London, United Kingdom: Steven Spielberg spy thriller "Bridge of Spies" and the story of romance between two women "Carol" led nominations on Friday for Britain's Bafta film awards, seen as a tip for later Oscar success.
Both Cold War era stories set in the United States in the 1950s, the films have nine nominations each and are both nominated in the best film category.
They are up against financial drama "The Big Short" and survival tale "The Revenant", which has eight nominations.
Also in the running for best film is "Spotlight" -- the story of the journalists who uncovered sexual abuse in the Catholic Church which led nominations of the Golden Globes along with "Carol".
The awards will be announced on 14 February, two weeks before the Oscars.
Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, 21, is nominated for best actress for her performance in "Brooklyn", the story of an Irish immigrant to New York which has six nominations.
The other nominees for best actress are Cate Blanchett for "Carol", Brie Larson for "Room", Maggie Smith for "The Lady in the Van" and Alicia Vikander for "The Danish Girl" -- who is also up for best supporting actress for her role in thriller "Ex Machina".
Vikander's fellow star in "The Danish Girl", British actor Eddie Redmayne, who plays a transgender artist, is nominated for best actor for the same film.
It is Redmayne's second best actor nomination in a row after winning the award last year for portraying scientist Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything".
Redmayne will be up against Leonardo DiCaprio for "The Revenant", Michael Fassbender for "Steve Jobs", Matt Damon for "The Martian" and "Trumbo" star Bryan Cranston -- known for his leading role in television hit "Breaking Bad".
In the best director category, Spielberg is up against Mexico's Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Britain's Ridley Scott, and US directors Adam McKay and Todd Haynes.
The main nominations:
"The Big Short"
"Bridge of Spies"
Outstanding British film
"The Danish Girl"
Adam McKay for "The Big Short"
Steven Spielberg for "Bridge of Spies"
Todd Haynes for "Carol"
Ridley Scott for "The Martian"
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for "The Revenant"
Bryan Cranston for "Trumbo"
Matt Damon for "The Martian"
Leonardo DiCaprio for "The Revenant"
Michael Fassbender for "Steve Jobs"
Eddie Redmaybe for "The Danish Girl"
Cate Blanchett for "Carol"
Brie Larson for "Room"
Saoirse Ronan for "Brooklyn"
Maggie Smith for "The Lady in the Van"
Alicia Vikander for "The Danish Girl"
Christian Bale for "The Big Short"
Benicio del Toro for "Sicario"
Idris Elba for "Beasts of No Nation"
Mark Ruffalo for "Spotlight"
Mark Rylance for "Bridge of Spies"
Jennifer Jason Leigh for "The Hateful Eight"
Rooney Mara for "Carol"
Alicia Vikander for "Ex Machina"
Julie Walters for "Brooklyn"
Kate Winslet for "Steve Jobs"