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Oscar Watch: Parsing the BAFTA Nominations and Spielberg/Hooper Snub; Could 'Skyfall' Land a Best Picture Slot?

by Anne Thompson
January 9, 2013 12:29 PM
1 Comment
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The BAFTAs are yet another awards group, about the same size as the Academy, that represents a portion of about 300 voting Brits who can have an impact on the Oscar race. The Brits explain why a film like "Atonement," for example, could do better than expected. Thus BAFTA giving American productions "Lincoln" ten nominations, "Life of Pi" nine, "Argo" seven, and "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Django Unchained" five each is significant. It was to be expected that Brit films "Les Misérables" (nine), "Skyfall (eight) and "Anna Karenina" (six) would do well.

BAFTA voters also gave critics' faves "The Master" and "Amour" four nominations, while "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" landed three technical nods and "Silver Linings Playbook" nabbed acting noms for Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper plus adapted screenplay. You'd think that the Brits would have favored their own "Hitchcock," which only scored two nominations: Helen Mirren and Make Up & Hair. "The Sessions" landed a supporting actress nod for Helen Hunt; John Hawkes was overlooked in the more competitive Best Actor race. Ben Affleck had a very good day, nominated as both Best Director and Best Actor; Denzel Washington was overlooked for "Flight." I suspect the Oscars will favor Washington and Hawkes over Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix.  "Moonrise Kingdom" scored just one nomination for Original Screenplay, while "Beasts of the Southern Wild" was nominated for Adapted Screenplay.

The Oscars should reward "Lincoln" with the same ten categories plus one: Steven Spielberg for director. The BAFTA top five directors omitted both Spielberg and "Les Mis" director Tom Hooper--who landed a DGA nod but is vying for the Oscar director fifth slot with David O. Russell-- in favor of Ang Lee, Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow, Quentin Tarantino and Michael Haneke. Clearly, BAFTA voters did not respond to the very American comedy "Silver Linings Playbook" as well as their American counterparts.

I agree with Time Magazine that the Brit voters in the Academy could boost "Skyfall" to a surprise best picture nomination along with BAFTA nominees Judi Dench and Javier Bardem as Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor.  BAFTA also nominated the film for Original Music, Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, Sound and Outstanding British Film.

And I have always thought that "Anna Karenina" would be recognized by the Oscars in such BAFTA categories as Original Music, Cinematography, Production Design, Costume Design and Make Up & Hair.

Quentin Tarantino's director nomination--over Spielberg or Hooper-- is a surprise and may not be repeated by the Oscars, as he did not land a DGA nomination. I suspect, however, that he will wind up a leading contender for Original Screenplay for "Django Unchained," along with Haneke and Paul Thomas Anderson *("The Master"). The Brits went for "Django" Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz, which could be a bellwether for the Oscars, although both Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson are also in the running; all three could knock each other out.

I expect the Oscars to also nominate "Amour" actress Emmanuelle Riva, as well as her  BAFTA Best Actress rivals Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, and Marion Cotillard. Mirren? Not so sure. I suspect the Oscars will go with Naomi Watts for "The Impossible," which was shut out by the BAFTAs.

The EE British Academy Film Awards will be hosted by Stephen Fry and broadcast on BBC One on Sunday 10 February at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.

The full list of nominations is below:

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More: Awards, Awards, Oscars, BAFTA

1 Comment

  • Dan Ashcroft | January 9, 2013 5:06 PMReply

    LES MISERABLES has a Best Film nomination, but none for Director or Screenplay. Tom Hooper is playing the Hokey-Cokey (or the Pokey Cokey as I believe its called in the US and Australia) at this year's awards season - in-out, in-out. First he didn't make Best Director at the Golden Globes, so it looked like he was out, then he was nominated yesterday by the DGA, so he was back in; now he's not nominated by BAFTA so he's back out.
    Odd that LINCOLN gets 10 nominations across all the categories but none for Best Director.
    No BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO in the Best British Film category, despite its critical plaudits and BIFA wins. Its slot appears to be taken by SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, which I'd no idea was a British film (is it?).
    The snubbing of THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY. BAFTA were huge LOTR fans giving their Best Film awards to THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001) and RETURN OF THE KING (2003). THE HOBBIT only gets 3 nominations in the technical categories.

    Pleasant surprises.
    Helen Mirren getting a nomination for Best Actress in HITCHCOCK. With a SAG, Golden Globe and BAFTA nomination, surely she must get an Oscar nomination for the role tomorrow?
    SKYFALL getting 8 nominations, including Best British Film and two acting nods. Hope it converts some of these into wins.
    Will these awards mirror the Oscars? Well, last year HUGO didn't get a Best Film nomination at BAFTA, yet went on to be the most nominated film at the Oscars. Both Michael Fassbender and Tilda Swinton were BAFTA nominated but failed to make the Oscar nominations. So Thursday's nominations will still have a few surprises in store.
    For another view on the BAFTAs and the British at the Oscars check out my blog at

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