated for the best actress award against stars including Amy Adams and Reese Witherspoon.

The film is based on the memoirs of Hawking’s ex-wife Jane which deals with their relationship, his scientific success and the onset of motor neurone disease which left him severely disabled.

Jones also faces competition from Gone Girl star Rosamund Pike and Julianne Moore.

Other nominations include nods for Keira Knightley and Imelda Staunton for best supporting actress and Steve Carell and Ethan Hawke for best supporting actor.

The awards, seen as a dry run for the Oscars, will be handed out at London’s Royal Opera House.

Among the other awards presented on the night is the Rising Star, which recognises the best new talent. Unbroken actor Jack O’Connell is among those nominated along with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who starred in last year’s period drama Belle as a mixed-race aristocrat, and Margot Robbie, who first found fame playing Donna Freedman in television soap Neighbours and has gone on to appear in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Also in the running for the award which is the only Bafta decided by a public vote, are Miles Teller, who has recently appeared in Whiplash, and his Divergent co-star Shailene Woodley.

Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel heads the nominations list with 11, one ahead of Keaton’s Birdman and The Theory of Everything.

The Imitation Game, which stars Cumberbatch as Cambridge mathematics alumnus Alan Turing, received nine nods. All four are on the shortlist for best film along with Richard Linklater’s Boyhood.

Among The Theory Of Everything’s other nominations are for best British film, best adapted screenplay and best director for James Marsh.

Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner is nominated for four awards including costume design and make-up and hair.

Leigh himself is guaranteed an award – it has already been announced he is being honoured with a Bafta Fellowship tonight.

The battle for best British film sees The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game face competition from ’71, Paddington, Pride and science fiction thriller Under the Skin.