…Annnnd we’re back! (Just in time for the BAFTAs!)

It’s been nearly a year since I posted here, so if I’m yelling into a well at this point, I’ll understand. I’ve neglected this blog for so long because I was engaged elsewhere, but now that I have a little bit more time, it’s an opportunity to dust this off as a place where I can discuss movies and all things film related.

We're in the thick of awards season, which loyal readers of this blog know is my favorite spectator sport, so what better way to jump back into the fray than with my prognostications for this Sunday’s BAFTA Awards!

On January 9th, before the Golden Globes or any of the Guild and (most) critics association awards were handed out, Jeremy Irvine (Great Expectations) and Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness) announced the nominations for the 2013 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs).

Way back when, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, which leads the pack with ten nominations, ahead of Les Miserables and Life of Pi, which both scored nine, was the awards season front-runner and the film to beat. Going into Sunday’s BAFTA ceremony, it now appears almost dead in the water. The above named movies will all compete for Best Film, along with Ben Affleck‘s Argo and Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty.  

Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), along with Affleck, Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) and Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) will vie for Leading Actor. No one is going to best DDL.  In the Leading Actress category, Zero Dark Thirty‘s star Jessica Chastain will go up against Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone) and Dame Helen Mirren (Hitchcock).

The best director award was a bit of a surprise with the British Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) left off the list. Lincoln apparently directed itself as well – no Spielberg.  Those that did get a nod: Affleck, Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), Michael Haneke (Amour), Ang Lee (Life Of Pi) and Bigelow. How do you nominate a movie for Best Picture without the director and vice versa? I’ve never understood that, but these Awards governing bodies (I’m looking at you  AMPAS) apparently do. (Hooper and Spielberg got Oscar nods while Affleck and Bigelow did not. But you knew that.)

James Bond’s 23rd outing, the global blockbuster Skyfall, secured nods for Dame Judi Dench (Supporting Actress) and Javier Bardem (Supporting Actor), as well as for Original Music, Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, Sound and Outstanding British Film.

The full list of nominations for the EE British Academy Film Awards*:

My picks are marked with **

BEST FILM:

**ARGO Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney

LES MISÉRABLES Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh

LIFE OF PI Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womark

LINCOLN Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy

ZERO DARK THIRTY Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Megan Ellison

Will the Brits care about a piece of America’s recent historical past enough to go with Argo? Then again, an Argo win means George Clooney on stage. Lincoln has Spielberg not to mention Daniel Day-Lewis going for it. Les Miserables is a British film based on a play originally staged in London by Brits. Zero Dark Thirty is an amazing film about an American mission to hunt down a global criminal. (I have no doubt that the London and Glasgow bombings are still fresh in BAFTA minds.)  Playing “pin-the-tale-on-the-movie”, I’m going with Argo.

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM:

ANNA KARENINA Joe Wright, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster, Tom Stoppard

THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL John Madden, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Ol Parker

LES MISÉRABLES Tom Hooper, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh,

William Nicholson, Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS Martin McDonagh, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin

**SKYFALL Sam Mendes, Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan

All of these are worthy. I’d love to see Seven Psychopaths take it but I have to go with Skyfall. It’s a massive global hit, but it’s also intrinsically British and they are very proud of the Bond franchise. It’s also damn good.

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER:

BART LAYTON (Director), DIMITRI DOGANIS (Producer) The Imposter

DAVID MORRIS (Director), JACQUI MORRIS (Director/Producer) McCullin

**DEXTER FLETCHER (Director/Writer), DANNY KING (Writer) Wild Bill

JAMES BOBIN (Director) The Muppets

TINA GHARAVI (Director/Writer) I Am Nasrine

Purely a sentimental choice because I like Dexter Fletcher as an actor. The only film I’ve seen on the list is The Muppets, so if the award is given based on box office…

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE:

**AMOUR Michael Haneke, Margaret Ménégoz

HEADHUNTERS Morten Tyldum, Marianne Gray, Asle Vatn

THE HUNT Thomas Vinterberg, Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Morten Kaufmann

RUST AND BONE Jacques Audiard, Pascal Caucheteux

UNTOUCHABLE Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache, Nicolas Duval Adassovsky, Yann Zenou, Laurent

Zeitoun

DOCUMENTARY:

THE IMPOSTER Bart Layton, Dimitri Doganis

MARLEY Kevin Macdonald, Steve Bing, Charles Steel

McCULLIN David Morris, Jacqui Morris

**SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn

WEST OF MEMPHIS Amy Berg

ANIMATED FILM:

**BRAVE Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman

FRANKENWEENIE Tim Burton

PARANORMAN Sam Fell, Chris Butler

Awards season favorite Wreck-it Ralph isn’t even nominated so I think this goes to Brave.

DIRECTOR:

Michael Haneke AMOUR

**Ben Affleck ARGO

Quentin Tarantino DJANGO UNCHAINED

Ang Lee LIFE OF PI

Kathryn Bigelow ZERO DARK THIRTY

You’ll notice both Affleck and Bigelow are nominated here, despite those now infamous Oscar snubs. I have to go with Ben Affleck because he’s got the momentum and while I’m happy Argo has filled the spot I thought surely Zero Dark Thirty would be in at this juncture, I would love it if Bigelow won for the latter film.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

Michael Haneke AMOUR

**Quentin Tarantino DJANGO UNCHAINED

Paul Thomas Anderson THE MASTER

Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola MOONRISE KINGDOM

Mark Boal ZERO DARK THIRTY

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

Chris Terrio ARGO

Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

David Magee LIFE OF PI

**Tony Kushner LINCOLN

David O. Russell SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

LEADING ACTOR:

BEN AFFLECK Argo

BRADLEY COOPER Silver Linings Playbook

**DANIEL DAY-LEWIS Lincoln

HUGH JACKMAN Les Misérables

JOAQUIN PHOENIX The Master

LEADING ACTRESS:

EMMANUELLE RIVA Amour

HELEN MIRREN Hitchcock

JENNIFER LAWRENCE Silver Linings Playbook

**JESSICA CHASTAIN Zero Dark Thirty

MARION COTILLARD Rust and Bone

Keeping my faith in Chastain’s win, although after the Screen Actors Guild Award upset by Jennifer Lawrence, nothing is guaranteed and both actresses delivered awards-worthy performances.

SUPPORTING ACTOR:

ALAN ARKIN Argo

CHRISTOPH WALTZ Django Unchained

JAVIER BARDEM Skyfall

**PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN The Master

TOMMY LEE JONES Lincoln

I’m stepping out on this one. Europe, Great Britain in particular, liked The Master a lot more than the US did. I still find the lack of love from both the BAFTAs and the Oscars for Leonardo DiCaprio beyond baffling. Oh well.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

AMY ADAMS The Master

**ANNE HATHAWAY Les Misérables

HELEN HUNT The Sessions

JUDI DENCH Skyfall

SALLY FIELD Lincoln

ORIGINAL MUSIC:

Dario Marianelli ANNA KARENINA

Alexandre Desplat ARGO

**Mychael Danna LIFE OF PI

John Williams LINCOLN

Thomas Newman SKYFALL

Mychael Danna is the relative newcomer on this list. His score for Life of Pi was beautiful and he did win the Golden Globe, John Williams could scoop it though. Alexandre Desplat was nominated for the wrong film, he should have been nominated for Moonrise Kingdom).

CINEMATOGRAPHY:

Seamus McGarvey ANNA KARENINA

Danny Cohen LES MISÉRABLES

**Claudio Miranda LIFE OF PI

Janusz Kaminski LINCOLN

Roger Deakins SKYFALL

This is a tough one. All of these films were beautifully photographed. I would argue that Cloud Atlas should be on this list as well, but no one asked me.

EDITING:

ARGO William Goldenberg

DJANGO UNCHAINED Fred Raskin

LIFE OF PI Tim Squyres

SKYFALL Stuart Baird

**ZERO DARK THIRTY Dylan Tichenor, William Goldenberg

PRODUCTION DESIGN:

**ANNA KARENINA Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer

LES MISÉRABLES Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson

LIFE OF PI David Gropman, Anna Pinnock

LINCOLN Rick Carter, Jim Erickson

SKYFALL Dennis Gassner, Anna Pinnock

COSTUME DESIGN:

**ANNA KARENINA Jacqueline Durran

GREAT EXPECTATIONS Beatrix Aruna Pasztor

LES MISÉRABLES Paco Delgado

LINCOLN Joanna Johnston

SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN Colleen Atwood

MAKE UP & HAIR:

**ANNA KARENINA Ivana Primorac

HITCHCOCK Julie Hewett, Martin Samuel, Howard Berger

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor, Rick Findlater

LES MISÉRABLES Lisa Westcott

LINCOLN Lois Burwell, Kay Georgiou

SOUND:

DJANGO UNCHAINED Mark Ulano, Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti, Wylie Stateman

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY Tony Johnson, Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges,

Michael Semanick, Brent Burge, Chris Ward

**LES MISÉRABLES Simon Hayes, Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, Jonathan Allen, Lee Walpole, John

Warhurst

LIFE OF PI Drew Kunin, Eugene Gearty, Philip Stockton, Ron Bartlett, D. M. Hemphill

SKYFALL Stuart Wilson, Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell, Per Hallberg, Karen Baker Landers

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS:

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Peter Bebb, Andrew Lockley

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher

White

**LIFE OF PI Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer

MARVEL AVENGERS ASSEMBLE Nominees TBC

PROMETHEUS Richard Stammers, Charley Henley, Trevor Wood, Paul Butterworth

SHORT ANIMATION:

HERE TO FALL Kris Kelly, Evelyn McGrath

I’M FINE THANKS Eamonn O’Neill

THE MAKING OF LONGBIRD Will Anderson, Ainslie Henderson

SHORT FILM:

THE CURSE Fyzal Boulifa, Gavin Humphries

GOOD NIGHT Muriel d’Ansembourg, Eva Sigurdardottir

**SWIMMER Lynne Ramsay, Peter Carlton, Diarmid Scrimshaw

TUMULT Johnny Barrington, Rhianna Andrews

THE VOORMAN PROBLEM Mark Gill, Baldwin Li

I picked Swimmer because it’s directed by the same Lynne Ramsay that gave us We Need to Talk About Kevin, as well as the upcoming western Jane Got a Gun with Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender, Joel Edgerton and Rodrigo Santoro, making it the only short film I’ve heard of. Subjectivity at its finest LOL  Ramsay, like a lot of feature film directors, got her start in shorts, too.

THE EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public):

ELIZABETH OLSEN

**ANDREA RISEBOROUGH

SURAJ SHARMA

JUNO TEMPLE

ALICIA VIKANDER

A case could be made for any of the four actresses (but not so much Suraj Sharma. He was unknown before Ang Lee discovered him for Life of Pi. I’m not sure that makes him a “rising star”). Both Riseborough and Temple are British. I’m going with Riseborough because I’ve been a fan since “The Devil’s Whore” with Michael Fassbender. (Look at that, I managed to get in two Fassy references.) She’s incredibly talented and has been “on the verge” for a long time. She deserves the push.

The awards will be handed out on Sunday 10 February at London’s Royal Opera House. In the US, we’ll be able to watch it at 8pm ET on BBC America. Stephen Fry will host.

Thanks for reading! Don’t be a stranger, y’hear?

*They used to be called the “Orange British Academy Film Awards” but Orange was swallowed by telecommunications company EE. They’re kind of the T-Mobile of Great Britain.

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