Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The BAFTA Long List is Looney

<-- Last year's Chief BAFTA Goddess/Alien, Tilda Swinton

The BAFTA long lists have been announced. "The WHAT now what list?" I hear awards newbies screaming. Basically the British Oscars have a "semi-finals" round which narrows things down in all categories. Unfortunately it's still (mostly) the same films again. The following films might be nominated for the British Oscar for Best Picture:
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Burn After Reading, Changeling, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Doubt, Frost/Nixon, In Bruges, I’ve Loved You So Long, Milk, The Reader, Revolutionary Road, Slumdog Millionaire, Wall-E and The Wrestler
[Warning: Rant averse readers should scroll away to another post now]

The big thorn in my side this awards season --there's always a thorn -- has been the shabby treatment that Rachel Getting Married keeps getting. As much as I love Anne Hathaway's performance I think the film is even better than she is. Somehow other Best Actress vehicles that aren't as strong, as whole movies go, keep getting "Picture" attention. There's room for the messy/uneven/repetitive Changeling (my review), the well acted but ungreat film version of Doubt (some thoughts), the dour weirdly gimmicky performance piece I've Loved You So Long, and Kate Winslet's double.

Some of this is simply a matter of taste. I have it. They don't (kidding!) But even if you just sample US critical reception (just for the helluva it), Rachel tops most of these other actress/picture combos. And yet, no dice.

Every time I scratch my head trying to figure out what the problem is I remember this simple fact: Rachel is not Oscar Bait™. It's not a costume drama, war film, triumph of the underdog tale, biopic or message movie. Five strikes you're out. Kym, your protagonist, doesn't spend a lot of time weeping though she's got plenty to cry about. The movie is way thornier emotionally (no easy answers, no clear direction as to whose side you should be on at any given moment) than the other films in play. Doubt, which is doing a lot better awards wise, pays lip service to being complicated but it's not very frayed at the nerves or challenging in the brain. It wants you to keep guessing but it doesn't actually expect you to process several competing emotions/ideas at once except, blessed be, in its very best scene. You know which one ~ Viola Davis you rule! The plain awards truth is that most awards voters on either side of the Atlantic prefer easy to digest dramas... like, I dunno, Frost/Nixon. It makes this film bitch crazy. I just don't think "Best" should automatically equate with easy.

Two fucked up girls just looking for their own peace of mind

I think this is why Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind also had trouble getting awards traction in its year. Now, Rachel Getting Married isn't as great as that picture (what is?) but they share quite a few things: extremely difficult moody heroines, a completely contemporary look and worldview (that's a no-no for awardage), the ability to elicit complicated tears and uncomfortable laughs, and their main characters aren't easy to love even in the moments when you most feel like loving them. In other words, not easy.

Rachel Getting Married is heading for the exact same two nominations as Eternal Sunshine (Actress & Original Screenplay) and nothing more. What a shame. But it's good company to be in, I suppose.

In happier news, the BAFTA long lists for performances contain only one instance of category fraud (Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt) and that's only marginally a fraudulent categorization so this is really rather miraculous for a modern day awards show. I applaud them. Dev Patel, Kate Winslet, Michael Sheen, etcetera... they're all in the lead races where they belong. So well done, BAFTA. Well done.

...except for that supporting actress list.

I have to share it cause it's just whack-a-doodle... I mean totally padded-cell-throw-away-the-key-nutso. The usual suspects are there of course: Amy Adams and Viola Davis in Doubt, Marisa Tomei in The Wrestler, Penélope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona

There's another few you can understand even if you think it's really stretching it to say "Best": I like the inclusion of the always grand Emma Thompson in Brideshead Revisited. Kathy Bates has a couple good moments in Revolutionary Road. I'll give them Vera Farmiga in The Boy in Stryped Pajamas (I haven't seen it).

But it keeps getting weirder/worse. Judi Dench in Quantum of Solace (always fun in these movies, sure), Elsa Zylberstein in I've Loved You So Long (she didn't sell me on her characters' bizarre emotional swings... but I realize I'm in the minority) and Tilda Swinton, twice, for Benjamin Button (but they ignored Taraji P Henson?) and Burn After Reading. In neither film does our favorite Alien/Goddess have much to do. I think even Tilda herself would agree this is pushing it. That's a lot of women taking up room.

I lost patience when I began to realize this shocking truth: They have room for 15 performances -- 15! -- and neither of the Rachel Getting Married women are accounted for: No Debra Winger, No Rosemarie DeWitt. BAFTA has always been one to err on the side of being overly patriotic but once you notice this snub (when there's room for 15 people) it's hard not to get angry with them.


  • Charlotte Rampling in The Duchess (She can do this role in her sleep. I love Rampling but that's a "no")
  • Freida Pinto in Slumdog Millionaire (She did do this performance in her sleep. What is this nomination for... looking pretty? If that's the criteria why don't the shortlists include Mila Kunis in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Scarlett Johanssen in The Spirit, Amanda Seyfried in Mamma Mia!, Rachel Bilson from Jumper? I mean, if it's about being pretty... let's have them all)
  • Julie Walters Mamma Mia! (W-H-A-T? If you ask me hers was the second worst performance in the movie and that's more of a Razzie accomplishment, isn't it?)
  • Rebecca Hall for Frost/Nixon (for what, looking pretty? Her character flirts and shakes people's hands. That's the role. That's the entire role.)
Boo on BAFTA! Even if they just didn't like Rachel Getting Married (Acceptable. Some people don't) it's ludicrous to suggest its performers don't belong in a top 15. I mean, get real here. And even if they just wanted to make a point that they hated being at the wedding from which there is no escape, there are far worthier and more interesting choices they could have floated for Supporting Actress than the names they came up with: Patricia Clarkson in Elegy, Alexis Zegerman in Happy-Go-Lucky, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams or Dianne Wiest from Synecdoche New York, Shirley Henderson in Miss Pettigrew, Hanna Schygulla in Edge of Heaven (or so I hear) and that's just off the top of my head. You know, people who had actual roles that required some degree of skill in the playing. Not walk ons or underwritten parts in popular movies. This is just another example of people with ballots missing both imagination (let's nominate the same 10 movies for EVERYTHING!) and any serious devotion to addressing the issue of "best".

Sure, maybe "Best" is a foolish notion to begin with. I know that the awards race is mere popularity contest anyway but I don't like to be reminded so boldly that that's all it is. When things get this silly, I always wish they'd just rename their prize "Favorite Actresses This Month in Movies We Really Liked This Year". There. I feel so much better about their shortlist now. All it took was the right (and honest) title.

More BAFTA shortlists sans Nathaniel's vitriol @ Awards Daily


Pablete said...

I am tremendously elated to see Nicole Kidman being mentioned in the long list.

Rob said...

Your comments on Freida Pinto and Rebecca Hall best sum up why I love you.

James Hansen said...

Hate to mute your steamroll here but, if you look on IMDB, RGM has not yet been released in the UK. I suppose this would make it ineligible for 08 awards, assuming they go by the same standards as the Oscars. So...when it doesn't get nominated for anything next year, I expect you to post this rant again. :)

Julien said...

You're amazing. I love you.

Julien said...

And by the way James Hansen, Anne Hathaway and Jenny Lumet are both nominated, so yes, the film is eligible.

Stephen G said...

Fair enough, but Tilda was my (and my partner's) fave things about Burn After Reading and Benjamin Button. In fact, Tilda was the ONLY thing I liked about BB! She's a goddess and she probably won't get nominated, so don't begrudge her some room on the list for her entertaining non-typical awards performances!

Sure some of the BAFTA semi-finalists are wacky and more about people/movies they love or fall into those 5 easy 'awards' genres, but at least there are some fresh names on that list.

In Australia, we're not getting Rachel till 12 Feb and I'm worried that my expectation will be so high for it I can only be disappointed.

GreyDog said...

Agree wholeheartedly about DeWitt and Winger. Maybe the movie as a whole is too American. They made room for the home town girls. Not saying its right, but likely.

On an aside -- Viola Davis for the WIN!!

James Hansen said...

Alrighty then. That's what happens when I type things without actually looking at the oh-so-long list. Thanks for the correction, Julien.

And ...apologies to Nathaniel...I'd personally only nominate Hathaway from the movie. I wasn't a fan of the film at all and actually think a lot of the problems come in the script. I just didn't buy the movie at all which also meant I wasn't sold on the performances either. I'd still give Hathaway a vote, although I am def. in the Sally Hawkins camp.

Towelie said...

No Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino).
Also, 3 nominations for sup. actor for Ralph Fiennes. Hulk deserved to be on the visual effects list, by the way.

JoFo said...

Hahaha. Good to get that one off your chest?

Whilst Henson's snubbage is unfortunate, If I were to be honest, Swinton was better than she was in both of her roles. Henson wasnt bad, it was just a performance that any other marginally talented actress could have pulled off. Swinton on the other hadn took to short roles and made them standouts in both films. She inhabited them totally and utterly. Like they say, no small roles, only small actors.

I haven't seen Rachel Getting Married yet (damn you release dates!), so I can't comment on them.

I'm also going to disagree with you on the I've Loved You So Long love. This maka-me very happy. I loved it, and thankgod one awards show is recogising that!

adam k. said...

It is frustrating about Rachel, but BAFTAs have never been much for small American indies anyway... especially when they're also all those non-baity things you described. And if it hasn't even officially opened there, then naturally no fuss has yet been made about it across the pond, and so it's sort of understandable why they'd only nominated it in the categories they felt obligated to honor it in (probably due simply to precedent... another frustrating issue).

But then Hathaway and Lumet may not even be nominated in their categories, which would be a shame.

It's hard for me to get too worked up about the two Tilda mentions... she is British, after all, and she was very good in both. And they haven't even really nominated her yet, and probably won't, so I just can't be upset. Although, it's kind of hard to even create a feasible list of 5 from that supporting actress longlist, huh? Yikes. I wonder who makes it.

I also must add that I am VERY happy to see that they minimized the fraud this year, considering this was the group that not too recently put both James McAvoy (Last King) and Anne Hathaway (Prada) in their supporting longlists. Insane. Maybe they were shocked awake by the sheer ridiculousness of that.

In other news, I would love to see a double Winslet nom and a Hawkins win in actress... I can see that happening.

adam k. said...

Or Winslet could win lead for Reader here, which would be sweet since she won't do it anywhere else. But what a confusion that would be for oscar voters if she's then nominated twice at their awards... hmmm...


JoFo it was good to get off my chest. i've been in a terrible mood.

The Boyfriend says to me today: haven't you been watching awards shows since you were a little kid. I'm like 'yeah, your point?' he's like 'so in all that time have they ever not nominated people simply because they were in popular movies?'

so, yeah, points for the boyfriend. I'm like DORY in finding nemo. every year i forget what makes me crazy and i go through it all over again.

18 Year Old Blogger said...

2008 is shaping up to feel like 2005. The 5 nominees (The Aviator, Ray, Sideways, Million Dollar Baby, Finding Neverland) were set a few weeks in advance. People thought a Pixar film could get in for Best Picture. Mike Leigh comes out of nowhere and is nominated for Best Director, and gets two more nominations for his film (Actress and Original Screenplay). Clint Eastwood gets a Best Actor nomination without having SAG, BAFTA, or the GG to back him up--leaving a critical favorite snubbed. Two Kate Winslet movies are nominated in a total of 9 categories. The winner of Adapted Screenplay is the clear critic favorite (It was Sideways that year) until it ends up dying down.

Rachel Getting Married=Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. An Original Screenplay and Best Actress nomination though it deserved much more.

Ryan said...

I agree with you 100% on "Rachel Getting Married". I'd actually have DeWitt AND Winger on my ballot so, this does kinda suck. But don't piss on BAFTA too hard:

They did give ETERNAL SUNSHINE a Best Picture nomination in 2004 :)

gabrieloak said...

I really foolish about this but I have to defend Rebecca Hall in Frost/Nixon. I don't think she is award worthy in that film but she does do a lot with her worthless part. But I'm not sure why she wasn't nominated for Vicky in the Best Actress category.

I don't think Burn After Reading should be nominated for anything.

And poor Ralph Fiennes. He'll probably get two BAFTA nominations this year and be defeated by Heath Ledger. It must suck being good in everything you do and never winning anything.

Peter said...

Great, great post.

Glenn said...

Actually, I think the reason Eternal Sunshine didn't get traction was because of Sideways pure and simple. end of discussion. It got Actress and Original Screenplay noms (very big categories) so if Sideways hadn't have stolen all of it's critics prizes then I'm sure we'd be looking at least a Best Editing and Best Picture nominee as well. Alas...

Tilda was my favourite performance in Benjamin Button (my Supporting Actress blogathon piece was on her, even) and after Brad was my favourite part of Burn After Reading's ensemble. There ya go. :/

Some of those other inclusions are indeed very odd. We all knew that Julie Walters is running/singing to a likely nomination anyway. They love her.

The craziest pre-nomination is Mamma Mia! for Best Adapted Screenplay. Talk about crazy town!

Anonymous said...

Where is this long list? I can't find it on the BAFTA site and I don't see a link in the blog.

Anonymous said...

I consider Baftas to be a joke. They gave the award to Julie Walters instead of Meryl for Sophie's f***ng Choice!!


The Know Nothing Know It All said...

The snubbing of Henson and the inclusion of Swinton doesn't exactly surprise/upset me. It doesn't surprise me because the BAFTAs are a lot less racially diverse than the Oscars (take that in for a moment). I don't think either perf. was Oscar worthy.

It was always going to be an uphill battle for "Rachel Getting Married." It's a great film, but it simply didn't take. The voting bodies seem deadset on having a middling year with their film awards, which is sadly their prerogative. My only hope now is that someone other than Meryl Streep wins best actress.

adam k. said...

That, I believe, was back when the BAFTAs were held after the oscars. So they were probably like, "she's already won everything, what's the point? Julie Walters is british, let's honor her."

But Glenn, do you really think she'll be nominated again this year for Mamma Mia!? Really?? That would depress me. A longlist citation is one thing, but come on now...

And re: Eternal Sunshine and Sideways, I totally agree. There was only room for one contemporary comedy/critical favorite that year (since there were two biopics, one Clint picture, and one period epic already), and Sideways grabbed the momentum and ran with it. Shame.

But maybe on the bright side, Rachel will win best original screenplay just like Sunshine did? It seems like a rather parallel situation. It's either that or Milk, and very few people seem to think Milk's screenplay is its most notable attribute. Plus, Jenny Lumet is Sofia-Coppola-like in her nepotistically sentimental pull. I think it'll happen.

par3182 said...

prepare yourself for a julie walters win - they have to honor their favorite film of all time somewhere

Anonymous said...

You are wise, 18 Year Old Blogger; this does feel very 2005 to me. Even so, I'm still glad for the Rampling nomination, not because she deserves it for this role, but because she's Charlotte effing Rampling. If anyone deserves a nod for a lifetime of great performances it's her.

Anonymous said...

The BAFTAs are always worthy of a rant, but I do love them and their constant quirks. Any actressexual must be eternally grateful for their commitment to make regular "POINTS" with their Best Actress awards by righting the perceived wrong of the Oscars and Oscar precursors. Cate Blanchett getting the biggest cheer of the night for beating Gwyneth Paltrow... Imelda Staunton beating Hilary Swank... Judi Dench getting the biggest cheer of the century for her Mrs Brown win. Marvellous.

I take no issue with Julie Walters' inclusion however. People who love that movie talk about nobody else's performance. Yes, it's the kind of scene stealing comedic work she can do in her sleep, with all the subtlety of a hammer blow to the head, but the role as written calls for her to get the laughs. And at any cinema screening in the UK, she gets them.


Anonymous said...

"Eternal Sunshine..." won two BAFTAS (editing&screenplay) and was nominated for six (picture, actor, actress, director). So I think that they might have some taste if they actually see the movie. I don't think much of them have seen "Rachel Getting Married" yet.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Yes Adam, I think Walters will be nominated for the highest grossing movie in UK history. I can also see it scoring in Costume Design and Best Music.

adam k. said...

Well, best music seems like a given. I feel like something like The Duchess or The Other Boleyn Girl or some similarly stuffy British period drama must win best costumes, though.

I really can't believe they'd give it to Julie Walters just cause she's the only British supporting actress in it, and it made a ton of British money. If only Kate Winslet were in this category... or maybe Penelope Cruz's sweep will net her this award? They're kind to other Europeans.

Steven said...

Count me as one who thoroughly enjoyed Tilda in Benjamin Button. Maybe not award-worthy, but moreso than Henson's performance. She's serviceable, but that's a role where there's really nothing to it. I thought Tilda made a larger imprint.

Mamma Mia! for Adapted Screenplay?! Bwahahaha. I mean, I love the movie (it's so bad it's good!), but come on, let's be real. The writing is crap and the writing it's adapted from is crap.


Anonymous said...

I think your Rachel Getting Married fanaticism is getting a little out of control.

Mikadzuki said...

@ Julie Walters being nominated for anything:

Anonymous said...

They have two more category frauds: Brendan Gleeson, "In Bruges" and David Kross, "The Reader". I think the latter is even more surprising with Dev Patel in leading category.
I think the'll go with Brits in "best actress" category: Hawkins, Scott-Thomas, Winslet&Winslet, but since they love "Changeling" (I don't really know why that is but it surely is well-liked in Europe) and I don't think it's possible for them to snub Meryl Streep, they'll probably decide for Winslet's performance in "The Reader".

Glenn said...

They won't WIN but I can easily see it being nominated.

Anonymous said...

Can you really blame the BAFTA membership for not nominating everyone from a film which hasn't been released in Britain and for which they haven't been given screeners?
Apparently so, but I think it's entirely unfair.

Donny said...

No Rosemarie Dewitt or Debra Winger, but Julie Walters for "Mamma Mia!" That's BS plain and simple.

Now Dev Patel won't be nodded at the one place that would have loved him. Meh.

I guess I'm the only one that thought that "Frost/Nixon" was fine and is deserving of its accolades so far.

No Mike Leigh for director in "Happy-Go-Lucky"? Really? I guess it'll be in British Film and win that (unless "Slumdog" wins both), but still.

Taraji P. Henson was snubbed? She deserved a slot over Tilda Swinton.

I'm happy that "In Bruges" was remembered.

Anonymous said...

That's the point. They have not seen it. It was only available on London Film Festival, but it's going to be released on January, 23rd.
So, the members of BAFTA aren't the ones to blame, at least not for this.

Emma said...

I LOL'ed at your description of Rebecca Hall's character in Frost/Nixon. I really need to see it now.

But yeah. Nominating Tilda Swinton for Burn After Reading? Eww.


anon "i think your Rachel Getting Married fanaticism is getting out of hand"


another anon so if Rachel isn't released in Britain how is it eligible? And if they haven't seen it what business do they have nominating Anne Hathaway? This is my problem with awards shows. It's always suspect. I don't think people should be voting for things they haven't seen and I also think that if you don't have a real release (which I guess some people are saying Rachel didn't) than I don't think you should be eligible.

I am also getting really tired of the defense of awards groups and various pundits of "they didn't get screeners" I mean... if they're awarding the "best" of a year, shouldn't they make a freaking effort to see the most 'must see' films in any year? (i'm talking any film that was frequently discussed in terms of merit and or performances). If I don't get a screener of something every is talking about I try to go to the movie theater, you know? it's not complicated (unless the movie doesn't come out... in which case it shouldn't be eligible anyway

(i'm like an oroborus in this conversation. YIKES)

Donny i thought Frost/Nixon was fine too... i just don't like seeing it every "best" list. It seems so easy and generic (if entertaining/well acted) compared to a ton of other stuff.

anon again (EVERYONE TYPE IN A NAME. IT'S NOT HARD) the link at the end of the post takes you to the long lists.

gabrieloak i thought Rebecca Hall was good in frost/nixon too. (I'm just making a point. She's a totally engaging screen presence but that's a nothing role.)

Rob said...

You know Nate, I love TFE, and your insites are always worth reading. But the 'BAFTA Bashing' commences usually everytime this year around the longlist time.

Unlike the US, where Rachel Getting Married was released in October/ November 07. It opens on 23 January. 2 weeks before the BAFTA ceremony. They didn't send screeners - and this happens.

Voters shouldn't be criticised, because they have had limited opportunities to see the film. Weinstein gets it right usually - open your film in December or the first week of January, screen the hell out of it - and send voters copies of the movie.

Anonymous said...

As a Bafta voter, I thought I'd clear a couple of things up:

* We were sent a screener of Rachel Getting Married. We were sent nearly 50 screeners this year, and they all arrive during December, making it very difficult to see all of them in time.
* There have been no screeners or screenings of Gran Torino, which means it's probably not eligible.
* There are 5,000 members in Bafta, most of which vote in the awards and help to create the long-list for almost every category. It's inevitable that as a result the long-list is likely to be quite multiplex-friendly. I expect that the shortlist will be more 'Bafta-y' as many of the categories are passed over to specialised chapters.
* Lead/supporting actors are extremely difficult, as people do disagree on what part they should have. I voted McAvoy as Lead in Last King of Scotland, and I don't know if my vote was ignored, transferred to Supporting, or there just weren't enough votes as Lead. In order to avoid something like this happening again, I now vote based on how the film company is promoting that actor. As in, if I think a performance is worthy of a nomination, I then need to check whether that actor is being promoted as lead or supporting in order to make sure my vote is in line with others. I don't like it, but it's a safe way to ensure all the votes count.

Rob said...

So yes with 15 places, it was always likely Hathaway would make it. But the film has yet to be reviewed or released, and not everyone gets to screenings. She makes it probably because people took note of the awards she's been winning and got themselves to a screening.

I actually rather doubt on that total of longlist mentions that she'll even be nominated.

And seriously, people should stop getting in a lather about Julie Walters. She is something of a national treasure around these parts (and the only reason my parents saw the movie). This is a woman who won 4 BAFTA's back to back (2001 for film, 2002-4 for TV), so she is much loved.

I doubt she'll make the cut in the end.

Rob said...

So maybe voters just didn't like 'Rachel Getting Married', so much.

It's reasonable to think that a different awards body, with different tastes may favour other movies.

It's not necessarily "wrong" to not follow the trail laid down by US awards givers.

No longer anonymous said...

A film is eligible for the BAFTAs if it's released in Britain before the ceremony.
For people who review films for a living you can make the case that they ought to make an effort to seek out every single eligible film before voting for anything.
But you should not (and can not) expect random BAFTA members - who aren't doing this for a living - to go and seek out every single obscure American film which couldn't be bothered to go on general release in time or have screeners sent out. Such films will just have to make do with the votes they get from members living in America or people who happen to have come across a screening somewhere.


no longer anonymous -- i get that. and I'm not judging the whole lot of so much as being an idealist. When you call something "best" and you aren't willing to try and see the movies...

bear in mind -- nobody, not even critics see EVERY movie but as indicated in my rant i was talking about the 30 or so movies that are generally seen to be as important any year in cinema.

although BAFTA voter i feel your pain about the december glut. I really do. It's so unfortunate and I think the awards system is broken in general. I guess I just wish that people sought out movies all year instead of waiting for screeners to arrive at their doorstep. This way there'd be more balance.

but contrary to what some of you assume, I agree with you that if RACHEL GETTING MARRIED can't be bothered to screen much in theaters there it deserves no more consideration than the films that "hid" here in America like: Revolutionary Road, Defiance, etcetera

I'm not sure why films hide so often but i suspect it's one of two very different problems (in most cases)

a) they don't have much faith in their chances and they're meeting contractual obligations to come out during the eligibilty period or

b) they have too much faith in themselves and assume that everyone will want to see them immediately and that the very last possible second of release will have them so fresh in the minds of voters that they will be nominated for everything and win half of that.


oh and rob you KNOW that i agree about it not being wrong to not regurgitate all other precursors choices ... I live for that ;)

So let's not imply that that's what I'm arguing

I didn't mean to offend anyone and I did warn that a rant was coming.

amir_uk said...

Funniest moment of the day – that perfectly-timed comment about Charlotte Rampling and Freida Pinto. Followed by the precis of Rebecca Hall's role. Made me laugh at loud, at my desk, which is no mean feat. Love you.

Rio said...

Rebecca Hall for ' looking pretty, flirting and shaking people's hands'

Would like to see the results of that essay assignment - What are they thinking - explain

Rio said...

Rebecca Hall for ' looking pretty, flirting and shaking people's hands'

Would like to see the results of that essay assignment - What are they thinking - explain

Anonymous said...

Julie Walters is indeed a national treasure in the UK, and I'm convinced they'll find room for her in the shortlist. It's no less hammy than the likes of Brenda Blethyn in Little Voice, and that performance had no problem finding enough support to get in the mix.

Walters is a fine comedienne, and I'll forever worship her Rita (1983), and without Marcia Gay Harden's category fraud, I'd pick her from the 2000 support line-up too. Her best work remains on TV though, in Boys From The Blackstuff.



rio --i don't know what they're thinking. that's just the thing. I actually really liked rebecca hall in frost/nixon but the part is nothing. but she's immensely easy on the eyes.

It's all about the fact that she's a rising star, totally beautiful and in a popular movie.

rob i don't dislike Julie Walters. I'm just in favor of awarding performances rather than careers... especially when the career has already been amply rewarded.

Donny said...

I stand by "Frost/Nixon" being fine and not "generic." It's deserved its accolades so far as well as a BP nod.

As for the screeners thing, I think voters are lazy, so if they aren't spoonfed these films, unless they're extremely buzzed about, they suffer, especially the small films.

Jesper.L said...

Well, i actually i like the BAFTAS really much. The Longlist is often full of suprises and they nominated Michelle Pfeiffer for Stardust last year.

+ Mamma Mia! was maybe bad in some peoples eyes, but MANY people liked it, including me. I'm actually hoping for Mamma Mia! winning at the GG.

jimmy said...

Aaron Eckhart is gettin no love at any award shows

Anonymous said...

LOL. You better be prepared because Walters WILL be nominated for "Mamma Mia." BAFTA voters just love her, and the film is the biggest grossing of all-time in Britain.

Anonymous said...

Julie Walters being a "national treasure" is irrelevant. She wasn't worth citing in "Mamma Mia!" and is hogging space from women that do (Rosemarie Dewitt, Taraji P. Henson, Debra Winger, Evan Rachel Wood, etc. for starters).

Rebecca Hall should have been cited for her starmaking turn in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," not for her nothing girlfriend role in "Frost/Nixon." That's a lame nod.

Rob said...

Walters being "a national treasure" is not irrelevant.

It shows that they will cite her, often whenever she is in a movie.

Anonymous said...

When I say "irrelevant," I mean that it's a dumbass reason to give someone a nomination, especially when the said performance is poor and doesn't deserve it. I get the relevance in terms of the BAFTA's having a hard-on for Julie Walters in general.

Rob said...

Julie Walters, doesn't "actually" have a nomination though, does she. And I doubt she will.

The film was critically maulled. But was critic proof.

If Walters can't get nominated for 'Calendar Girls' there is no way she'll get in for this. The lack of 'Best Film' selection is really telling.

I imagine she'll get nominated come March for her TV work playing Mary Whitehouse, however.

Rob said...

Nathanial - I wasn't offended at all. This cite and your insight is too brilliant for me ever to be that upset.

Certainly its frustrating that great films get overlooked - this happens a lot with certain low budget homegrown movies. What annoys me is that films such as "Rachel Getting Married" would have much better chances if they were released outside of the Oscar glut.

Seriously bar 'Happy Go Lucky', most of the movies up for oscar consideration land between 2 January and 6 February this year.

Changeling I'm sure benefitted from a late November release - its fresh and has been reviewed.

I sincely hope that BAFTA pick some interesting and 'different'nominees. And I just don't see Dev Patel being nominated in that field for Best Actor at all.

Anonymous said...

No, she doesn't have the nomination yet, and hopefully she won't be near the final nominees. It's bad enough that she's taking up space when more worthy actresses weren't longlisted.


and i would just like to reiterate that i think it's an oversimplification that ETERNAL SUNSHINE's only Oscar problem was SIDEWAYS. it also had all those obstacles I mentioned... and those are formidable oscars because year after year those five typess of movies are just about the only type they like

1. biopics
2. costume drama
3. triumph of the underdog tale
4. message movie
5. war film

You basically have to be a massive year-defining blockbuster to get any traction if you're outside of these five boxes. It's so limited. (sigh)

but it was always thus.

Actionman said...

Rebecca Hall looked f'ing delicious sporting no bra throughout Frost/Nixon

Joe Reid said...

"...and i would just like to reiterate that i think it's an oversimplification that ETERNAL SUNSHINE's only Oscar problem was SIDEWAYS."

Hear hear! The backlash that befell Sideways for the reductive idea that it was "stealing" all of Eternal Sunshine's critical awards was one of the stupider things I've seen Oscarwatching. And I loved Eternal Sunshine. A lot.

Bafta voter said...

Bafta voter here again. I'm jumping to our defence this time (and wasn't meaning to jump to any defence last time; just pointing some things out).

But we've just been accused of being "lazy" because we only allow ourselves to be spoon-fed.

We don't all live and work in London, which means unless the film companies lay on regional screenings (which hardly ever happens), we can't see anything that would be out of place in a multiplex. We rely on screeners to see indie films.

Maybe that's unfair on the smaller budget movies, and why larger budget 'art' films do better. But running off 5,000 DVDs doesn't have to be the only answer. Voting is entirely online now, so why not let some voters download movies, in whatever secure fashion is necessary? Anyway, that's another topic.

All I mean is that screeners are essential, as proved by just about every long-listed film being sent as a screener. It's not 'lazy' if you aren't able to see anything else.

pony said...

Even worse than what happened to "Rachel getting married" is what they did to "Hunger". It's not in the Best Picture race even with it's Director, Actor and Screenplay nods. It was snubbed even though it's a historical drama (not a "costume" one, but I guess they're sort of like the same thing) AND a biopic AND sort of a war movie (that's almost three of your categories there). It's even a local film! And come on, just look at the damn movie! It's BRILLIANT! Why did they ignore it? Was it because of the subject matter? Maybe because it was too actively off putting?

Nathaniel, if it had been elegible for your own awards, would it have made it to the Top Ten? Where would it have been placed?

Rob said...

And yes in defence of BAFTA, they have chosen some great overlooked films in recent years in the 'Best Film' catergory - Eternal Sunshine, The Lives of Others, The Motorcycle Diaries.

That BAFTA for Almodovar in 1999 for Directing was wonderous.

All hail BAFTA.

Styx said...


(No "Rachel Getting Married") :(

Best Adapted Screenplay

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Eric Roth; based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald)
“The Dark Knight” (Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan; based on characters appearing in DC Comics)
“Doubt” (John Patrick Shanley; based on his play)
“Frost/Nixon” (Peter Morgan; based on his play)
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Simon Beaufoy; based on the novel “Q&A” by Vikas Swarup)

Best Original Screenplay

“Burn After Reading” (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
“Milk” (Dustin Lance Black)
“Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (Woody Allen)
“The Visitor” (Thomas McCarthy)
“The Wrestler” (Robert D. Siegel)


“Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story” (Stefan Forbes, Noland Walker)
“Chicago 10” (Brett Morgan)
“Fuel” (Johnny O’Hara)
“Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson” (Alex Gibney; from the words of Hunter S. Thompson)
“Waltz With Bashir” (Ari Folman)

L.P. said...

My poor poor Rachel Getting Married. It breaks my heart. It's by far the best original film all year. I think adapted movies should be inelgible for best pic noms. I mean, recyled material is never what I've felt true artistic filmaking was about. I'm still upset about Chicago. It was a foolproof formula. What risks did they have to take? I love underdog screenwriters who come out of nowhere and tell potent and beautiful stories. I mean it's not like Jenny Lumet is Diablo Cody or anything, but needless to say, she's got the goods.

Anonymous said...

In Bruges received appropriate respect so I'm happy enough. Perhaps the BAFTA people felt like I did when watching Rachel' in that they gagged at the eccentric costumes, too-up-close camera (this ain't Silence of the Lambs), and repetition of words coming out of Bill Irwin's mouth.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I'd say Julie Walters deserves a nomination for Mamma Mia! far more than Taraji Henson does for Curious Case of Benjamin Button. At least Walters was drunk when she made that movie (I like to imagine she, Streep and Baranski had a few chardies in the trailer before filming). I'm not sure what excuse Henson has for being such a loud and annoying stereotype.

OccidentalOrientals said...

i don't think the BAFTA is something that even concerns Americans. It's not something that we should read into when trying to decipher oscars (not that i'm obsessed with doing that).

it's just based entirely around different release dates, and more to the point, different cultural tastes. I imagine they'd warm up to films like Match Point, Brideshead Revisited, The Reader, Atonement, etc. more than we would. I'd also imagine that something uniquely American like The Insider which covered a crusade against smoking in the American legal system or Quiz Show which satirized 1950's Americana, might not resonate as well.

Anonymous said...

I am a major Julie Walters fan but even I'm in shock at how silly it is to include her performance in the list. I mean it's hardly up there with her Billy Elliot performnce or TV performances such as Murder/ The Birthday Party/ The Wife of Bath territory.
Also the I totally agree with you on the inclusion of Tilda Swinton who basically played Tilda Swinton in both the underwritten roles. Dianne Wiest would have been such a better choice.

Anonymous said...

I am a major Julie Walters fan but even I'm in shock at how silly it is to include her performance in the list. I mean it's hardly up there with her Billy Elliot performnce or TV performances such as Murder/ The Birthday Party/ The Wife of Bath territory.
Also the I totally agree with you on the inclusion of Tilda Swinton who basically played Tilda Swinton in both the underwritten roles. Dianne Wiest would have been such a better choice.

Anonymous said...

I am a major Julie Walters fan but even I'm in shock at how silly it is to include her performance in the list. I mean it's hardly up there with her Billy Elliot performnce or TV performances such as Murder/ The Birthday Party/ The Wife of Bath territory.
Also the I totally agree with you on the inclusion of Tilda Swinton who basically played Tilda Swinton in both the underwritten roles. Dianne Wiest would have been such a better choice.