Jan 112015
 

theory

The nominees in the 68th annual British Academy Film Awards were announced on Friday. The Grand Budapest Hotel led the way with eleven nominations, with Birdman and The Theory of Everything following with ten, and The Imitation Game with nine. They are joined by Boyhood for Best Film.

There were a few notable exclusions. Selma failed to received a single nomination, Foxcatcher and Gone Girl received just the two apiece and Mr Turner was absent in a lot of the major categories. Whiplash and Nightcrawler continue to strengthen their momentum, with multiple nominations in key categories.

You can find all of the nominees, with commentary, after the jump:

Best Film

Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Only five nominees (not nine, or whatever) and almost always an Oscar dress rehearsal. These five will certainly be nominated for Best Picture. The winner: 90% likely to be Boyhood. No Selma, but it was completely shut out altogether. I wonder if it has anything to do with screeners only being sent to the Academy voters, and not to members of the Guilds (and potentially here).

Outstanding British Film

71
The Imitation Game
Paddington
Pride
The Theory of Everything
Under the Skin

One of only two categories exclusive to British cinema, and it is great to see Paddington, Pride and Under the Skin nominated. They are, in fact, better than most of the Oscar contenders but won’t get a look in. I bet The Imitation Game wins, though. The exclusion of Mr Turner as caused some controversy, but this category isn’t exactly weak. Well, it is better than The Imitation Game. 

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director of Producer

Elaine Constantine (Writer/Director), Northern Soul
Gregory Burke (Writer), Yann Demange (Director), ’71
Hong Khaou (Writer/Director), Lilting
Paul Katis (Director/Producer), Andrew De Lotbiniere (Producer), Kajaki: The True Story
Stephen Beresford (Writer), David Livingstone (Producer), Pride

I have only seen Pride from this group, but I am very much looking forward to ’71, which I have heard great things about.

Film not in the English Language

Ida
Leviathan
The Lunchbox
Trash
Two Days, One Night

An interesting nominee here is Stephen Daldry’s Trash, which is set to have a release here in Australia in a few months time. It hasn’t screened in the U.S yet, but Daldry’s films (The Hours, The Reader, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) often attract awards attention and it seems like the BAFTA voters have followed suit. Only Leviathan and Ida are on the foreign shortlist for Oscar and I expect both to be nominated (and one to win here).

Documentary

20 Feet From Stardom
20,000 Days on Earth
Citizenfour
Finding Vivian Maier
Virunga

The Documentary category is wide open. I love that 20,000 Days on Earth was recognised here. The filmmakers are British after all. But it is not on the Oscar shortlist. Of course 20 Feet From Stardom won last year’s Oscar but due to release dates it didn’t screen in the UK until 2014. Citizenfour is the favourite here, it has been winning so many awards, but I don’t know what this means for Virunga and Finding Vivian Maier, also part of the strong shortlist field.

Animated Film

Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
The Lego Movie

Certain to be three of the Oscar nominees, and The Lego Movie is the clear favourite.

Director

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
James Marsh, The Theory of Everything
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

One of the most unpredictable categories. Inarritu, Linklater and, I think, Anderson are locks but the other two spots are open to Marsh, Chazelle (admittedly surprising nominees here), Ava DuVernay (Selma), David Fincher (Gone Girl) and Mortem Tyldum (The Imitation Game), with Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler) and Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) also in the mix.

Original Screenplay

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

No surprises here, but then I learned that Chazelle’s screenplay will be considered Adapted (from his short film) by the Academy. Great to see Gilroy’s excellent script nominated as Nightcrawler continues to have support. There are other writers with a shot at an nomination – Mike Leigh for Mr Turner, Paul Webb for Selma notably – with the likely-nominated Whiplash dropping out of consideration. Birdman or Boyhood to win here, though.

Adapted Screenplay

Jason Hall, American Sniper
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Paul King, Paddington
Anthony Mccarten, The Theory of Everything

Paddington! My favourite of the nominated scripts here (that I have seen), and deserves all of the praise it has been receiving. No chance of an Oscar follow-up, though. Gone Girl and The Imitation Game look like the only locks at an Oscar nom, and one will win here, but I am hoping the Academy shake up this category. Whiplash will probably slot in with two of American Sniper, The Theory of Everything, Wild, Unbroken and Inherent Vice. 

Leading Actor

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel

The final five Oscar nominees? Not out of the question. The Grand Budapest Hotel is hot right now and Fiennes could certainly be favoured over Steve Carell (recognised in the supporting category for Foxcatcher here, which makes sense because Tatum is the film’s ‘lead’) and Timothy Spall (Mr Turner). The unknown is David Oyelowo, a curious exclusion because Selma is in the thick of discussions and certainly eligible here, and Oyelowo is in fact British (portraying Martin Luther King). All reports are that his performance is outstanding. Will the Brits give it to one of their own (Cumberbatch, Redmayne or Fiennes) or go with Keaton?

Leading Actress

Amy Adams, Big Eyes
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

No Jennifer Aniston for Cake (as the SAG and GG went with) nor Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night (which the BAFTAS clearly liked, as it was nominated for Foreign Language Film). Goodness me. Amy Adams is the stand-in for Big Eyes, joining what look to be four Oscar locks. Moore to win.

Supporting Actor

Edward Norton, Birdman
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

In an interesting twist, Steve Carell has been nominated in Supporting role, knocking out Robert Duvall for The Judge or Josh Brolin for Inherent Vice. I understand that the Academy could also vote in this fashion if they believe him deserving. While Carell’s screen time is substantial I feel like it is still less than J. K Simmons in Whiplash. In terms of ‘supporting’ roles it doesn’t get much better than Ruffalobut Hawke and Norton would be just as deserving. I expect Simmons to win, though.

Supporting Actress

Emma Stone, Birdman
Imelda Staunton, Pride
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Rene Russo, Nightcrawler

So, who is out? Jessica Chastain for A Most Violent Year and Meryl Streep for Into the Woods. Haven’t seen Chastain (but no doubt she is amazing), but Streep should not be there. Staunton and Russo would make my own ballot, joining Knightley, Arquette and Stone (likely locks for an Oscar nom), so I feel like this category is a tad stronger than the SAG and GG. Arquette to win here.

Original Music

Antonio Sanchez, Birdman
Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Hans Zimmer, Interstellar
Johann Johannsson, The Theory of Everything
Mica Levi, Under the Skin

Stoked that Mica Levi was nominated here. At least there is something for Under the Skin (well, in addition to outstanding British Film). Sanchez is ineligible for the Oscar and Desplat (sure to be nominated for something, whether it is GBH, The Imitation Game or Unbroken) could find his work cancelling each other out. Surely, Grand Budapest Hotel though. Johannsson and Zimmer look like locks, with Ross and Reznor for Gone Girl also amongst the contenders. If I had to predict a winner here, I’d say Desplat.

Cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Robert Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Lukasz Zal, Ryzsard Lenczewski, Ida
Hoyte Van Hoytema, Interstellar
Dick Pope, Mr Turner

What are the chances of Ida being recognised for an Oscar here? Unlikely. But it should. Finally, a nomination for Mr Turner. Certainly a controversial exclusion in so many categories. Pope looks like a lock. Same with Lubezki and Yeoman. I’m not sure about Van Hoytema. I love his work, but didn’t love Interstellar. Lubezki to win here, but I am very unsure about the nominees that will be announced on Friday.

Editing

(Due to a tie in voting in this category, there are six nominations)
Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione, Birdman
Barney Pilling, The Grand Budapest Hotel
William Goldenberg, The Imitation Game
John Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Jinx Godfrey, The Theory of Everything
Tom Cross, Whiplash

What do most say, the winner of Best Film Editing usually goes on to win Best Film? Think back to 2012 where The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo deservedly won, but wasn’t even nominated for Best Picture. The six nominees here look very likely to be nominated for Best Picture. John Gilroy is Nightcrawler writer/director Dan Gilroy’s twin brother, as is Tony Gilroy (producer and director of Michael Clayton), so this is a real family affair. A notable exclusion here is Boyhood. Crazy. I can’t pick a winner. Perhaps Birdman or Whiplash, on opposite ends of the cut count.

I am not going to comment on the below but The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game and Mr Turner feature several times in the technical categories. 

Production Design

Rick Heinrichs, Shane Vieau, Big Eyes
Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana Macdonald, The Imitation Game
Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis, Interstellar
Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts, Mr Turner

Costume Design

Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Sammy Sheldon Differ, The Imitation Game
Colleen Atwood, Into the Woods
Jacqueline Durran, Mr Turner
Steven Noble, The Theory of Everything

Make-up and Hair

Frances Hannon, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White, Guardians of the Galaxy
Peter Swords King, J. Roy Helland, Into the Woods
Christine Blundell, Lesa Warrener, Mr Turner
Jan Sewell, The Theory of Everything

Sound

Walt Martin, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman, American Sniper
Thomas Varga, Martin Hernandez, Aaron Glascock, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Birdman
Wayne Lemmer, Christopher Scarabosio, Pawel Wdowczak, The Grand Budapest Hotel
John Midgley, Lee Walpole, Stuart Hilliker, Martin Jensen, The Imitation Game
Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann, Whiplash

Special Visual Effects

Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Erik Winquist, Daniel Barrett, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner, Nicolas Aithadi, Guardians of the Galaxy
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Paul Franklin, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley, Interstellar
Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer, X-Men: Days of Future Past

The EE Rising Star Award (Voted For by the Public)

Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Jack O’Connell
Margot Robbie
Miles Teller
Shailene Woodley

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