I’ll start with a comment by one of the readers:
The Blind Side, Invictus, and A Single Man haven‚Äôt had their UK releases yet, therefore are ineligible.
This isn‚Äôt rocket science guys.
Of course An Education was going to be nominated for everything- that‚Äôs what the ‚ÄùB‚Äù in BAFTAS is there for.
Right, we knew that going in, didn’t we? An Education is not only adapted by Nick Hornby, for godssake, but it’s about Lynn Barber. But it’s a great boost for the film, really it is. And anyway, we’re talking about ten slots for Best Picture. So we don’t have to worry about this one or that one – they will all be in. At any rate, A Single Man must have been eligible since Colin Firth has a nomination.
If you want to look at some BAFTA history, Sijmen at the Oscar Experiment has compiled a nice archive where you can look back at their past winners. Slumdog Millionaire was no surprise last year. But before that, they went with Atonement. And before that it was The Queen. So, if we were looking at five Best Pic nominations for Oscar, one might assume off of this list that An Education was a real threat. It is a threat to win, but not to win Best Picture at the Oscars.
The thing to take away from these BAFTAs, though, is not the exclusion of Inglourious Basterds (which clearly almost made the cut, given that Tarantino is named one of the five directors), but the inclusion of District 9, a funny little David to Avatar’s Goliath. So, if you don’t mind, I will take away from these BAFTAs that District is really in the game.
We might be looking at Neill Blomkamp, again, to be nominated as Best Director. Which is fairly exciting. If that happens, one might take note, that the theme of the Oscars will most certainly be space aliens and sci-fi. If I were the Avatar team, I’d be slightly worried about District 9 and maybe Star Trek diluting the Best Pic vote. But we’re not there yet.
If either Avatar or District 9 had managed acting nods on top of everything else, that would have been something. Also worth noting, no screenplay nod for Avatar while District 9 got one. That’s right, they thought the writing in The Hangover was better than Avatar’s. That’s gotta hurt.
Right now, there is no reason to assume that Avatar won’t win their top prize. They do have a history of splitting their pic and director (particularly without a screenplay nod for Avatar). We only count the BAFTAs since around 2000 when they switched to being before the Oscars, rather than after them, so we don’t have Titanic to look back on for a reference point.
Either way, I suspect that The Hurt Locker will do some damage here. I think Tarantino could still win in the Original Screenplay category – I’d watch out for Jeremy Renner to pull a surprise win the acting category. BAFTA and Oscar do not always match up in the acting categories anyway – Mickey Rourke, Bill Murray, Daniel Day Lewis in Gangs of New York, Russell Crowe for A Beautiful Mind, were some that didn’t go on to win Oscars.
However, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Day Lewis (Blood) did.
So, a few random observations:
Meryl vs. Carey Mulligan for Best Actress – Mulligan could win. Streep has been nominated for 13 BAFTAs, but has only won one time – for The French Lieutenant’s Woman. It is hard to imagine Carey Mulligan not winning this, though, isn’t it?
Jeff Bridges vs. George Clooney vs. Jeremy Renner vs. Colin Firth – Jeff Bridges has that magic combination of the right role with the right amount of goodwill built up over time. The only missing ingredient is that he didn’t play a murderer or a psychopath.¬† George Clooney is always a threat. I could see it being Mulligan and Clooney, the early favorites for the win, taking these. Jeremy Renner is the dark horse, but it will just depend on how much they liked The Hurt Locker. Not enough to garner supporting nods, but well enough for all of the major categories. As a reader points out, Firth could clean up here – he’s British and beloved. His performance in A Single Man is just amazing.
No Viggo nod for Best Actor but The Road gets a lone cinematography nod.
Audrey Tautou and Saoirse Ronan get some nice attention in the Best Actress race. Once slot is definitely open — I guess The Last Station must not have been eligible The Last Station WAS eligible. I am so surprised to hear that – Helen Mirren?? And no actress nod for Emily Blunt for The Young Victoria.
In the Loop with two nominations, though none for Peter Capaldi in supporting. Still, British Film and Screenplay aren’t bad at all.
A little bump for Alec Baldwin for It’s Complicated. And a nice tiny boost for Moon, which is getting no awards love at all.
TWO WOMEN DIRECTORS this year at the BAFTA. As far as I could tell, only one woman has ever been nominated for a BAFTA (and again, we don’t really count the years before they switched their date, but if we did we’d name Jane Campion). So this is huge.