Wednesday, January 8, 2014

BAFTA kicks off busy day of precursor announcements

The British Academy of Film and Television have unveiled their full slate of nominees for this year's BAFTAs, and the main takeaway: They really like Gravity. Alfonso Cuaron's space adventure lead the pack with eleven nominations, including ones for Best Original Screenplay and Best British film which not a lot of people saw coming. It would seem to be the odds-on favourite to win with this group, and that could go a long way in bolstering its chances with winning the Oscar as well. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Gravity's fellow Best Picture frontrunners American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave are right behind it with ten nominations a head. Your likely fourth place finisher in the Best Picture race, Captain Phillips, has nine.

Full list of nominees (plus brief commentaries) after the cut.

Best Film
“American Hustle”
“Captain Phillips”
“Gravity”
“Philomena”
“12 Years a Slave”

Apart from British favourite Philomena, these are your four Oscar frontrunners. We won't truly know which has the edge until guilds start announcing winners.

Best Director
David O. Russell, “American Hustle”
Paul Greengrass, “Captain Phillips”
Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”
Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Another day, another Best Director citation for Martin Scorsese. Could he be the one to join the other four on the Oscar slate, or will the Academy spring for Jonze or Payne (or someone else altogether)?

Best British Film
"Gravity"
"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"
“Philomena”
“Rush”
"Saving Mr. Banks"
“The Selfish Giant”

Funny how only one of these movies feels even remotely British (not including The Selfish Giant, which I know nothing about).

Best Actor
Christian Bale, “American Hustle”
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips”

I'm not ready to remove Hanks or Redford from my predictions yet, but good on BAFTA for throwing some deviation into what is undoubtedly the year's most competitive category.

Best Actress
Amy Adams, "American Hustle"
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks”

Amy Adams replaces Meryl Streep, who is, in all likelihood, going to come out on top when Oscar nominations drop.

Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”
Daniel Bruhl, “Rush”
Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle"
Matt Damon, "Behind the Candelabra"
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”

By all counts, Matt Damon is a co-lead in Behind the Candelabra, but it matters not. The HBO film has already enjoyed its Emmy triumph in North America, and won't be having any impact on the Oscar race, except perhaps costing Jared Leto this additional feather in his cap.

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County"
Oprah Winfrey, "Lee Daniels' The Butler"

Sally Hawkins sneaks in at the expense of June Squibb, but probably won't turn the same trick with Oscar. This feels like its down to N'yongo vs Lawrence.

Best Original Screenplay
“American Hustle”
“Blue Jasmine”
"Gravity"
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Nebraska”

Can Gravity repeat this feat with the Academy's writing branch? My gut says no, but if it does, that might be our sign from above that's it's got Best Picture in its orbit.

Best Adapted Screenplay
"Behind the Candelabra"
“Captain Phillips”
“Philomena”
“12 Years a Slave”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

Again, the Oscar-ineligible Candelabra knocks out one of the presumed Oscar locks. Unnfortunately, it happened to be the single finest screenplay of the year that got ousted. I'm not too concerned with the Academy making the same mistake.

Best Foreign Language Film
"The Act of Killing"
"Blue is the Warmest Colore"
"The Great Beauty"
"Metro Manila"
"Wadjda"

If you're puzzled by the absence of perceived Oscar frontrunner The Hunt, don't be. It was nominated in last year's BAFTAs. Nice to see the Oscar-shafted Wadjda get some love.

Best Documentary
“The Act of Killing”
"The Armstrong Lie"
"Blackfish"
"Tim's Vermeer”
“We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks”

Alex Gibney double dips with both of his 2013 docs making the cut. Of course, only one made the Oscar shortlist, and isn't favoured to get in.

Best Animated Film
“Despicable Me 2”
“Frozen”
“Monsters University”

Only three nominees, but that seems like a much more reasonable number given the sorry state of animation this year. I'm guessing The Wind Rises wasn't submitted.

Best Cinematography
“Captain Phillips”
“Gravity”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
"Nebraska"
“12 Years a Slave”

BSC mainstay Roger Deakins couldn't make it in for some reason, but the cinematographers in the Academy love him. If only the entire Academy loved him too. :(

Best Production Design
“American Hustle”
"Behind the Candelabra"
“Gravity”
“The Great Gatsby”
“12 Years a Slave”

American Hustle is an interesting inclusion. 70s period pieces rarely turn on the art directors branch in the Academy, but maybe it could squeeze in a la American Gangster.

Best Costume Design
“American Hustle”
"Behind the Candelabra"
“The Great Gatsby”
“The Invisible Woman”
“Saving Mr. Banks”

Behind the Candelabra keeps siphoning off nominations for Oscar contenders. The casualty in this category: 82 year old Patricia Norris of 12 Years a Slave.

Best Film Editing
“Captain Phillips”
“Gravity”
“Rush”
“12 Years a Slave”
"The Wolf of Wall Street"

Could be the Oscar lineup, but ya gotta think American Hustle will figure in there somehow.

Best Makeup and Hair
“American Hustle”
"Behind the Candelabra"
"The Great Gatsby"
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
"Lee Daniels' The Butler"

Only Hustle and Gatsby survived the bakeoff, and they could well be among the final three.

Best Music
"The Book Thief"
"Captain Phillips"
“Gravity”
"Saving Mr. Banks"
“12 Years a Slave”

Surprised they didn't spring for Desplat if they like Philomena so much. But the man is a perennial contender in the Oscar race. The music branch may indeed stick up for him.

Best Sound
"All is Lost"
“Captain Phillips”
“Gravity”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Rush”

Since this group isn't divided into Mixing and Editing means we can't count out the likes of Lone Survivor or 12 Years a Slave in the Oscar races.


Best Visual Effects
“Gravity”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
“Iron Man 3”
“Pacific Rim”
“Star Trek Into Darkness”

Now this looks like an Oscar lineup, with the only slot in question being the one occupied by Star Trek. Elysium or Oblivion could win out on nomination day, but you must also consider that those other four "locks" are hardly set in stone. Well... okay, some of them are, but I can't help but wonder if Iron Man 3 or Pacific Rim might become the victims under-the-radar contenders.

Best Debut by British Writer, Director or Producer
Colin Caberry and Glenn Patterson (writers), "Good Vibrations"
Kelly Msarcel (writer), "Saving Mr. Banks"
Kieran Evasns (writer-director), "Kelly + Victor"
Scott Graham (writer-director), “Shell”
Paul Wright (writer-director) and Polly Stokes (producer), “For Those in Peril”

Best British Animated Short
""Everything I Can See from Her"
"I Am Tom Moody"
"Sleep With the Fishes"

Best British Short
"Island Queen"
"Keeping Up With the Joneses"
"Orbit Ever After"
"Room 8"
"Sea View"

Rising Star Award (previously announced)
Dane DeHaan
George Mackay
Lupita Nyong'o
Will Poulter
Lea Seydoux

1 comment:

  1. Surprised you didn't mention how Matthew and Jared both were omitted from "Dallas Buyers' Club" here. I guess that they didn't really the movie as much as I thought they would.

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