One of the last major nominee announcements before the Oscars (the 25th) is the BAFTAs, who unveiled their nominees earlier today. And even though the BAFTA voting body is only slightly larger than AMPAS (6300 vs. 5900 approx.), until the past few years, they've been overlooked as an Oscar indicator in favor of the Golden Globes. With today's nominees come a mixed bag of surprises both good and bad:
The King's Speech
The Social Network
An interesting line up. I wouldn't have pegged BAFTA to go for a western, yet the Coens' re-adaptation made in it in over competition like The Fighter. All five of these are either have strong shots (some almost definite) at BP nominations from AMPAS, but there will be five other films. The interesting thing would be to see how much each of these film is liked by the two voting bodies (wouldn't it be great if BAFTA and AMPAS released vote tallies? At least for us, anyway).
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
The King's Speech
Made in Dagenham
I've never really understood the need for this category, even if it does mean that the hilarious Four Lions can finally say that it was nominated for something important. Isn't it almost insulting, as if to say, "We're rewarding you in spite of your limitations [???] as a British film," or some nonsense. And considering that only one of these films is both here and in the Best Film line up, I think we know where this trophy is going.
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR, OR PRODUCER
The Arbor - Director/Producer - Clio Barnard, Tracy O'Riordan
Exit Through the Gift Shop - Director/Producer - Banksy, Jaimie D'Cruz
Four Lions - Director/Writer - Chris Morris
Monsters - Director/Writer - Gareth Edwards
Skeletons - Director/Writer - Nick Whitfield
127 Hours - Danny Boyle
Black Swan - Darren Aronofsky
Inception - Christopher Nolan
The King's Speech - Tom Hooper
The Social Network - David Fincher
Boyle is the only surprise here, nudging the Coens out. His film certainly didn't perform as well as expected during awards season, and even with this nomination, I don't see a surprise Oscar nomination coming his way. The fifth slot will most likely go to O. Russell, and if not him, then the Coens.
Black Swan - Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, John McLaughlin
The Fighter - Scott Silver, Paul Tamasay, Eric Johnson
Inception - Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right - Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg
The King's Speech - David Seidler
127 Hours - Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Rasmus Heisterberg, Nikolaj Arcel
The Social Network - Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 - Michael Arndt
True Grit - Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
And unfortunately, this is where the unfortunate love for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo begins (it gets worse). Where this category is actually interesting, though, is in Original. Black Swan keeps popping up, even though it's much more of a "director's movie," and the category lacks a clear front runner like Adapted. Seidler won two awards over the weekend, which bodes very well for him, and BAFTA will likely swing his way too. AMPAS is a different story, and they may go with Nolan, who hasn't been nominated for anything since writing Memento. Interestingly, The Fighter scores here, but not in Picture, Director, or Supporting Actress, and that film belongs more to its director and actors than it does to its screenplay.
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Biutiful - Mexico
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Sweden
I am Love - Italy
Of Gods and Men - France
The Secret in Their Eyes - Argentina
How to Train Your Dragon
Toy Story 3
Javier Bardem - Biutiful
Jeff Bridges - True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network
Colin Firth - The King's Speech
At long last, Bardem shows up in a major awards line up. Unfortunately, as far as his Oscar campaign goes, the performance likely isn't going to make the cut. Firth has a strong shot at winning for the second year in a row here, but if not, Franco or Eisenberg will take it.
Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
Julianne Moore - The Kids Are All Right
Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Noomi Rapace - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
Of the two "Kids" ladies, Moore is certainly less secure, and the two will likely split votes and only make Portman's win easier. Then there's Rapace, who beat out much better performances from Michelle Williams and Nicole Kidman because apparently the British really, really liked this damn movie. On the other hand, they were smart enough to actually put Hailee Steinfeld in lead where she clearly belongs.
Christian Bale - The Fighter
Andrew Garfield - The Social Network
Pete Postlethwaite - The Town
Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech
Ruffalo hasn't appeared consistently, but he's been there enough to be a threat (for the nomination). Postlethwaite, nominated over co-star Jeremy Renner, well, we know why he's there, sadly.
Amy Adams - The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter - The King's Speech
Barbara Hershey - Black Swan
Lesley Manville - Another Year
Miranda Richardson - Made in Dagenham
Out goes front runner Melissa Leo, and in goes...Barbara Hershey? That one's actually inspired, BAFTA. Meanwhile Manville is in here when many say that she should be leading, and Miranda Richardson's someone stagey performance is in over Jacki Weaver, whose Oscar hopes may have finally ended with this snub and the lack of nomination from SAG.
For the rest of the nominees, hop on over to The Guardian.