Awards season is in full flow now with the Golden Globe nominations being announced a few weeks ago and now with the announcement of the BAFTA nominations yesterday. Box Office smash hit Gravity leads the way in terms of total nominations received with 11, while critical success’ 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle both did very well receiving 10 nominations each. As is customary with these sorts of announcements, there have been some surprise oversights and inclusions on these lists of nominations that deserve to be analysed.
-12 Years a Slave.
There are few surprises amongst this list of best film nominees, with most experts favourite 12 Years a Slave, $670 million triumph Gravity and true story Captain Phillips likely to be nominated for the top award at every ceremony. The inclusion of American Hustle was to be expected as well, considering the fact that David O. Russell’s last 2 films The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook received many BAFTA nominations. However, the inclusion of the highly praised Philomena may be considered surprising when seeing that none of Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, the Coen brothers Inside Llewyn Davis or Disney’s Saving Mr Banks were nominated for this award.
Outstanding British Film
-Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
-Saving Mr Banks.
-The Selfish Giant.
Gravity must be considered the favourite for this award, but if the academy is opting to give the award to a more quintessentially British film, then Philomena would be a decent bet. The nomination of these 2 films was obvious as was the nomination of Saving Mr Banks, which has been labelled one of the best family films of the year. True story Rush has been widely touted as one of the most underrated films of the year and its inclusion in this list will no doubt please the many critics who favour it. The critically polarizing film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom may have been a surprising choice, however given the fact that it opened so close to the death of its real life protagonist, its resonance and nomination make perfect sense. The Selfish Giant was reviewed well, but is surely the smallest of these nominees.
-Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave).
-David O. Russell (American Hustle).
-Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips).
-Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity).
-Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street).
There are no real surprises here. The Best Film and Best Director nominations usually match up, as is the case with McQueen, O. Russell, Greengrass and Cuaron. Legendary director Martin Scorsese’s inclusion in place of Philomena director Stephen Frears is no real shock considering Scorsese’s pedigree.
Male in a Leading Role
-Bruce Dern (Nebraska).
-Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave).
-Christian Bale (American Hustle).
-Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street).
-Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips).
Ejiofor’s nomination was predictable and he will surely to be the favourite to win this award for his revered performance. Bale, DiCaprio and Hanks have all received many awards nominations in their careers and considering that Bale herniated a disc in his back for the role, DiCaprio reteamed with Scorsese in what has been labelled one of his best performances and Hanks portrayed a real life hero, their nominations seem deserved. Veteran actor Bruce Dern’s nomination came at the expense of overlooked actors Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) and Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), both of whom gave acclaimed performances.
Female in a Leading Role
-Amy Adams (American Hustle).
-Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine).
-Emma Thompson (Saving Mr Banks).
-Judi Dench (Philomena).
-Sandra Bullock (Gravity).
This is probably the least surprising list of nominees for any of the major awards categories. Blanchett’s performance in Woody Allen’s newest annual movie has received universal acclaim and she is likely to be nominated at every awards ceremony. British screen legends Thompson and Dench are obvious nominees and people would have been naïve to think that the two of them weren’t going to be nominated at a British awards ceremony. Adams was nominated for a BAFTA for her previous collaboration with O. Russell and Bullock is the lead in a film considered to be revolutionary, making their nominations expected.
Male in a Supporting Role
-Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips).
-Bradley Cooper (American Hustle).
-Daniel Bruhl (Rush).
-Matt Damon (Behind the Candelabra).
-Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave).
Abdi has done well receiving a nomination for his first ever film, but the widespread acclaim he has received and the academy’s tradition of acknowledging breakthrough performances makes the nomination less of a surprise. Cooper received a nomination last year for Silver Linings Playbook and Fassbender received a nomination for Shame in 2007, meaning that their talents are already known to the academy. Nominations for relatively unknown Bruhl in Rush and for Damon in made for TV film Behind the Candelabra were unexpected given the fact that Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) have made headlines with their performances and were tipped for nominations.
Female in a Supporting Role
-Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle).
-Julia Roberts (August: Osage County).
-Lupita Nyongo (12 Years a Slave).
-Oprah Winfrey (The Butler).
-Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine).
Nyongo’s nomination is not very surprising for the exact same reasons that Abdi’s wasn’t, whilst Lawrence’s wasn’t either considering she won an Oscar the last time she worked with O. Russell. Roberts’ performance has received high praise, with critics saying that she even outshines legendary co-star Meryl Streep. The only real shock here was that June Squibb wasn’t nominated for her role in Nebraska instead of either Winfrey or Hawkns.
The BAFTA’s will be hosted by Stephen Fry on Sunday 16th February and will air on BBC One.