Oscars 2020: BAFTA Nominations

BAFTA woke up today and chose violence.

Well, okay. They sent out a very diverse slate of nominees that would be admirable if we weren’t in a period where that sort of thing is met with suspicion given how much awards shows seem to be about covering their asses lately so as not to get ‘Golden Globe’d’ rather than actually finding a way to counteract the problem. Apparently we’re now forced to live into this endless cycle of ‘performative diversity until no one’s looking, then settling back into our old ways until they get mad again’ rather than just doing the obvious thing and making it so the entire voting body is diverse enough that it’s not built around the usual same set of boring old white people films that are only the films because that’s all the boring old white people who make up the majority of voters watch.

Those issues aside (since I think everyone knows my feelings about all of this — if you make it a point to watch everything and then just pick what you liked best, the only thing you can be accused of is bad taste. The voting problem is a systemic issue at the root and any deck chair rearranging is arguably just as bad as the status quo), if you’re someone who, as I do, makes it a point to try to guess nominees and winners, you can’t help but see these nominees as just pure chaos (or perhaps the most specific through line you could ever get). And I kinda love it. I’ll discuss all that it means from category to category, but just know — this just got real fun.

Here are your BAFTA nominees:

Best Film

The Father

The Mauritanian

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Three expected, maybe four if you count The Father, and The Mauritanian gets on, muddling that picture a little bit. Or maybe not, if you’re just gonna look at this as a performative thing that will in no way affect the whities over at AMPAS. I don’t think this gets me to guess The Mauritanian so much as it tells me The Father is firmly in play as a potential nominee. BAFTA presaged all those Two Popes nominations last year (but that didn’t get the Film nomination, which tells me this is more legitimate). Plus, you’ll see a recurring thread throughout a lot of these categories — they’re all diverse and stuff… until they get to the ‘main’ choices. And then you see the ones everyone else is nominating.

I spend so much time trying to figure out what the British contingent of Oscar voters really likes, and here they basically just spelled it out for me in every category. I mean, I’ll take it. But when you get through the chaos of ‘none of these people have precursors’, the thing you’re gonna notice this year is… ‘I think this just made it easier’.

But yeah, pretty much everything I expect, and they shafted Minari and clearly relegated it to the ‘foreign’ category. The Father gets a boost and The Mauritanian probably becomes your 11th or 12th choice that you won’t guess anyway because so many other things have more precursors and more clear paths to actually get nominated through the voting system.

Outstanding British Film

Calm with Horses

The Dig

The Father

His House

Limbo

The Mauritanian

Mogul Mowgli

Promising Young Woman

Rocks

Saint Maud

Oh interesting. Best Film stays the same but they bumped this category up to ten to get more choices in. Which is good. Because if it were just five, Promising Young Woman, The Mauritanian, The Father, The Dig and Saint Maid would probably be the category, with maybe one swapped off for Rocks or Calm with Horses. So here they allow all this other stuff to get in. Which honestly — is the smart play. This is the category to do that in. Especially since it’s your category. Promote the stuff that came from your countr(ies). Show the diversity in film you have to offer.

It’s also funny considering, if we had an American version of this category that, rather than Best Picture, was more ‘here are the films that we feel best represents our film establishment’, it would be these giant, bloated, processed studio garbage movies made in a factory and would look nothing like this list here. Which, honestly? Appropriate.

Best Director

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

Sarah Gavron, Rocks

Shannon Murphy, Babyteeth

Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round

Jasmila Zbanic, Quo Vadis, Aida?

Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

Oh no. Okay, so this tells me Minari basically got the Best Picture nomination here. It tells me that Another Round is the contender I expected it to be and I need to watch out for it on Best Picture (maybe) and definitely Vinterberg on Director. It tells me that Quo Vadis Aida is more likely to get on the International Feature list. And it tells me that Chloe Zhao is gonna win Best Director this year and Nomadland seems like it’s gonna win Best Picture too. Also, go Shannon Murphy. I loved what she did in Babyteeth and that’s a wonderful inclusion.

But also we need to wait for the DGA to know for sure what to think about this. But really all this does is help me out in International Feature and has me thinking Vinterberg as one of those Pawel Pawlikowski surprises on Director.

Best Actor

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Adarsh Gourav, The White Tiger

Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Mads Mikkelsen, Another Round

Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian

Yeah, I expected Mikkelsen and Rahim here after those previous two categories. But there are those other three from the rest of the race. Oldman misses, but that’s fine. Mank seems to have missed everywhere for them because it’s kind of the epitome of the ‘boring white person’ film this year. I get it. Really though — no Delroy Lindo, no Tom Hanks. Which tells me that Steven Yeun is your likely number five with Mikkelsen or Rahim as potential sneak-in candidates. And that Boseman is, again, a lock to win this category whatever the final five are.

Best Actress

Bukky Bakray, Rocks

Radha Blank, The Forty-Year-Old Version

Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman

Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Wunmi Musaku, His House

Alfre Woodard, Clemency

This is where they chose violence. They left off Carey Mulligan. Only two Oscar list contenders are on here. Alfre Woodard was eligible last year. Goddamn did they gut this category. Which is gonna leave a real interesting vacuum come Oscar night, unless Kirby or McDormand wins SAG (which I’m thinking is a no). But this tells me that Sophia Loren is firmly out and that Kate Winslet is firmly out. So, with nothing else coming, we have to assume Day, Davis, Kirby, McDormand, Mulligan as the five and just let whoever else happens happen.

Best Supporting Actor

Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Barry Keoghan, Calm with Horses

Alan Kim, Minari

Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami

Clarke Peters, Da 5 Bloods

Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

There’s Alan Kim. Saw that one coming after BFCA. Kaluuya has this category locked. Odom is locked in with him. Cohen will get nominated regardless. Raci seems to have shored up one of those final two spots. And now you’re left with figuring out who #5 is. And since I haven’t fully bought Leto or Murray the whole way through, I’m thinking this could be Alan Kim. I’ll have to think about this over the next five days. But that’s the most intriguing option to me at this point.

Best Supporting Actress

Niamh Algar, Calm with Horses

Kosar Ali, Rocks

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Dominique Fishback, Judas and the Black Messiah

Ashley Madekwe, County Lines

Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

Yup. Bakalova and Yuh-Jung Joun. Those are the two ‘main’ nominees I’ve been seeing as a through line for who might win. Glenn Close will just get nominated and it’ll stay there. Olivia Colman has enough juice to make it on as well, even though they went diverse here. (Notice how the diversity is in the acting categories. Wait until we get to the tech categories. You’ll see how that shit balances right out to the normal stuff. That’s why I’m so suspicious about this whole thing and why it feels performative to me rather than them actually trying to get to the root of the problem.)

Your major issue is, like all the other acting categories, that fifth spot. Is it Helena Zengel? Is it Amanda Seyfried? Is it Jodie Foster? Is it Ellen Burstyn? Does someone come along with another nominee who hasn’t gotten any precursors? This is the most wide open spot we have and is most asking for chaos. Should be fun.

Best Original Screenplay

Another Round

Mank

Promising Young Woman

Rocks

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Three gimmes and two films they’ve nominated a bunch so far. Sound of Metal and Minari miss, but I’m not overly concerned about them losing spots to either of these two. Another Round I guess could get on, but I’m thinking we get the five we expect here.

Also, notice how the nominees are starting to even out to the norm? This is why I question this whole diversity push. I don’t see this as the win other people do. That all looked to me as people doing it because they were forced to by the people governing the voting body and doing it to not get yelled at. I don’t buy that those are the performances they truly loved the best because they went and nominated the same shit as all the other lists down here, in the categories where no one’s looking. These gestures don’t fix the problem, they just get people to stop paying close attention to them for a while longer and kicking the can down the road.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Dig

The Father

The Mauritanian

Nomadland

The White Tiger

The Father and Nomadland are two gimmes. White Tiger gets on as it did with the WGA, but part of me doesn’t see that actually contending for the Oscar (though it might be the sixth choice). We’ll see where I end up on that by Sunday. The Dig is a British film, so I get it, and Mauritanian makes sense for them. Ma Rainey should still get on the Oscar list, as should One Night in Miami. The question is that fifth spot, which could be White Tiger as much as it could be News of the World. There’s not a whole lot of extra stuff that feels like it’s taking spots in this one this year.

Best Editing

The Father

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Yeah. That’s the expected five. See what I mean about the diversity? It’s only in the showy categories. It’s like the child who’s like, “Look at me, eating broccoli!” Meanwhile everything else on their plate is just candy and donuts. Just because you make a show of one thing does not mean the issue of you not eating enough vegetables is fixed. But in terms of guessing this category… this all fits. We still need the guild to announce, but so far this is all firmly Best Picture race stuff.

Best Cinematography

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

The Mauritanian

News of the World

Nomadland

Judas makes an appearance. Curious to see what ASC goes for, but there’s been a pretty limited field in this one so far. So I’m real interested to see where this ends up. Mauritanian feels like it won’t happen but three of the other four feel pretty locked, with Judas a potential nominee depending on where the guild goes. This is one of the few categories left with any real intrigue for me.

Best Original Score

Mank

Minari

News of the World

Promising Young Woman

Soul

Promising Young Woman isn’t shortlisted but the other four are. Basically, add in Midnight Sky and Tenet and that’s six scores for five spots and you’re pretty set in this one. Especially since it seems like Soul is gonna win the whole thing anyway. I’m actually kinda happy they’ve been generally going with good scores in all these categories.

Best Production Design

The Dig

The Father

Mank

News of the World

Rebecca

Very British. The Dig, The Father, Rebecca, even News of the World to an extent (Greengrass). Surprised Emma didn’t make it, but otherwise… sure. Not sure how much this affects the final category except to guarantee Mank and News of the World spots in it. Past that… gonna have to look at the full lay of the land before I make up my mind about what they’re gonna do.

Best Costume Design

Ammonite

The Dig

Emma

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

Emma. Ma Rainey. Mank. Those seem pretty set. And the other two? It’s Costumes. There’s always something you don’t expect that gets on. These feel like the typical BAFTA choices. So we’ll see what that means for the complete picture by Sunday. Also interesting to me how BAFTA completely ignored Ammonite everywhere but here. They must have really not liked how it was basically a carbon copy of Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Not even Kate or Saoirse got nominated. And they’ll take any excuse to nominate them most years. Fascinating.

Best Makeup and Hair

The Dig

Hillbilly Elegy

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

Pinocchio

The Dig isn’t shortlisted and the other four are and feel like the majority of your category. Fifth spot is open, but if you can guarantee 4/5, you’re in good shape. Nothing but help here.

Best Visual Effects

Greyhound

The Midnight Sky

Mulan

The One and Only Ivan

Tenet

Greyhound isn’t shortlisted. But the other four are. BAFTA VFX usually is a sign that things have a shot at making it on. Not sure I totally buy Ivan, but Mulan… not out of the realm of possibility. Also, they left Mank off. That’s curious and might be a sign that it’s gonna get left off the category. Which fits in with the usual narrative of ‘Best Picture films always win if they get nominated’. And I don’t think Mank wins if it gets nominated, so that tells me it might not make it on. But, it’s a very weak year, so we’ll see what makes it. There’s a lot to discuss here, and we’ll do it on Sunday.

Best Sound

Greyhound

News of the World

Nomadland

Soul

Sound of Metal

This all fits. Mank is also in play, as is Chicago 7, but all this feels like it’s in your top seven contenders for the final category.

Best Animated Film

Onward

Soul

Wolfwalkers

Obvious top three. Still doesn’t help us decide if Onward is gonna be left off, but this actually does help me think it stays on. Though there’s still the ‘Shaun the Sheep vs. Over the Moon vs. The Croods’ for the final two spots. But all this feels in line with what I’d have expected.

Best Film Not in the English Language

Another Round

Dear Comrades!

Les Misérables

Minari

Quo Vadis, Aida?

Yeah, Aida almost had to get on here after the Director nomination. I guess Dear Comrades gets a bit of a boost, but otherwise I’m not sure this changes much of my thinking with the category. Curious to see which of these they give it to (meaning Another Round or Minari). That’ll be a real interesting litmus test for them.

Best Documentary

Collective

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

The Dissident

My Octopus Teacher

The Social Dilemma

Only two of these are shortlisted for the Oscar and it’s clear which one is certain to be nominated and one of which is still 50/50. But sure. This is a category.

Outstanding Debut By a British Writer, Director or Producer

His House

Limbo

Moffie

Rocks

Saint Maud

Cool.

Best Casting

Calm with Horses

Judas and the Black Messiah

Minari

Promising Young Woman

Rocks

Makes sense.

Best British Short Animation

The Fire Next Time

The Owl and the Pussycat

The Song of a Lost Boy

Good for them.

Best British Short Film

Eyelash

Lizard

Lucky Break

Miss Curvy

The Present

Well that assures me that The Present is likely to get on the Live Action Short list. That’s more help than I’m used to getting from this category.

EE Rising Star Award

Bukky Bakray

Kingsley Ben-Adir

Morfydd Clark

Sope Dirisu

Conrad Khan

And this category.

– – – – –

Okay, we’re done. I don’t really have a whole lot to say about these just because to me they’re just helpful for trying to guess the Oscar nominations. Aside from the top-heavy diversity push this generally feels like the same BAFTA list I’d have expected to get.

DGA nominations still need to be announced, though guessing how this is set to post those will probably have already been posted. Those are the major help we’re getting today. This is just supporting help. But Oscar nominees are in six days so this is crunch time for figuring out what we think is gonna get nominated.

– – – – – – – – –

http://bplusmovieblog.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.