0622 GMT February 21, 2019
Farhadi's film tells the story of a couple whose relationship is thrown into disarray after an intruder surprises her in the shower.
The other nominations for Best Film Not in the English Language are 'Elle' by Paul Verhoeven, 'First They Killed My Father' by Angelina Jolie, 'The Handmaiden' by Park Chan-wook and 'Loveless' by Andrey Zvyagintsev.
'The Shape of Water', 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri', and 'Darkest Hour' lead the race for awards, regarded as a bellwether for the Oscars.
'The Shape of Water' received 12 nominations Tuesday, the most for any film, including the coveted best film award. Guillermo del Toro is nominated for both director and original screenplay, Sally Hawkins for leading actress and Octavia Spencer for supporting actress.
'Three Billboards' and 'Darkest Hour' landed nine nominations apiece. The former is up for best film and Frances McDormand for leading actress. Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson both received nominations for supporting actor. Martin McDonagh is nominated for both director and original screenplay.
As expected, veteran British actor Gary Oldman — widely considered the front-runner for the Oscar — is one of the leading-actor nominees for his performance as Winston Churchill in 'Darkest Hour'. Oldman won a Golden Globe award Sunday. 'Darkest Hour' also received nominations for best film and for Kristin Scott Thomas in the supporting-actress category.
Rounding out the list for best film are 'Call Me by Your Name' and 'Dunkirk'. Their directors, Luca Guadagnino and Christopher Nolan, respectively, also earned nominations, as did Denis Villeneuve for 'Blade Runner 2049'. Some expressed disappointment that once again there were no women, such as Greta Gerwig ('Lady Bird'), on the best director list, although five female directors were named in other categories, including Angelina Jolie in the foreign-language film category for 'First They Killed My Father'.
The leading-actress nominees are Hawkins, McDormand, Annette Bening for 'Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool', Margot Robbie for 'I, Tonya', and Saoirse Ronan for 'Lady Bird'. All except Bening had received Golden Globe nominations as well.
The leading-actor category also reflected the awards buzz already out there. Besides Oldman, the nominees are Daniel Day-Lewis for 'Phantom Thread', Daniel Kaluuya for 'Get Out', Jamie Bell for 'Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool', and Timothee Chalamet for 'Call Me by Your Name'.
British actress Joanna Lumley, best known for 'Absolutely Fabulous', was named as the new host of the awards ceremony, replacing longtime emcee Stephen Fry, who has stepped down after doing the honors a dozen times. Lumley said she accepted the invitation to host 'indecently quickly'.
Although the BAFTAs, like the Academy Awards, consider all English-language films, not just the UK productions, movies with strong British links often figure more prominently in BAFTA's nominations than at the Globes or the Oscars. 'Darkest Hour' and 'Dunkirk' were richly recognized Tuesday with nine and eight nominations, respectively. 'Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool' and 'Paddington 2', neither of which made much impression at the Globes, both received three nominations.
The nominations were unveiled Tuesday at BAFTA's Piccadilly headquarters in London by Natalie Dormer ('Game of Thrones') and Letitia Wright ('Black Panther').
In her opening remarks, BAFTA chairwoman Jane Lush lauded Oprah Winfrey for her Golden Globes speech and ceremony host Seth Meyers for having 'skewered' the subject of misconduct and equality. "We, too, are determined to ensure the grave revelations become a watershed moment and catalyst for real, lasting change across the workplace," Lush said, adding: "It's not 'me too'. It's 'we too'," she said.
The UK is coming off a record year at the box office, with 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' helping to power the market to its 2017 total of £1.3 billion ($1.76 billion). Last year's BAFTA best film winner, 'La La Land', was among the top 10 earners, out of a list dominated by Disney titles and tent pole releases.
The EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony takes place February 18 at London's Royal Albert Hall.