The nominations for the 2016 BAFTA Film Awards were announced today in a ceremony hosted by Stephen Fry and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, with both Bridge of Spies and Carol leading the pack with 9 nominations each!
Joining them in the race for Best Film is The Big Short, The Revenant and Spotlight. Notably missing from this list is the dark horse of this years award season, Mad Max: Fury Road, which over the last few weeks has started to amass strong support as a contender for “Best Picture”. Fury Road managed a nomination at the Golden Globes, but there the “Best Picture” category is separated in to categories by Genre (Best Drama, and Best Musical or Comedy), which allows for extra nominations. Perhaps BAFTA’s failure to acknowledge Fury Road, as well as Ridley Scott’s The Martian, with even a nomination suggests that they stand less a chance at Award Season Glory than first thought. However, the big one is undoubtedly the Oscars, which tends to allow more nominations in the Best Picture category, so don’t rule out these two yet!
Bridge of Spies, directed by Steven Spielberg, missed the deadline for Golden Globe nomination, and so The BAFTA nomination is the first chance we’ve got to see just how well it could do this year; with both the most nominations of any film and a Best Picture nomination at the BAFTAs, it looks like Spielbergs latest collaboration with Tom Hanks stands a good chance of Oscar noms, too!
Spielberg is also a strong contender for the “Best Director” category, where he was BAFTA nominated alongside Todd Haynes (Carol), Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu (The Revenant), Adam McKay (The Big Short), and Ridley Scott (The Martian). This category shows another snub for Mad Max: Fury Road, with director George Miller not attaining a nomination. The Directing Category at the Golden Globes features Miller, and though Ridley Scott is favourite to take it, Miller is seen as the strongest contender. With BAFTA the fight seems to be between Scott and Spielberg, especially considering last years Oscar winner Inarritu was snubbed in favour of Richard Linklater (Boyhood) at last years BAFTAs. He’s in with a chance with The Revenant, but commentators suggest that if he couldn’t do it with Birdman, he’s not likely to do so with The Revenant.
The Best Actor category sees Eddie Redmayne nominated for his second consecutive year, and after his victory with last years The Theory of Everything, could he score his second consecutive win with his role as Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl? He might, but he faces strong competition from Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) and Matt Damon (The Martian). Some suggest this could finally be DiCaprio’s year for Oscar success, but safer bets would be Redmayne and Fassbender. The Oscar nominations have yet to be announced, but don’t expect it to look much different than this for this category.
Notably, the BAFTAs have taken a less bold approach than the Golden Globes, who nominated both Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara for Best Actress in a Drama for their roles in Carol, whereas the BAFTA’s have allowed Mara to enter the race as a candidate for Best Supporting Actress. The filmmakers are rumoured to have encouraged and hoped for this, as this tactic would allow both Cate and Rooney to take home an award for their acclaimed performances, rather than put them up directly against each other for the one award, despite the fact that both are undeniable starring roles, and to sell Rooney Mara as a supporting actress is to sell her short!
Alongside Cate Blanchett in the Best Actress Category is Brie Larson (Room), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van) and Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl). Competing for Rooney Mara for Best Supporting Actress is Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), Julie Walters (Brooklyn) and Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs). The competition here is interesting, but would have been even more interesting if Rooney Mara was (fairly) placed in the Best Actress category.
If Mara is accepted in to the Supporting Actress category for the Oscars, then that will leave the spot she took at the Globes open in the Best Actress category at the Oscars – likely to go to Dame Maggie Smith (Lady In the Van) like the BAFTA did – but if not, and she was placed in the Best Actress category, then the Best Supporting Actress category might lose one of its front runners, meaning it could well be a one horse race for the other front runner, Alicia Vikander. Either Helen Mirren or Jane Fonda, both Golden Globe nominees in the same category, would be a likely replacement for Mara (or possibly both, if Alicia Vikander’s role in Ex Machina is deemed co-star instead of Supporting actress, but that would probably won’t happen, although it would make the contest for best actress even more exciting!).
In the more technical awards, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ex Machina and Mad Max: Fury Road score a few nominations each, but face stiff competition from the “Best Picture” nominees and a few other stand outs.
In the animation category nominations were given to Inside Out, Shaun the Sheep and Minions. Notably absent are The Good Dinosaur, The Peanuts Movie and Anomalisa, all of which were nominated for the same award at the Golden Globes.
Though Beasts of No Nation, Sicario and Ex Machina were all tipped (and perhaps expecting) some more nods, they didn’t acquire them in any of the major categories, mostly acting or technical, although Ex Machina stands a chance in Outstanding British Debut (Writer, Director or Producer) for its Director, the novelist Alex Garland, and a nomination in Best Original Screenplay.
Room, which was nominated for Best Drama at the globes, missed out at the BAFTAs, but is still very much in contention for the Oscars, and could well make an Award Season Comeback with Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian!
The Rising Star BAFTA nominations this year are John Boyega, Taron Egerton, Dakota Johnson, Brie Larson and Bel Powley. With Brie Larson’s performance in Room securing her a nomination at the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes, she’d probably be front runner, but with this being the only award of the night voted for by the public, the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens leaves John Boyega as a front runner.
The full list of BAFTA Film Award nominations is available here, with the winners revealed at the ceremony next month (14th February), hosted once more by Stephen Fry!
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