I Say, Good Show – 75th BAFTA Nominations

We’re in the home stretch, folks. In five days, we will know where the Academy stands, and the Oscar nominations will be announced. Before that happens, however, we have one last entry into the Awards Season undercard, the most prestigious ceremony for our friends across the Pond, the BAFTAs.

Now obviously, being more Anglo-centric than the U.S., we can’t exactly rely on their nominations as a 1:1 bellwether for what our Academy will say come Tuesday, because British films are on their own release schedule and have their own separate eligibility rules. There may be something on this list that won’t see American cinemas for another year, or the reverse might be true, and something that we put out in 2020 is only just now getting a theatrical run and consideration overseas. Over the last several years, thanks to the digital age, that gap has narrowed considerably, but we still can’t 100% correlate what they do to what we’re about to do. They have an entire category devoted to just British-made films, for example. On the other hand, the BAFTAs were the only win that Olivia Colman got for The Favourite before Oscar Night, where she pulled the upset on Glenn Close, who had swept the rest of Awards Season for her role in The Wife.

So who knows? We might see something here that is ultimately quite prophetic for what happens over the next several weeks. Or we could get results that are wholly separate and not comparable in the least. That’s sort of the fun of Awards Season in general. The official release from BAFTA can be found here. Let’s get to it!

These are the nominees for the 75th BAFTA Awards!

Best Film
Belfast
Don’t Look Up
Dune
Licorice Pizza
The Power of the Dog

Outstanding British Film
After Love
Ali & Ava
Belfast
Boiling Point
Cyrano
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
House of Gucci
Last Night in Soho
No Time to Die
Passing

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer
After Love
Boiling Point
The Harder They Fall
Keyboard Fantasies
Passing

Film Not in the English Language
Drive My Car
The Hand of God
Parallel Mothers
Petite Maman
The Worst Person in the World

Documentary
Being Cousteau
Cow
Flee
The Rescue
Summer of Soul

Animated Film
Encanto
Flee
Luca
The Mitchells vs. The Machines

Director
Aleem Khan – After Love
Ryusuke Hamaguchi – Drive My Car
Audrey Diwan – Happening
Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza
Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog
Julia Ducournau – Titane

Original Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin – Being the Ricardos
Kenneth Branagh – Belfast
Adam McKay – Don’t Look Up
Zach Baylin – King Richard
Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza

Adapted Screenplay
Siân Heder – CODA
Ryusuke Hamaguchi – Drive My Car
Eric Roth, Jon Spaihts, and Denis Villeneuve – Dune
Maggie Gyllenhaal – The Lost Daughter
Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog

Leading Actress
Lady Gaga – House of Gucci
Alana Haim – Licorice Pizza
Emilia Jones – CODA
Renate Reinsve – The Worst Person in the World
Joanna Scanlon – After Love
Tessa Thompson – Passing

Leading Actor
Adeel Akhtar – Aly & Ava
Mahershala Ali – Swan Song
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power of the Dog
Leonardo DiCaprio – Don’t Look Up
Stephen Graham – Boiling Point
Will Smith – King Richard

Supporting Actress
Caitríona Balfe – Belfast
Jessie Buckley – The Lost Daughter
Ariana DeBose – West Side Story
Ann Dowd – Mass
Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard
Ruth Negga – Passing

Supporting Actor
Mike Faist – West Side Story
Ciarán Hinds – Belfast
Troy Kotsur – CODA
Woody Norman – C’mon C’mon
Jesse Plemons – The Power of the Dog
Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog

Original Score
Being the Ricardos
Don’t Look Up
Dune
The French Dispatch
The Power of the Dog

Casting
Boiling Point
Dune
The Hand of God
King Richard
West Side Story

Cinematography
Dune
Nightmare Alley
No Time to Die
The Power of the Dog
The Tragedy of Macbeth

Editing
Belfast
Dune
Licorice Pizza
No Time to Die
Summer of Soul

Production Design
Cyrano
Dune
The French Dispatch
Nightmare Alley
West Side Story

Costume Design
Cruella
Cyrano
Dune
The French Dispatch
Nightmare Alley

Makeup & Hair
Cruella
Cyrano
Dune
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
House of Gucci

Sound
Dune
Last Night in Soho
No Time to Die
A Quiet Place Part II
West Side Story

Special Visual Effects
Dune
Free Guy
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
The Matrix Resurrections
No Time to Die

British Short Animation
Affairs of the Art
Do Not Feed the Pigeons
Night of the Living Dread

British Short Film
The Black Cop
Femme
The Palace
Stuffed
Three Meetings of the Extraordinary Committee

Rising Star Award
Ariana DeBose
Harris Dickinson
Lashana Lynch
Millicent Simmonds
Kodi Smit-McPhee

***

So, as always, what does this tell us? If this does indeed become a reflection of the Academy’s slate next week, I think we can assume a few things. One, Best Picture will come down to either Belfast, Licorice Pizza, or The Power of the Dog. Dune leads all films with 11 nominations, but most of those are in technical categories, and we kind of already knew when it came out that it would likely sweep the techs domestically, though with its own noteworthy slate, No Time to Die might sneak in and snag one here and there. As for Don’t Look Up, it has the feel of a movie that will get recognition, but it will just feel wrong if it wins, given McKay’s ill-advised response to backlash and the overall fact that the movie is by far the lowest rated of the group. Even with the likely 10 nominees for the Best Picture Oscar, I don’t see that statistic changing.

Similarly, I think we can narrow some of the races in other categories. Best Director will be either Paul Thomas Anderson or Jane Campion. Original Screenplay will go to either Anderson or Kenneth Branagh. Documentary Feature is likely down to Summer of Soul and Flee, with the latter in a three-way race for International Feature with Drive My Car and The Worst Person in the World. Supporting Actress is now most likely a two-horse race between DeBose and Balfe, with Ruth Negga as a dark horse. Best Actor is almost certainly between Cumberbatch and Smith.

Most importantly, however, three films that I feel have been way overhyped on our side of the Atlantic have been told, in no uncertain terms, to basically sod off. The West Side Story remake has five nominations, but one of them – Casting – is not a category for the Oscars, so really it’s down to four. They have the two Supporting categories, where I wholeheartedly endorse Mike Faist but still feel that DeBose left no impression, but I get it if nothing else than for the historical possibility of the first female role to have two different actresses win for it (just as Vito Corleone and the Joker have on the male side). Other than that it’s just the Production Design, which was off the charts good, and Sound, which I mentioned in my review of tick, tick… BOOM! is a possibility only because the Academy might want to honor those two musicals that don’t have original songs attached. In that respect, I will note that I’m surprised that tick, tick… BOOM! and In the Heights are completely left out of the proceedings here.

The other bits of potential overrating to get the boot here are House of Gucci and Being the Ricardos. I haven’t seen it yet, though I suppose I’ll have to, but for practical purposes it’s only up for two categories (Outstanding British Film doesn’t apply to us, though it could be a hint at a Best Picture nomination): Lady Gaga for Best Actress and Makeup for making a largely non-Italian cast look like Italian stereotypes. I think we can safely say its prospects just took a nosedive. As for Ricardos, it’s only up for Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay, which seems like an Academy obligation at this point, and Daniel Pemberton’s score, which was alright. I’m sure the Academy will find some way to lick Nicole Kidman’s butthole next week, but the reality of the situation is that the movie isn’t that good, and with some time to process, voters are finally starting to realize that. I certainly hope the trend continues for the remainder of Awards Season.

***

That’s all I’ve got for now. My viewing/reviewing schedule looks like this going forward before the Oscar nominations are announced: CODA, The Worst Person in the World, Passing, Don’t Look Up, House of Gucci, and Cyrano. Barring any major surprises, that should encompass the remaining films necessary to complete the vast majority of the field ahead of Tuesday’s big announcement. Keep it locked here for updates and more analysis as we get ready to begin the 2022 Oscar Blitz in earnest!

Join the conversation in the comments below! What film do you think is the frontrunner? What were the snubs? Why were there only four Animated Feature nominees? Let me know!

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