Well, the BAFTAs made some very bold choices today at their awards. Some of them I saw coming, but there were others that I was simply not prepared for. Here is a breakdown of my initial reactions to the nominations.
Predicting the love for The Mauritanian and Another Round
Many people are shocked that The Mauritanian got a Best Picture nomination and that Another Round got a Best Director nomination. However, I saw this coming and I am only upset that I chose Another Round for the Picture predictions instead of The Mauritanian. Here is a quick breakdown as to how I saw the success of those two films forming at the BAFTAs.
The longlists having them both listed, especially in replacement of films such as Minari, was already good showing in itself. However, pair that with previous accolades the UK has given these films. In a festival that had films for press such as One Night in Miami and the Small Axe franchise, with limited access for Nomadland and Soul, it was Another Round that took Best Picture. Not only that, but the London Critics Circle gave a lot of love to The Mauritanian recently, sweeping nominations in every major category. That is why I saw both coming and predicted them in Screenplay, Best Actor, and eventually the wrong one for Picture.
Here’s What’s Up with the Nominees This Year
Many people are questioning how such big snubs happened and how some people made surprise appearances from nowhere in this year’s category, particularly in the Actress and Supporting Actress line-ups. To give a sense of what the voting process was this year, I want to highlight a tweet from Will Mavity.
So no one's really discussed the new BAFTA voting process:— Will Mavity (@mavericksmovies) March 4, 2021
Everyone voted on the longlists. Next each category (except Picture & BTLs) has a jury assigned to it consisting of 7 to 12 voters (only 50% need to be BAFTA members) They meet & discuss before choosing final 6 nominees
Each category that was not Best Picture or a below-the-line category would have been decided by a small jury, and most likely a different jury from other categories. Wondering why Promising Young Woman got in without Directing or Actress or how the Supporting Actress line-up was so unpredictable? This may just be the reason why.
First Snubs for Fennell, Fincher, and Sorkin
With the inclusion of nominations for Another Round, Babyteeth, and Quo Vadis, Aida? in Best Director, it meant that a few major directors were going to be snubbed. Of course, nobody is dare touching Chloé Zhao’s awards this year, so this meant major snubs across the board for David Fincher, Emerald Fennell, and Aaron Sorkin. Whilst this most likely means nothing going forward at the Oscars, it is a bit of a shock when initially hearing it.
Stop Denying Kirby and Bakalova
I want to conclude my BAFTA thoughts by bringing up two actresses that people keep saying are losing momentum for the Oscar nomination. However, I am hoping that these BAFTA nominations solidify their place, especially when comparing to everyone else competing this year.
You all know my thoughts on Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman, my favourite performance of any person in this awards season. She, alongside Frances McDormand, are the only two lead actresses to get nominations at the Golden Globes, SAG, Critics Choice, and the BAFTA. She is no longer slipping. She is a solid contender for the Oscar nomination, and honestly should be having a bigger campaign push for the win.
The same can be said for Maria Bakalova in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, who people are denying because of the tone of the film. However, she is the only person in the Supporting Actress category to be nominated at the Golden Globes (in the Lead Comedy/Musical category), SAG, Critic’s Choice, and the BAFTA. This is also supported by the fact that the PGA nominations which just dropped listed Borat Subsequent Moviefilm as a contender, over the likes of Soul, The Father, Palm Springs, and Da 5 Bloods. This year, the critics and voters are appreciating the insanity of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and I don’t see a reason not to nominate Maria Bakalova.