The BAFTA Nominations: Our Take
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 12:47 by Olly Richards
Olly Richards: So we, dear Helen, are here to discuss the BAFTA nominations and the occasionally crazy ways of said body. I feel a little silly that my big gripe with this year’s BAFTA nominations is in the special effects category, but, seriously, no Transformers?! The film wasn’t great, but you’re telling me that Spider-Man 3 – which actually took a step back from the previous film in terms of CG – and The Golden Compass were more of an achievement than that? Maybe it’s still residual fury at the Oscar Foreign Film nominations (MORONS!), but that angered me. Other than that, there are many nods I’m pleased to see. I’m particularly glad to see The Bourne Ultimatum recognised. Although, in what way was that British?
Helen O'Hara: You’re such an AV geek. But I agree on Transformers, and think that The Golden Compass should be disqualified for cynically showing nary a drop of blood during the bear fight to ensure a PG rating. But that’s a whole other issue. I think Bourne counts as British principally because it was shot (a bit) here and because of Greengrass – who I would love to see win Best Director, much as I adore the other candidates. He’s one of the most influential filmmakers in the world right now, and some awards body should acknowledge that. The only other big surprise I can spot is the complete omission of Hot Fuzz – a home-grown hit like that would usually do quite well.
Olly: That is a shame, but it’s not surprising, since it’s not a typical awards film. I’m sure the huge box office will comfort Edgar Wright. Talking of British, are we at all surprised to see Atonement topping the list? It’s currently looking like a bit iffy in the Oscar race, but I think it really deserves awards attention. It was technically magnificent. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it’s going to sweep the board – I know, I’m ker-azy. I actually think, we might see all the big prizes go to Brits this year. The cynic in me might say that part of that would be because the writers strike makes it unlikely that any American stars will show up and BAFTA voters are staunchly patriotic, but there’s a really strong showing here. Daniel Day Lewis will obviously win for There Will Be Blood (he couldn’t have acted more) and I’d put Best Actress between Christie and Knightley, even though my heart says Ellen Page. In fact, my heart makes Juno type noises generally. Yay, Diablo Cody!
Helen: It’s no surprise at all to see Atonement leading the nominations, but I don’t think it will sweep the wins. I loved it, thought it was absolutely fantastic, but I just don’t think that BAFTA can ignore There Will Be Blood or No Country in the big categories and be considered a serious awards show. Lives Of Others feels like last year’s news and shouldn’t win anything but Foreign Film and American Gangster just isn’t good enough, so I feel like we can ignore those two, but the other three deserve their Best Picture shot. I think, by the by, your heart and its Juno-type noises may, as Celine Dion would say, go on, cause it doesn’t look like she has a whole lot of competition for Original Screenplay. In Adapted Screenplay, I’d go for No Country For Old Men – that was a storming translation to the screen. How about Best British Film?
Olly: Well, I’m still thinking Atonement will take Best Film. But I think This Is England or Bourne will take Best British film, in one of those odd situations that happen at the BAFTAs. One Atonement nomination I’m really pleased with is Saoirse Ronan (whose name I always want to pronounce as Seahorse). A lot of the Supporting Actress category is questionable in its British bias, but she’s been overlooked too often. Baffled as to how Helena Bonham Carter got overlooked for Sweeney Todd, since she’s British and spectacular in the movie. But if I start on my Sweeney Todd gripes, we’ll be here all day. See also The Assassination of Jesse James By The Amazing Casey Affleck Who Should Have Won.
Helen: Also titled The Great Injustice Of Jesse James Getting Pretty Much Ignored By All The Awards Shows, yes. I agree that Atonement will probably take Best Film (British, epic, period piece) but I’m not going to storm the stage as long as American Gangster doesn’t win. Actually, I probably won’t even storm the stage then, but I’ll definitely tut. And yes, something else will then get Best British Film – possibly Control, as that’s often the category where they reward the indie contender. I’d love to see Saoirse win Best Support too (If you were Jade Goody you’d get in a lot of trouble for not being able to pronounce that) although if Cate Blanchett is in the running for an award, it should be that one and definitely not Best Actress for Elizabeth, which was a less-than-worthy film for a win. Best Actor should really be Daniel “Draaaaaaiiiiinnnnaaaaagggge!” Lewis and Best Actress – Christie I guess, but where’s Angelina Jolie?
Olly: I know how to pronounce it and I love all my brothers and sisters of Irish origin – except you and Chris Hewitt. Right, my picks for what will win are: Atonement for Best Film; Paul Thomas Anderson for Best Director; Daniel Day Lewis for Best Actor; hmmm…Keira Knightley for Best Actress (I don’t get the attention for Christie in Away From Her, which I really didn’t think was an especially taxing role, despite the subject matter. She just had to look a bit confused and smile beatifically. I’m possibly in a minority); Javier Bardem for Best Supporting Actor; and Saoirse Ronan for Best Supporting Actress. My true feelings would replace Ronan with Tilda Swinton in the otherwise ordinary Michael Clayton (or Bonham Carter for Sweeney Todd or Jennifer Garner for Juno, who nobody seems to realise pulled off an astoundingly difficult character arc – but nobody nominated them), Knightley with Page, for making me forget she was acting, and Atonement with something, but there are too many good ones this year for me to choose. You?
Helen: Atonement’s most likely for Film, but I’d be equally happy to see one of the Westerns up there instead. Best Director – I’m going to go with my heart and say Greengrass, not so much for this film as the last several, although I suspect you might be right. Best Actor, Daniel Day Lewis. Best Actress, it’d be Christie as a career acknowledgement as much as for Away From Her itself, but Marion Cotillard probably gives the most impressively chameleonic performance of the year so I’ll go for her. Best Supporting Actor has got to be Javier or I really will rethink that whole not-storming-the-stage plan, and Best Supporting Actress…that’s really tough. Four Brits, and the other one’s an honorary Brit because she does the accent so well, so no helpful national bias. I don’t get the Kelly Macdonald thing really – she was great but it was a tiny part – so not her; Tilda Swinton was great too but I don’t think the film was all that (unlike every awards body ever, it seems); I’m Not There may have more appeal in the States than here, and Morton’s been less talked up than Sam Riley (the man who should but probably won’t win Rising Star) so I’m going to, at long last, agree with you and say Ronan. Oh, and Ratatouille will win Best Animated Film. I don’t know why they even bothered nominating two others – at least those two others. I guess Persepolis missed the deadline somehow. But I’m looking forward to it – the BAFTAs are always an amusing night for us and it’s fun to see what crazy decisions the voters come up with.
Olly: I’ll bring the torches, you bring the pitchforks.
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Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 13:46
Transformers not getting a nomination for best visual effects is one of the stupidest decisions EVER. The CGI in that film were not only great but a true landmark in visual effects technology. I was blown away just as much as when I saw T2 and Jurassic Park at the cinema. Spider-man 3? Some of that looked cack as well as being a toss film. Bollocks to BAFTA!
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 14:39
There's a lot of fuss (including myself) about Transformers being made on the nominations page comments elsewhere on this site. Can't someone from Empire delve a bit deeper on this one and find out what the f$%* happened. You have the power!
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 14:41
This seems to be a bit all over the place this year .
1/ Hot Fuzz -Where are the Noms?
2/Albert Finney - Before the Devil Knows your Dead is a great film and Finney shows in it what a great actor he really is.
3/ Jesse James -why do awards avoid westerns ?
4/Control- A British Film which deserves more awards and unlike the Working Title moster that was Atonement its a much much better film
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 14:53
I agree with you - very sad to se that neither Jesse James, Hot Fuzz or Transformers got nods... Was blown away by the cinematography and performances in the first, the laughs in the second and, of course, by The Prime in the third...
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 14:59
Hot Fuzz is not nearly good enough to get an award for anything if you ask me. I thought it was a major letdown after Shaun of the Dead. In fact, I was one of the few people that thought it was a complete mess and, well, a bit shit really.
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 15:50
Hot Fuzz should of been nominated for best british film and i can't believe that Johnny Depp never got a nomination. Why was The Lives of Others nominated when it was out last year? Therefore why wasnt Zodiac nominated for best film? Also i thought Before The Devil Knows You're Dead should of been nominated. Atonement was good but No Country and There will be blood are truly masterpieces.
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 15:52
What about Sunshine?! Amazing film + amazing effects...
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 16:40
...Viggo deserves it after his two Cronenberg films!...imo
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 16:51
I'm sorry, but where's the love for Into the Wild? By far the best directed, best acted and most moving piece of cinema I had the joy of witnessing last year. It's criminal that it's not getting more recognition.
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 17:13
Personally, I would love to have seen Robert Downey Jr get a nod as Supporting Actor for Zodiac and for David Fincher to get Best Director because i thought the film was amazing, not confusing and really quite frightening. I'll just have to console myself with Iron Man then... Hope Julie Christie will get the award and i'm surprised no one has mentioned Sarah Polley herself either. For a first time (almost), it's pretty wonderful.
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 17:14
Also, i really don't get this Keira Knightley thing. Isn't she the same in every film??
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 17:17
I think a bigger question is why do Bafta nominate films that ain't been released here yet?! Or have No Country, Juno, and There Will Be Blood all had some tiny nom-securing release in London, and we just haven't seen them yet out here in the sticks (ie. Manchester)?
On a more positive note, I'll second the whinges about Transformers, and the apoplectic outrage over Jesse James, and then throw my tuppence in the ring (steady) and predict the winners (this is a prediction, not who I want to win - I haven't seen some of the bigger fish yet so I don't wanna state a preferance):
Brit Picture: Bourne Ultimatum
Director: Paul Greengrass
Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis
Actress: Marion Cotillard
Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem
Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett
Original Screenplay: Juno
Adapted Screenplay: No Country
Animated Film: Ratatouille
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 18:05
sedgbj, I had totally forgotten Sunshine - you're right, it was a great film, probably the best I've seen this year (despite being almost as depressing as Atonement!)
For a couple of years now, I've been underwhelmed by most films I've seen - only Children of Men and Sunshine really stand out, though Atonement was also good - but I seem to be in the minority - maybe I'm just not watching the right films!
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 18:19
No nominations whatsoever for The Assassination of Jesse James?
For me, along with No Country For Old Men, that was by far and away the best film of the year. Seeing as Atonement is one of the most overrated films EVER (average, average film), I knew it would get so many nominations, as much as it pains me.
Many, many poor choices in this list. Here is who should win, (Most haven't even been nominated, but they deserve it):
Picture: The Assassination of Jesse James
Brit Picture: This is England
Director: Andrew Dominik
Actor: Brad Pitt (Assasination of Jesse James)
Actress: Meryl Streep (Lions for Lambs)
Supporting Actor: Casey Affleck (Jesse James)
Supporting Actress:Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement)
Original Screenplay: Michael Clayton
Adapted Screenplay: No Country For Old Men
Animated Film: Ratatouille
(Haven't seen There Will be Blood, Juno)
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 18:57
Zodiac, Waitress and Onto the Wild have all been unfairly ignored...I thought maybe it was Downey Jr's year for a nomination again, and Keri Russell in Waitress definitely deserves a nod, as well as the screenplay by the lat Adrienne Shelley. And Herzog for a best actor nomination, although i think Greengrass deserves it!
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 21:06
greengrass definitely deserves director, not just for ultimatum, but supremacy too. would really like to see no country to do well, think its as good as fargo, bardem outstanding. dont want to see knightley get actress!!
Posted on Thursday January 17, 2008, 01:15
Very disappointed at lack of Jesse James noms in this, or any awards ceremony. What the hell happened there?
But please, can everyone not keep banging on about the special effects in Transformers? They weren't really that impressive or groundbreaking, and you could rarely see what was going on during the action, thereby making it all rather redundant. Unless the idea was to make it look like the robots weren't really there. I guess much of its because my interest in the film waned dramatically as soon as the robots turned up, so I couldn't care if they were animated well or not.
Most impressive special effects for me this year were actually in Sunshine - breathtaking and believable visuals that were far more stunning to behold than films thrice the budget.
Posted on Thursday January 17, 2008, 01:17
Is everyone forgetting Greengrass won best director last year for United 93? Go PTA = D
Posted on Thursday January 17, 2008, 09:44
Honestly, what is everyone's problem with American Gangster?? I thought it was one of the most entertaining and gripping films of the year, with Denzel on top form...... ya-dee-ya-daa, etc etc, I won't go on. But lay off you pesky critics, you!
Posted on Thursday January 17, 2008, 10:05
Olly it's pronounced searsha
Posted on Thursday January 17, 2008, 12:22
Do we really expect anyone other than the Atonement gang to be collecting awards? Not that the film is completely undeserving, it's just that in my (somewhat cynical) mind the BAFTAs are nothing more than an excuse for the Brit contingent to bestow honours to each other.
Never have awards being so fiercely biased towards their own countrymen. Will we ever forget Hugh Grant's Best Actor award for Four Weddings, where even he himself said had Pulp Fiction's Vincent been English, Travolta would have walked away with it?
Frankly I think the BAFTAs have long since lost any serious prestige, and I view this as an opportunity for "us Brits" (incidentally a phrase I am fed up of hearing in relation to movies) to give some consolation to the Oscar hopefuls that frankly don't stand a chance.
Posted on Thursday January 17, 2008, 15:48
Sweeney Todd missed out on the major awards because they didn't send out DVD screeners, just held large screenings which were poorly attended.
Not enough people saw it, so it wasn't nominated.
There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth at Warner Brothers.
Posted on Thursday January 17, 2008, 15:55
Its been mentioned a few times already, but I think this is worth reiterating. The is for an 'acheivement' in special effects right? So while Transformers looked absolutely amazing, (they even held back on some shots, hence some hard to follow fights, to save money) they had $100 million+ to do it all with. Sunshine on the other hand managed to create some the best special effects ever seen with seemingly no cut backs (everything was framed and composited perfectly) with only a $40 million budget. If that doesn't represent a great 'acheivement' in visual effects, I don't know what does.
Posted on Thursday January 17, 2008, 19:55
I personally feel that Atonement deserves to get most awards (apart from Best Actress - i agree with TufnellStHubbins, she is the same in every film and this particular character wasn't a very hard one to play) as not only was it a brilliant film, but it brought British cinema to the forefront again. I also hope Juno will succeed, especially Page in the Actress category as she made a potentially annoying character extremely likeable. It should get Best Screenplay as well, mainly cos Diablo Cody is a great name and deserves to get any award going.
Posted on Thursday January 17, 2008, 20:04
I went to see a Preview of No Country for Old Men on Wednesday and I am going to see it again to tomorrow. It was absolutely brilliant.
Although I do think that the BAFTA's do tend to go with the British Films more, I believe that No Country for Old Men was better than Atonement.
But here are my predictions (who i would like to win)
BEST PICTURE - No Country for Old Men
BEST BRITISH FILM - Atonement
BEST DIRECTOR - Joel & Ethan Coen
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - Shane Meadows
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY - Joel & Ethan Coen
BEST FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE - Lives of Others
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE - Ratatouille
BEST LEADING ACTOR - Daniel Day Lewis
BEST LEADING ACTRESS - Keira Knightley
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - Javier Bardem
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Cate Blanchett
BEST MUSIC - Dario Marianelli - Atonement
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - Roger Deakins
BEST EDITING - Paul Tothill - Atonement
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN - Stuart Craig - Harry Potter OOTP
BEST COSTUME DESIGN - Colleen Atwood - Sweeney Todd
BEST SOUND - The Bourne Ultimatum
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS - John Knoll - PotC At World's End
BEST MAKE UP/HAIR - Sweeney Todd
RISING STAR - Ellen Page
Posted on Thursday January 17, 2008, 21:28
for me the largest oversights were: jesse james for brad pitt and casey affleck in both male acting categories. but the cinematography was the real standout in jesse james and really the awards can choose between JJ or no country so deakins gets his nom either way.
and i must agree with the lack of attention into the wild has received. i found it stunning visually and in terms of performances. maybe not a winner but definitely worthy of recognition. however, having said that if into the wild were in there itd be hard pushed to get any of film, director, score, cinematography, actor or supporting. possibly adapted screenplay. when youre up against the coens and PTA no-one can really out do them, especially in such a strong year.
zodiac was poorly forgotten and it was amazing. fincher at his best and three of cinemas best actors who have now all three hit the top of their game. (yes, including gyllenhal)
so here goes:
FILM: no country (havent seen there will be blood yet, could snatch it at the death)
BRITISH FILM: atonement (sorry, i loved it)
DIRECTOR: coens (again PTA could nab it, id be happy with both)
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: this is england at the moment, though ive heard great things for the much anticipated juno
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: has to be the coens
FILM NOT IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE: feels like a while ago but since i havent seen better since: lives of others
ACTOR: daniel day lewis by a country mile
ACTRESS: not so bothered, wouldnt really like to see knightly get it. she was good, not that good.
SUPPORTING ACTOR: javier bardem but where is casey affleck.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: cate blanchett
CINEMATOGRAPHY: deakins has his name all over it
RISING STAR: any, all of them are fantastic (with possible exclusion of sienna miller) but the nominations for this bode well for me. they are all really fantastic and have done some super work this year. shia lebeouf is a crowd pleaser and all round legend so ill plump for him. roll on indy IV.
Posted on Friday January 18, 2008, 17:48
The Bourne Ultimatum is not a British film. Sweeney Todd is far more British in its sensibilities. It was made here, it's a great British story that's been around in various guises for over a century, it has a host of great British actors supporting Johnny Depp in a terrific honourary Brit performance and a director who lives in Hampstead not LA. Boo to the BAFTAS for not recogising a masterwork by a truley original artist.
And please...Kiera Knightly cannot act.
Posted on Friday January 18, 2008, 20:06
in all the nominations i have not seen Maggie Gyllenhall which in my view is an unbelievable oversight.
Posted on Friday January 18, 2008, 20:07
Posted on Monday January 21, 2008, 16:21
Brit Picture: This is England
Director: Joe Wright (Atonement)
Actor: VIGGO MORTENSEN – Eastern Promises
Actress: MARION COTILLARD – La Vie en Rose
Supporting Actor: JAVIER BARDEM – No Country for Old Men
Supporting Actress: CATE BLANCHETT – I’m Not There
Original Screenplay: JUNO – Diablo Cody
Adapted Screenplay: No Country For Old Men
Animated Film: Ratatouille
THE CARL FOREMAN AWARD : ANDREW PIDDINGTON (Director/Writer) – The Killing of John Lennon
Best Film Not In The English Language: The Lives of Others
Best Visual Effects: THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM
Best Sound: No Country for Old Men
Best Cinematography: Atonement
The Orange Rising Star Award: ELLEN PAGE
Posted on Sunday February 3, 2008, 19:29
Keira Knightly is so overrated, I am so surprised she picked up a nomiation, surely Angelina Jolie should be in her place?
Anyway, Atonement is such an award friendly film, so it will certainly walk away with best picture.
I would like to see Ellen Page get the best actress award, but Marion Cotillard will nab it i reckon and well deserved too.
The rest, I am just not sure what will happen, will have to wait and see!