This morning, much earlier than I was awake, the nominations for the 69th annual British Academy Film Awards were released. Awards season is a strange time for us film lovers. It can be a period of celebration as we praise those actors, directors etc who have made their mark in the year. However, it can also be a largely frustrating time too as more often than not individuals or films that really should be recognised aren’t. So how have BAFTA fared this year? Well in this post I’m going to take you through my thoughts on some of the major categories!
The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Carol, TheRevenant, Spotlight.
From these nominations I have only seen three. The Big Short and Spotlight have yet to be released in the UK so I can’t comment on those films. Personally I wasn’t a fan of Bridge of Spies, I found it dull and monotonous. I’ve clearly missed something as it’s the most nominated film this year. Therefore I’d either want The Revenant or Carol to take home the award. Personally The Revenant appealed to me more than Carol. Both films are made exquisitely however The Revenant was able to entertain me in a way that Carol didn’t.
MY WINNER – THE REVENANT
Outstanding British Film
45 Years, Amy, Brooklyn, The Danish Girl, Ex Machina, The Lobster.
I’ve seen four out of the six nominations in this category. I’ve heard wonderful things about both 45 Years and Amy but have yet to see them myself. In terms of the other four nominations I think any of them could take the award. My personal choice would be Ex Machina, which topped my ‘Top 50 Films of 2015’ list. However, both Brooklyn and The Lobster also featured on that list making great impressions on me. The Danish Girl is one of the few films I’ve seen this year and despite the less than favourable response it’s received I thought it had definite merit to it, though more in individual elements than as a whole I suppose.
MY WINNER – EX MACHINA
Bryan Cranston – Trumbo, Matt Damon – The Martian, Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant, Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs, Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl.
Once again due to UK release dates I haven’t seen Trumbo yet but with Cranston’s nomination I’m even keener to see it now. Cranston aside this is an insane category, all four of the other actors wholly deserve this award. If it was purely based on cinematic release in 2015 I’d give it to Fassbender however, since seeing The Revenant this year I think Leonardo DiCaprio has earned this award. Redmayne and Damon can’t be ruled out either with two fantastic performances also.
MY WINNER – LEONARDO DICAPRIO
Cate Blanchett – Carol, Brie Larson – Room, Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn, Maggie Smith – The Lady in the Van, Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl.
Room is released next week here in the UK so I’m yet to see that and can’t comment on Larson’s performance. However the other four actresses are all very deserving of these nominations. Smith is wonderful as always and Ronan impressed me. For me this category is a two horse race though, between Vikander who put in a career best performance in The Danish Girl and the wonderful Cate Blanchett for Carol. Blanchett’s performance in Carol was one of two elements that kept me entertained in a film that by itself would have failed to engage me so I think if I was choosing she’d be my winner.
MY WINNER – CATE BLANCHETT
Christian Bale – The Big Short, Benicio del Toro – Sicario, Idris Elba – Beast of No Nation, Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight, Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies.
I’ve only managed to see two of the performances in this category and as previously stated I wasn’t really a fan of Bridge of Spies so I wouldn’t be keen to see Rylance take the award. However, he does perform well in the movie so it wouldn’t be a travesty by any means. Although one of my favourite performances of the year was that of Benicio del Toro in Sicario. He was one of the best things about that movie, which has definitely been under appreciated in these nominations. So I’m really routing for the brilliant Benicio del Toro here.
MY WINNER – BENICIO DEL TORO
Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight, Rooney Mara – Carol, Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina, Julie Walters – Brooklyn, Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs.
Another fantastic group of nominations here, The Hateful Eight is released in the UK today so I’ll be able to consider Jennifer Jason Leigh’s performance shortly. In the mean time though I think I’d like Kate Winslet to win as she was just great alongside Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs. However Id’ also love to see Alicia Vikander win something and she’d also be a very deserved winner for her role in Ex Machina. Walters and Mara both stand a very good chance too, this could be the category that is hardest to predict.
MY WINNER – KATE WINSLET
Adam McKay – The Big Short, Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies, Todd Haynes – Carol, Ridley Scott – The Martian, Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant.
As much as I do love Ridley Scott, he has said that there was nothing challenging about directing The Martian. Does this mean that he doesn’t deserve the award? Or maybe it makes the case for him even more as he has clearly mastered the art of direction? Todd Haynes has a good chance too and I wouldn’t mind if he won. However, there’s only one winner for me in this category and that is Alejandro G. Iñárritu. His work on The Revenant was insane, working with animals, freezing temperatures and natural light. For me no one else comes close to him in this category.
MY WINNER – ALEJANDRO G. INARRITU
John Boyega, Taron Egerton, Dakota Johnson, Brie Larson, Bel Powley.
Once again I’m routing for one nominee and one nominee only here and that is the brilliant Taron Egerton, he played the leading role in Kingsman: The Secret Service so well last year. His performance here made him instantly likeable but it also displayed his talents very well. Combined with this his supporting roles in films Testament of Youth and Legend only cemented his bright future for me and I really hope he gets this award. I wouldn’t be gutted if Boyega took it home though as he was awesome in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
MY WINNER – TARON EGERTON
Mad Max: Fury Road, Charlize Theron, George Miller, Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, Joel Egerton.
These are my biggest snubs from this years nominations. The distinct lack of Mad Max: Fury Road is ridiculous, I can accept the absence from the Best Film category but not for George Miller in the Director category. Charlize Theron certainly deserved a nomination for her performance here too. Some other performances that I’d have liked to seen recognised would have been Oscar Isaac in Ex Machina/A Most Violent Year, Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year and Joel Egerton in Black Mass. These last snubs are more acceptable than the Mad Max ones but it’s still a shame that these performances have gone unrecognised by BAFTA.
MY BIGGEST SNUB – GEORGE MILLER
So there you have it, my thoughts on some of the major categories for this years BAFTAs. What do you think about this year’s nominations and who are your winners? Let me know your biggest snubs too! Comment below or drop me a tweet @HCMovieReviews
If you enjoyed this article maybe you’d consider voting for me at the UK Blog Awards 2016, follow THIS LINK to do so.
Image credits – BAFTA