Timothy Spall is likely to feel a little disappointed this morning after he was snubbed by the British Academy in the BAFTA 2015 nominations.
The star was expected to receive recognition for his portrayal of JMW Turner in ‘Mr Turner’, after he won the prestigious Best Actor Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival last year, but his name was nowhere to be seen. His grunting transformative performance in this most British of contenders seemed a lock for BAFTA, the awards that famously loves rewarding homegrown talent.
The Best Actor category will instead be battled out between Benedict Cumberbatch (‘The Imitation Game’), Eddie Redmayne (‘The Theory of Everything’), Jake Gyllenhaal (‘Nightcrawler’), Michael Keaton (‘Birdman’), and Ralph Fiennes (‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’).
Mike Leigh’s critically-lauded art biopic has been largely ignored in most of the major categories, receiving just four nominations for cinematography, production design, costume design, and make up and hair. Most galling though perhaps is the lack of recognition in the Outstanding British Film category that found room for 6 films to be acknowledged including the knockabout ‘Paddington’.
Another actor likely to feel hard done by is Steve Carell. The comedic actor is thought to be a front-runner for Best Actor at the Oscars for his deeply unsettling performance in the staunchly non-comedic real-life chiller ‘Foxcatcher’.
Instead, the ‘Forty-Year-Old Virgin’ star has been shunted to Best Supporting Actor where he’ll face stiff competition for the golden mask from Ed Norton (‘Birdman’), Ethan Hawke (‘Boyhood’), his ‘Foxcatcher’ co-star Mark Ruffalo, and the category favourite JK Simmons for his barnstorming ‘Whiplash’ role.
Unexpected triumph for Wes Anderson
A filmmaker who’ll be enjoying a different sort of surprise this morning will be Wes Anderson. The American filmmaker’s uproarious comedy ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ has landed 11 nominations including Best Film, Best Director, and Original Screenplay making it the film with the most nods.
This will be a huge boost for the film released way back last Spring, after being written off by many awards commenters. This could give it the momentum needed for an unexpected last minute Oscar dash, which would be an incredible turn of events for the pastel-coloured farce.
Nightcrawler’s surprise success
Dan Gilroy’s ‘Nightcrawler’ is another film to receive a last-minute boost from BAFTA. The gripping thriller, which sees Jake Gyllenhaal playing a gaunt video journalist with dubious morals, has landed four nominations including one for the lead star himself.
It’s a worthy nod for one of the most under appreciated performances of the year in a crowded playing field battling it out for Best Actor. Rene Russo has also landed a surprise nod for Best Supporting Actress, despite not being considered by many to be an awards contender this year.
Most surprisingly though for industry observers is the complete shut out of ‘Selma’. The film, which features British actor David Oyelowo playing civil rights movement Martin Luther King Jr., is seen as a heavyweight Oscar contender thanks to its worthy subject matter and powerhouse performances.
However, the film has failed to muster a single nomination from BAFTA.
The EE British Academy Film Awards will reveal the winners on Sunday 8 February at the Royal Opera House in London.
Image credits: Film 4/eOne/20th Century Fox/Pathe