Wednesday, January 16, 2008

This is BAFTA

In a completely bizarre awards season like 2007/8's when silly self-indulgent movies like Into the Wild keep hogging the awards prizes I just keep wondering what the hell has happened to Atonement. I've mentioned my theory on other websites and blogs - there just wasn't room for an intimate British drama starring young pretty people amongst all the big, bold, masculine, American films starring men dealing with men's issues excluding a Juno or two. It just keeps getting ignored and snubbed and forgotten. It's all very bizarre.

Which brings us to the British Academy! Gosh, I love the BAFTAs. I really do. Just when every single award show seems to be churning out the same nominees over and over and over again - yeah, okay, Art Directors Guild, I believe Michael Clayton has better contemporary art direction than Black Snake Moan, Grindhouse, Ocean's 13, The Darjeeling Limited, Vacancy, etc. I believe you a lot! *guffaw* - the BAFTAs come along and give us a list of nominations including:


Shane Meadows!

The Lives of Others!

Samantha Morton!

The Bourne Ultimatum!

Let's give it up to nominations announcee Kelly Reilly (you would know here from Pride & Prejudice) for having to say "Florian Henkel von Donnersmarck". Twice. I bet she said a few curse words backstage when she found out she would have to do that on live television, huh?

Let's take a look at the full set of BAFTA nominees. Well, no, the ones I want to look at more than anything else, okay? Go to the BAFTA site for the whole list, plus video of Reilly and Naomie Harris announcing the nominees. I actually squealed with glee with Reilly said "and Shane Meadows for This Is England". An actualy squal of glee, folks. SQUEAL OF GLEE!!!

American Gangster
The Lives of Others
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

omgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgthelivesofothersomgomg. And Atonement too for that matter. That American Gangster nomination is strange, but what are you gonna do? They nominated The Lives of Others, Atonement and No Country for Old Men, which are all amazing films. And I'm sure There Will Be Blood is as good as people are saying.

The Bourne Ultimatum
Eastern Promises
This is England

I can't fault this line up - the only one I have not seen is Eastern Promises. Were there any other notable British films from the last year? I don't really know. Still, considering how this award tends to be awarded to the most "british" of the bunch (and one that is not nominated for the big BEST FILM category) watch this prize go to This is England, which - if you've read this blog at all over the last month or so - is something I am totally down with. I guess Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix could've gone in there, but I guess EP has it's fans despite not look particularly appertising to me.

Joe Wright, Atonement
Paul Greengrass, The Bourne Ultimatum
Florian Henkel von Donnersmarck, The Lives of Others
Joel & Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Again, I haven't seen Anderson's film but I'm sure his nomination isn't some travesty of justice (*waves at sean penn*). I am particularly filled with joy for Donnersmarck's surprise nomination. Surprise but totally deserving, mind you. Unfortunately, neither he, nor Greengrass or (from the looks of things at the current time) Wright are getting anywhere near the Oscar ballot this year.

George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
James McAvoy, Atonement
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
Ulrich Muhe, The Lives of Others

I think it's important at times like these to recognise that, aside from the very deserving nomination for the late Ulrich Muhe, all men nominated for this category are incredibly good looking. Especially these two...

If Day-Lewis - one of the best looking men of all time - ever decides to "gay it up" again on the big screen there are far worse candidates for him to pash on in back alleys and cover in soap suds than McAvoy, okay. OKAY? Man, I need to watch My Beautiful Laundrette again.

Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie, Away From Her
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Keira Knightley, Atonement
Ellen Page, Juno

Nice to know that even the British Academy is infallable to the "omg[insert actor]is[insert real life figure]!!!" syndrome. Notice how not one of the nominated lead actors portrays a real life figure? Still, how many of y'all think the British Academy is quite obviously racist for completely ignoring Angelina Jolie's brave performance as a black woman in A Mighty Heart? Can I get a "You said it, uh-huh!"

Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Paul Dano, There Will Be Blood
Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Is this Paul Dano's first mention all awards season long? Interesting. Good for him though - if you remember, I thought he deserved a nomination last year. The absense of Casey Affleck in The Assassination of Jesse James continues to make me think he's teetering on the edge of missing out on an Oscar nomination and if Tommy Lee Jones has made a last-minute rally (he was also nommed by SAG, remember)... well, it'll be close.

Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Kelly Macdonald, No Country for Old Men
Samantha Morton, Control
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Poor Josh Brolin - he's the only of the five major NCfOM cast members to miss on a nomination now that Macdonald scored a nod. And, I've said it all season long, Samantha Morton is a great Oscar-winning performance gone sour. Somebody over at Nat's Film Experience used the perfect word to describe the lack of awards buzz of Morton this season: Tumbleweeds. I'll just continue to register by befuddlement and move on, I suppose. Let it be remembered though that constant-winner Amy Ryan was ineligible because Gone Baby Gone was delayed in the UK due to that girl going missing in Portugal.

Steve Zaillian, American Gangster
Diablo Cody, Juno
Florian Henkel von Donnersmarck, The Lives of Others
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Shane Meadows, This is England

SQUEAL OF GLEE!!!! I was as excited as these random people that I found on Google!

Christopher Hampton, Atonement
Ronald Harwood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
David Benioff, The Kite Runner
Joel & Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Beniof for The Kite Runner is the one that sticks out like a sore thumb here, right? Or am I just imagining it.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age
La Vie en Rose
Sweeney Todd

I am mentioning this category because the BAFTAs know how to do the "make-up" award, alright? Need I remind you that last year they nominated Marie Antoinette and The Devil Wears Prada last year when AMPAS thought it was more imperitive to reward Adam Sandler's Click instead. And while the make-up work on Marion Cotillard was part of the problem I had with the movie - was Edith Piaf the Quasi Modo of Notre Dame on the side? - I can't argue that the work was impressive.

The rest of the nominees are here. Atonement finished with 14 nominations. There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men snagged 9 while The Bourne Ultimatum got 7.

Absent? Sweeney Todd, Hairspray, Once and Across the Universe. BRITISH PEOPLE HATE MUSICALS!!!! Or, that's the feeling I'm sussing about the curious absense of nominations for any of those films bar a make-up nod for Todd and Hairspray. Ouchies. And, of course, the disappearing act that Sean Penn's Into the Wild has made me a happy boy, and just puts credence to my theory. I mean, there's surely a reason why the HFPA and the BAFTAs are the two big awards bodies to almost 100% snub it, right? That or the movie just wasn't released yet or something.


Rural Juror said...

I love these nominations. I loved Paul Dano. I loved Kelly MacDonald. I loved all of the Best Actor nominees. Get rid of Blanchett and I'm in heaven.

Ummmm . . . damn everything for not allowing the Daniel Day Lewis James McAvoy gay movie to be real

J.D. said...


The Lives of Others!

The Bourne Ultimatum!

Joe Wright!

Florian Henckel von Donnersmark!

James McAvoy!

Ulrich Mühe!

That Best Actress lineup!

Tommy Lee Jones!

Kelly Macdonald!



Nayana Anthony said...

I just really was not a fan of Atonement. Can you help me understand what the buzz was about? There were so many better movies this season... The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Juno hit the top of my list.

Alda said...

The Lives of Others was the single most fantastic film this year. I shall be very disappointed if it doesn't win.

Great site, BTW!

Kamikaze Camel said...

The Lives of Others is atm in my top five too, so that's why I'm stoked.

Nayana, if you're not a fan of Atonement then I don't think anything I could say is going to change it. I just thought it was exquisitely made and performed and told such a powerful story. Some people say the same thing about Into the Wild and La Vie en Rose, but I disagree and nobody could make me think otherwise.

Dave said...

The Kite Runner must DIE. I can't believe my own country voted for it. Twice. (Especially the music. Argh.) And they didn't vote for Casey!

Into the Wild was released (since I saw it), but I don't really know why they didn't go for it. Oh well. You sound like you're hating on a lot more in retrospect- didn't you give it a fairly nice B-?

I don't think Across the Universe was on any of the shortlists, but you're right about the musicals thing. It's odd. Especially since Once is Irish (not British, I know, but still) and Sweeney was made and set here. Maybe they're not as patriotic this year as before.

Also, I totally called both Dano and Macdonald, which makes me not only proud but dizzily happy.

My final note (I'll shut up in a second)- Woody Harrelson got nominated somewhere? Did I miss something?

Kamikaze Camel said...

I meant to type of the FOUR main characters.

And, yes, I've had major retrospective regrading of Into the Wild. I'd give it a C now. It's just so offensive and self-indulgent.