February 12, 2012 by staff 

The BAFTAs, The cinema spotlight shines on London for the BAFTA awards on Sunday, with silent movie-era romance “The Artist” a hot favourite for best film and Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady” poised to win leading actress.

The Artist, a French-made black-and-white film set in Hollywood in the 1920s and 30s, is up for 12 awards, British Cold War espionage thriller “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” has 11 nominations and Martin Scorsese’s 3-D adventure “Hugo” has nine.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards are not always an accurate predictor of what is to come at the Oscars, but they are the most coveted film honours outside of the United States.

The Artist, the story of a star of silent movies whose career is destroyed by the advent of “talkies,” has already won big at the Golden Globes and a good night at the BAFTAs would give it a further lift two weeks ahead of the Academy Awards.

Bookmakers William Hill gave The Artist odds of 1/6 to win the best film BAFTA, far ahead of Tinker Tailor. The other contenders are “The Descendants,” “Drive” and “The Help.”

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