They announced the BAFTA nominations this morning, and I think it’s going to prove to be an exciting year.
The Social Network
The King’s Speech
Verdict: I know ‘Never Let Me Go’ wasn’t nominated and it’s a shame, but as it wasn’t longlisted I’m going to assume that while it was eligible for this years awards they’ve decided to put it up next year. ‘True Grit’ is released on the 11th Feb, so it should be interesting to see how it does – I saw the trailer the other day and my first thought was “oooh”, my second thought was “wait, you seem to be telling me the whole film in the trailer…” which worries me a bit (and no I haven’t seen the original). Of these films, I think Black Swan or The King’s Speech deserve to win – ‘The Social Network’ seems like an ordinary pedestrian drama, albeit a very well made one and I think the award should go to the film that is not only technically brilliant, but creative/original and visually compelling.
Outstanding British Film
The King’s Speech
Made in Dagenham
Verdict: This year has been a really strong year for British films and the only one on this list that I wasn’t blown away by was ‘Made in Dagenham’. It was a good film, very competent but it felt very much like a channel 4 weekend drama (of which there is nothing wrong with). I haven’t seen ‘127 Hours’ but I think that Another Year or The King’s Speech will walk away with the award.
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Verdict: I’ve only seen ‘Four Lions’, but considering the applaud Banksy gets for his graffiti (not a fan) I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Exit Through the Gift Shop comes away with this award, but I would very much like it to be Monsters. I think ‘Monsters’ was an ambitious project that required a lot of skill and commitment in order to get it out of the water, especially as it risks being compared to something like ‘District 9’ which had much more money behind it.
Danny Boyle for 127 Hours
Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan
Christopher Nolan for Inception
Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech
David Fincher for The Social Network
Verdict: I feel the same way about the award for direction as I do about the best film, it should go to the film that was technically brilliant, creative/original, cleverly designed and paced and produced some brilliant performances. Christopher Nolan made a visually brilliant film with some very clever elements but I think Darren Aronofsky just beats him to the post. I think also Tom Hooper could be in with a big chance here as well.
Mark Heyman, Andrés Heinz and John McLaughlin for Black Swan
Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson for The Fighter
Christopher Nolan for Inception
Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg for The Kids are All Right
David Seidler for The King’s Speech
Verdict: I guess the term ‘original screenplay’ is a tricky one as two of them are based on true stories (‘The Fighter’ and ‘The King’s Speech’), one is inspired by a ballet (‘Black Swan’) and the other owes a nod to many science fiction authors (I actually have money on Harlan Ellison suing, I don’t think he did ever write anything like ‘Inception’ but you never know!) I don’t obviously hold that against any film because I firmly believe there is no such as an original idea, in this case I think Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg wrote a script that was funny, moving and, I thought, realistic – I believed in Nic and Jules, and their life together. I also wouldn’t be surprised if David Seidler wins, for mostly the same reasons.
Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy for 127 Hours
Rasmus Heisterberg and Nikolaj Arcel for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network
Michael Arndt for Toy Story 3
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for True Grit
Verdict: This is actually pretty interesting, I knew that ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ had been longlisted but I really wasn’t expecting to see it on the shortlist! I think the adaption was very well done, there’s so much material in that book and yet they managed to turn it into a very good thriller without loosing too many elements. That saying, I don’t think it’ll win, I think Aaron Sorkin will win for ‘The Social Network’ because to turn the Facebook story into anything close to an interesting and compelling story is worth an award.
Film not in the English Language
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I am Love
Of Gods and Men
The Secret in their Eyes
Verdict: I’ve only seen two of these but based on reviews and various reactions, I would say Of Gods and Men will be picking up the prize. I really enjoyed ‘The Secret in their Eyes’ and fully understand why it beat ‘A Prophet’. ‘A Prophet’ was good but it didn’t really have a story, it became a character exploration and to be honest I found it hard to be interested in what he was going through, I loved ‘The Secret in their Eyes’ though. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for a thriller with a clever twist.
How to Train your Dragon
Toy Story 3
Verdict: Toy Story 3. No competition really. It’s unfortunate they didn’t put it in for best picture because as much as I loved ‘Despicable Me’ (don’t judge me, it made me giggle) I don’t think it’s any competition for ‘Toy Story 3’. I wasn’t so enthralled with ‘How to Train your Dragon’, it was cute and I very much liked the story but I went away praising the sheep.
Annette Bening for The Kids are All Right
Julianne Moore for The Kids are All Right
Natalie Portman for Black Swan
Noomi Rapace for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit
Verdict: I’m very happy they’ve chosen to nominate Julianne Moore and Annette Bening together, and I think it’s an interesting nomination for Noomi Rapace. Rapace was oustanding as Lisbeth but I don’t think she’ll be picking up the BAFTA, why? Because of the upcoming English language adaptation. Natalie Portman gave an utterly convincing performance as Nina and so did Annette Bening as Nic.
Javier Bardem for Biutiful
Jeff Bridges for True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network
Colin Firth for The King’s Speech
James Franco for 127 Hours
Verdict: Colin Firth, no question asked. Last year I think he should have won the Oscar for ‘A Single Man’, Jeff Bridges gave a brilliant performance in ‘Crazy Heart’ but it was a Jeff Bridges performance, he plays the grumpy guy with a heart who has fallen on bad times very well. Javier Bardem is picking up a lot of compliments for his performance in ‘Biutiful’ but I really do believe that Colin Firth gave the performance of the year.
Christian Bale for The Fighter
Andrew Garfield for The Social Network
Pete Postlethwaite for The Town
Mark Ruffalo for The Kids are All Right
Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech
Verdict: I haven’t seen ‘The Town’, but the film itself didn’t receive great reviews, saying that given that Pete Postlethwaite sadly passed away this year I think BAFTA will honour him. If they aren’t going to be sentimental, I think Geoffrey Rush or Mark Ruffalo for the win.
Amy Adams for The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter for The King’s Speech
Barbara Hershey for Black Swan
Lesley Manville for Another Year
Miranda Richardson for Made in Dagenham
Verdict: This one is quite tricky, I thought Helena Bonham Carter was brilliantly understated in ‘The King’s Speech’ and Barbara Hershey was creepy, conflicted and menacing as the mother in ‘Black Swan’ but really, I think Lesley Manville gave the best performance in ‘Another Year’.
What do you think?