After the controversy surrounding the all-male shortlist for last year’s Rising Star award, BAFTA has swung back in the other direction with this year’s nomination of four women and just one male.Andrea Riseborough and Juno Temple are competing for the home team against Elizabeth Olsen from the U.S., Alicia Vikander from Sweden and Suraj Sharma from India. Except for Sharma, all the other nominees have been tapped among Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch in past years. Riseborough emerged as the star of the 2011 Toronto Film Festival with three movies — “Brighton Rock,” “W.E.” and “Made in Dagenham.” She won lead actress at 2012′s British Independent Film Awards for “Shadow Dancer.” Temple, daughter of director Julian Temple, has carved out a nice line in nasty girls, both British and American, in pics such as “Atonement,” “Dirty Girl,” “Killer Joe” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” Olsen, younger sister of the Olsen twins, emerged in her own right with “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” Upcoming pics “Very Good Girls,” “Therese Raquin” and “Oldboy” seem likely to consolidate her position as a major Hollywood star. Vikander trained as a ballerina, then had an extensive teenage career on Swedish TV before coming to international notice as the English queen of Denmark in “A Royal Affair,” followed by a role in “Anna Karenina.” Suraj Sharma breaks the rule for Rising Star by being nominated for his screen debut. BAFTA usually insists that this is not a prize for first-timers, but the jury clearly felt his performance in carrying Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” was so substantial to merit an exception. The public vote to decide the winner of the Rising Star award. This tends to mean victory for the actor whose most recent movie has the biggest U.K. box office. That yardstick points to Sharma, since “Life of Pi” is a huge hit in the U.K., although Temple has a Batman cameo in her favor.
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