It wouldn’t be awards season without a few snubs, shocks and surprises, and this morning’s British Academy Film Awards nominations (see the full list here) has more than we were expecting – partly because we’ve come to rely on the Brits to be a bit more sensible than most.
Here’s our picks for the biggest upsets amongst this year’s selections.
After all the hype, all the talk of the Academy Awards creating a new category in order to give it a gong, and the historic Golden Globe nominations (Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Original Score and Best Original Song) it appears that BAFTA still doesn’t think that comic-book movies count when it comes to the major awards.
Panther gets just one nod – in the entirely predictable ‘Special Visual Effects’ category, where it joins Avengers: Infinity War, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, First Man and Ready Player One.
Mary Poppins Returns
Just three nods for Poppins, and none of them are in the major categories – it gets nods for Music, Production Design and Costume Design, but nothing for the incredible cast, which, considering it’s packed with BAFTA favourites such as Emily Blunt, Ben Whishaw, Julie Walters and Colin Firth is a bit of a surprise. A spoonful of sugar will not help this medicine go down for Disney.
Joe Cole – A Prayer Before Dawn
While it’s not the biggest movie in the world, A Prayer Before Dawn is exactly the sort of film we’d expect BAFTA to celebrate and highlight. It has British funding, it’s about a real Brit – Billy Moore, a drug addicted boxer forced to survive in two notorious Thai prisons – and lead Joe Cole won the BIFA for ‘Best Actor’. All of which should have made it a shoe-in for something, but especially a Best Actor nod for Cole.
Steve Coogan / John C Reilly – Stan & Ollie
Can someone please tell the awards voters that Stan & Ollie is a film about a double-act?
First Reilly gets the Golden Globe nod without Coogan, now Coogan’s being considered for Best Actor at the BAFTAs without Reilly. Not that we’re complaining, Coogan doesn’t just deserve to be nominated, he deserves to win – but we’re hoping they both get Oscar nods, as these are performances that are equally deserving of respect.
Lynne Ramsay – You Were Never Really Here
Come on BAFTA, we thought you agreed with us that Lynne Ramsay is one of our greatest living directors – you’ve given her two BAFTAs and nominated her for four more – so where’s her ‘Best Director’ nomination for You Were Never Really Here?
While we’re at it, why has that film been relegated to ‘Outstanding British Film’ alongside minor works such as Beast and McQueen, when the narrative is as American as it gets (every other film on the ‘Outstanding British Film’ list has some kind of major British element).
It’s a ‘Best Film’ contender if ever we saw one, with the snub made more painful by the fact The Favourite is nominated in both categories. Something feels off about this one.
In a year where Ramsay was just one of several brilliant women directors who you’d expect BAFTA to celebrate, including Karyn Kusama (Destroyer) Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation of Cameron Post) and Josie Rourke (Mary, Queen of Scots), it’s depressing that ‘Best Director’ is all-male once again.
Steve McQueen / Viola Davis – Widows
Widows becomes the first Steve McQueen movie to miss out on either a ‘Best Direction’ or a ‘Best Film’ nomination for the helmer. It does score a welcome ‘Leading Actress’ nod for star Viola Davis, but McQueen would surely have been expecting more – especially as the film was deemed good enough to open the London Film Festival last year.
Eight nominations is hardly a snub, but it’s interesting that Bohemian Rhapsody didn’t make it into the ‘Best Film’ category – instead being relatively sidelined into ‘Outstanding British Film.’
Considering it won ‘Best Drama’ at the Golden Globes (controversially), this has to be seen as a snub, but one we’re pretty happy with.