*”Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire” is in the hunt for best picture at the upcoming British Academy Film Awards [BAFTA], Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars.
The film has been nominated in the category against sci-fi extravaganza “Avatar,” Iraq drama “The Hurt Locker” and coming-of-age story “An Education,” which each earned eight nominations apiece, and the George Clooney film “Up in the Air.”
“Precious” star Gabourey Sidibe also picked up a nomination for best actress. Her competition is 13-time BAFTA nominee Meryl Streep for “Julie & Julia,” Carey Mulligan for “An Education,” Audrey Tautou for “Coco Before Chanel” and Irish actress Saoirse Ronan for “The Lovely Bones.” The BAFTAs are given out two weeks before the Academy Awards in Hollywood and considered an important indicator of likely Oscar success. The British prizes will be awarded during a ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House on Feb. 21.
Last year, Danny Boyle’s underdog picture “Slumdog Millionaire” won seven BAFTAs, including best film; it went on to win eight Oscars.