Thursday, January 15, 2009

The BAFTA Nominations for 2008 and The Madhouse Act of 1828

Trivia Time! It's been 180 years since an Act of the British Parliament allowed for the building of mental asylums. The first ever built was the 1st Middlesex County Asylum in West London which opened its doors in 1831. The British invented insane asylums! Who knew? And yet it all makes sense...

177 years later, ancestors of those first Middlesex patients voted on the nominations for the British Academy Film Awards (or BAFTA or "The Orange Film Awards" --make up your minds!) honoring the films of 2008. Gemma Arterton ("Strawberry Fields" in the latest Bond film) and Hayley Atwell (The Duchess) made the announcements which were... _ _ _ _ _ _.

(You saw where that was going I hope. Good.)

Years ago I paid no mind to these particular awards and, scanning over this year's nominees, I think I was probably of sound mind back then. Somewhere along the line, I lost my resistance to them -- I think it was when Kate Winslet won a prize and thanked Peter Jackson for discovering her? (It's all Heavenly Creatures fault!) -- and I have lived to curse my interest in them ever since. I grew deeply suspicious of the Orange Film Awards when they changed their schedule to become an Oscar precursor. Must everything be about the Oscars? You don't see the Goyas (Spain) or the Cesars (France) trying to predict American film prizes! Now I'm not suspicious so much as perplexed.

If you want their full list you can click on the link above but let's just talk Picture & Acting

Best Film
Outstanding British FilmI list these two categories together because I think it's odd and sad that they have a Best Picture prize and then a sort of ugly stepsister category to honor their own artists. ("Odd" wouldn't be the right word if we're talking more specifically about Mamma Mia!'s nomination. What is this, the British People's Choice Awards?)



Shouldn't the main prize "Best Film" be honoring their own films, the way virtually every country's academy does, responding first to their own productions while making room for the occasional import they really loved? The way their system is structured now they're basically telling you that the only film they made this year as good as an American film is Slumdog Millionaire and that's a) not remotely true since Hunger & In Bruges and the egregiously snubbed Happy-Go-Lucky are all pretty damn good pictures b) curiously self-loathing and c) inversely funny since the American Academy has often been accused of having Anglophilia. The grass is always greener I guess.

Side note 1: Despite's Milk's Best Picture nomination, they showed no real enthusiasm. Only four noms (Pic, Screenplay, Lead Actor and Hair/Makeup)

Side note 2: Has any film in history as unpassionately received as Frost/Nixon been so unanimously embraced by so many disparate awards bodies? It's a head scratcher. I haven't met anyone who hates it and a lot of people seem to think it's good and quite entertaining (myself included) but Best Picture every single time? What's more it has achieved this breezy awards champ status without public support -- It's made less than 8 million at this writing which is very low for an eventual Best Picture nominee, even if you're only looking at box office prior to nominations. (The lowest grossing future BP nominee in the past 2o years was Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima with only $2 million in the bank prior to its nomination. But that was an Eastwood picture and the normal rules don't really apply).

I know, I know... only 10 pictures were actually released in 2008 so I guess the chances for Frost/Nixon were like 50/50 [*snort*]

It gets worse.

Leading Actor
Leading ActressThe best that can be said here is that they've put lead categories into a lead race (imagine that!). The worst that can be said is that the presence of Dev Patel definitely casts doubt on standard American perceptions that British actors are super serious about their craft.

We always marvel (rightly, I'd wager) that most of their stars actually train to act, rather than just show up at auditions hoping to be famous. But this is another reminder that acting well and judging artistic efforts are different skills. I wonder if Dame Judi Dench actually thought Dev Patel gave a stronger performance than Michael Fassbender in Hunger? Blargh!


I just don't have time for BAFTA anymore. At least if Patel gets nominated at the Oscars (likely) he'll be demoted to Supporting where they'll often nominate someone on the sole basis of their cuteness or luck at appearing in a popular film -- it's vaguely expected.

Supporting Actor
Supporting Actress
Oh, BAFTA. Art is subjective so I hate to make crass generalizations but anyone who thinks Freida Pinto is a better actress than Viola Davis probably has no business passing out awards in film excellence. Am I wrong? I mean, if you saw Doubt, what's your excuse?

P.S. I love beautiful people. They're wonderful to look at. I actually think we should have more ridiculously beautiful people in the movies and Pinto's pure loveliness is actually sort of jaw dropping. But hear me out. Just add a "Most Desirable" category like they used to do at the MTV Movie Awards. I mean... since that's how you wanna roll. I think Keanu Reeves is one of the most beautiful men ever projected on the silver screen but you don't see me handing him Best Actor prizes.

Beauty is its own reward. Shouldn't it remain so?

P.S. 2 New readers should note that I am not always this crabby. BAFTA nominations merely make me long for padded cells... (it's safer to bang your head against the wall that way). I promise to be less filled with bile next week. Er... that's when the Oscar nominations come out. Uhhhh, I take that back.

P.S. 3 Oscar Predictions updates are coming tonight.
*

58 comments:

Russ said...

Seriously, Nate, you hit the nail on the head. The BAFTAs this year are just plain ridiculous. You have every right to be crabby.

Michael Parsons said...

But no Sally Hawkins......that surely is a mistake. Do you think they just really wanted Brangelina there?
The need to celebrity attendance over ran their need to do what is right?

*licks window*

Peter said...

Hear, hear, Nate. This is possibly the worst BAFTA nomination list I've seen, and I'm actually rather fond of this British Academy.

Patel? PINTO?! Really? I know Mamma Mia! would show up somewhere since it's so popular in UK, but the ongoing Slumdog Millionaire fest just reached an incredulous new height (or low). Yuck.

Amanda said...

These are, without a doubt, the worst nominations of the season. Give me back Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder, for God's sake. TILDA SWINTON?! OVER DAVIS? I mean, really. Just kill me. Please.

Oh, and where is Hawkins?! Please tell me this is a nightmare that will be over in a few hours.

The Jack said...

Being English, I can tell you that the American media actually have a habit of holding the BAFTAs to a higher standard than we Brits actually do. We have never thought they make more respectable choices than the Oscars, and generally see the BAFTAs as a desperate younger cousin to the Oscars, always wanting to be held in the same esteem. It's very sad.

Also, I want to try and explain some of their choices this morning - firstly, "Mamma Mia!" being nominated for Best British Film. "Mamma Mia!" is, believe it or not, the HIGHEST GROSSING FILM EVER MADE in England, beating even "Titanic". The fact that it was still out in cinemas until the day before its DVD release probably goes some way to explaining how.

Secondly, "Happy-Go-Lucky" being ignored completely. Basically, the film was released last March in England, and came and went without anyone really caring about it, despite the fact that Mike Leigh is a national treasure over here. I can't explain it either, but when I was trying to see it in the cinema, I couldn't find it anywhere (unless I'd gone to an art cinema in London). Now you'll be able to find the film on DVD for about 4 pounds in a sale. That's how we treat homegrown films like that over here.

I have no time for the BAFTAs. Never have.

vulturedeculture said...

Absolutely not good at all.

I miss Anne Hathaway.

And I love Brad Pitt, but the double nomination seems a bit much.

E Dot said...

Maybe they were on ecstasy or Percocet while screening 'Slumdog Millionaire'...

It was a great movie and all, but this is the only explanation for the Freida Pinto nomination and their inexplicable cinematic boner.

Moose said...

omg, how could Happy-Go-Lucky be completely snubbed at the BRITISH oscars?

Ramification said...

It seems they genuniely loved Changeling, 8 nominations in all, I just saw it last night, didn't hate it, but its not a great film either. I am amazed by the Sally Hawkins snub though but like The Jack pointed out, Happy Go Lucky sort of just came and went when it was released over here and Hawkins is not a big star and doesnt have the same respect as say Staunton or Blethyn did at the time they were nominated.

The Tilda Swinton nomination doesnt surprise me too much , even if it is at the cost of Davis.

Can we expect Pinto to perhaps show up on the Oscar list now?

pon said...

This was at the same time a completely satisfying (because of your insights) and gut-churning (because of how crazy the whole situation is) post. I loved it, and thank you very much for it.

BTW, in the ugly stepsister best pic category, if you take out "Mamma Mia!" and put "Happy-Go-Lucky" instead it would be a great lineup (I know you didn't care much for "Man on Wire", but most people -yours truly included- LOVED it). Much better than the TDK-F/N-M-SM-TCCOBB Academy Award lineup we've come to expect.

ps1 - Just noticed you use the letters "SM" as short for "Slumdog Millionaire", and it kind of suits the movie in more ways than one.

ps2 - Two days ago i finally saw "The curious case of Benjamin Button"... what a horrible, cliched, boring and predictable letdown of a film! From none other than David Fincher, and right after "Zodiac"? A huge step back for him, right after a huge step forward, so I guess that leaves him right where he was after "Panic Room": he made an OK film right after an incredibly cool cult movie. Not exactly a bad place to be.

David Giancarlo said...

Funniest thing that I've read this year. And I don't mean the nominations. Kudos!

Shawn said...

As much as I LOVE Slumdog MIllionaire (favorite movie of the year!), I agree that the nominations for Patel and Pinto were mind boggling. Though I saw it less as an affront to cinema and more as an expression of how much A LOT of people REALLY love this movie and want to shower it with every possible awards and nominations it can get.

Should be interesting to see how much the Oscars love the movie as well.

tonyjoe said...

at last Kate Winslet nominated in the CORRECT catagory for the Reader, though this may have sadly shut out Sally Hawkins for Happy Go Lucky- I like the BAFTAS as they are possibly the more unpredictable of all the major awards- the noms seem OK to me..

NATHANIEL R said...

pon i really liked MAN ON WIRE. my only complaint was that I thought TROUBLE THE WATER should have won at least a few of those documentary awards. I didn't see a reason for the sweep is all. But yeah, good entertaining doc.

Fox said...

Nothing to add today... just wanna say your cracking me up and tickling all my pieces this morning with this post.

LOVE YOUR PHOTOSHOPPING!

john said...

God, these nominations make me ashamed to be British. Badly done BAFTA, Badly done!

Angelo said...

I'll give them props for the Orange Rising Star Award.

That list is almost perfect.

Michael Cera, Michael Fassbender and Toby Kebbell all deserve that award.

Guy Lodge said...

I'd say the BAFTAs make me ashamed to be British, but I'm actually pretty proud to be from the country that produced "Hunger" and "Happy-Go-Lucky" -- even if BAFTA voters evidently aren't.

The Jack is right, though -- nobody here attaches any weight to the BAFTAs, so neither should anyone else. (He's also uncannily accurate... just yesterday, I picked up a copy of "Happy-Go-Lucky" for £4.)

NATHANIEL R said...

angelo see that award really bugs me because THAT'S the place to award Dev Patel & Freida Pinto if they must without embarrassing themselves.

I mean give Fassbender his due in Lead Actor.

who could watch that performance and think it's lesser than Patel's????

Iggy said...

WTF? I'm utterly offended by you not commenting the outrageous snub of TDK for BP!

;)

Now seriously, just to see how every award list has its own travesties and now you mention the "Goyas". TDK has been nominated for Best European Film alongside "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days", "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" and "Auf der anderen Seite" ("The Edge of Heaven").

The Know Nothing Know It All said...

I don't even remember Freida Pinto having any lines in Slumdog. I think her only line at the end was "kiss me." Am I mistaken? And in BAFTA's mind, that one line is better than Viola Davis's great scene (or even Lena Olin's, but that's another story.)

Simone said...

Nate, thank you for pointing out how fucking bizarre, crazy, and disrepectful some of these nominations are. And as you know, I'm a Michael Fassbender fan and I am completely outraged by his SNUB in favor of that fucking slumdog kid.

How in the living fuck can BAFTA justify this? How can they say that Michael Fassbender is NOT deserving of an acting nomination, but instead, that Dev guy in that stupid fucking slumdog movie? Obviously these bastards did not see Hunger!!!

So, Michael's consolation prize, the Orange Rising Star nomination, is left up to the daydreaming public who probably didn't see Hunger either eh? And let's hope that Steve McQueen manages to win one of the awards he was nominated for.

The BAFTAs are officially a joke to me. I'm not only mad for Michael, but how in the hell could Sally Hawkins and Colin Farrell go unappreciated? What the fuck is going on?

They are insane indeed, and fuck em!

Anonymous said...

I actually like the nominations last year, but this year is totally different. They are just horrible. And embarrassing.

1. No TDK for Best Picture. Though, I'm one of the few here who really did like The Reader.
2. Eastwood's director nomination, rather than Nolan's or Van Sant's.
3. Dev Patel for lead actor? And I'm a huge fan of the film.
4. No Leo. No Jenkins.
5. Sorry, can't agree with the Pitt nomination, either (for BB).
6. No Hawkins. No Hathaway.
7. Milk supporting actor snubs.
8. Pitt is a double nominee.
9. No Shannon.
10. Again, Pinto's nomination? For doing what exactly?
11. NO FLIPPIN AUSTRALIA TECH NOMS! [/angryface]

-DJ

Robert said...

Knownothing: She totally had other lines, like, um, "hey there" and "hello" (when she answered the phone). Let's see she said "pretend to be a cook" at one point, that was very convincing... I mean I felt like she really wanted Dev to pretend to be a cook. Besides, lines aren't everything. She smiled and frowned and screamed when evil mobsters were coming to get her.

So there, see. Perfectly award-worthy performance.

Guy said...

"I mean give Fassbender his due in Lead Actor.

who could watch that performance and think it's lesser than Patel's????"

The answer, sadly, lies in your question. How many BAFTA voters do you think actually watched "Hunger"?

Kurtis O said...

Ay, ay, ay. These lists were a bit painful to read. I know it's hardly appropriate but I'm gonna say it anyway: poor "Slumdog Millionaire." It's to the point where I don't think I'll be able to watch it again without feeling like I've been programmed to do so. From the INSANE costume designers' nom to the INSANE SAG ensemble nom to Nat's spot-on assessment of Pinto's INSANE nod here, it's as if the entire industry is made up of a bunch of mindless machines (am I inviting a wave of "duhs" here?).

Fun with acronyms:
BAFTA = Britain's A F***ing Tag Along

Matt said...

The Dev Patel nomination is like Daniel Radcliffe getting nominated for Potter or Elijah Wood for LOTR - there is nothing wrong with the performance, and while the whole "innocent, befuddled, blury-eyed cuteness" works well for the film, the role doesn't have an ounce of difficulty.

Angelo said...

Where the at the oscar nominations the rule "Better loved by a few than liked by many" applies, I guess the opposite is fact at the Bafta's.

I agree with Guy, either most of them haven't even seen Hunger, or they just hated the film and therefore forget the performance automatically (weirdness...)

That's why Nathaniel's complaints are so spot on, these awards seem to only mention 10 films, and that's it. - That's just ludicrous.

For example, Julianne Moore gave two fine, fine performances in two not so well-received films. Why the fuck shouldn't she still be nominated...

vbn said...

Re: Viola Davis - Doubt hasn't been released in the UK yet so is not eligable for this years awards. The same applies for Rachel Getting Married.

BAFTAs is schizophrenic. Half celebrating UK film. Half trying to get US stars to come to its award show (see: Angelia and Brad's noms). And ends up being ridiculed for doing so every year.

Anyway. You're spot on. Love the blog!

Robert said...

Oooh how fun.

Bland And Forgettable Terrible Awards

Begging Actors For Their Approval

Blown Away by Frieda's Tepid Acting

Anonymous said...

Davis was eligible (and on the longlist) - it isn't officially released here for a few weeks but still got included due to some limited run loophole. As evidenced by Streep, Hoffman and Adams making the nominees...

Much like the 9 other films included.

I cannot fathom how voters in general preferred Amy Adams to Davis!

Re: Happy Go-Lucky - agree with my fellow Brits' comments. Though everyone I know who saw it, mainly because I passed around my £6 (I was clearly robbed) DVD, loved it and loved Hawkins. Especially those who had seen Layer Cake - there's nothing like two opposed performances to excite people about an actor.

vbn said...

bleugh. I stand corrected. I'm even more confused by the nominations if that was possible.

Sally Belle said...

Oh boy...I agree with every rant you took on here.

Frieda Pinto...my God....this doesn't just go to this year, this insults past snubbees as well. She looks like a nice girl. But, my God!

I am afraid that I am starting to have retro hate for this movie. Enough already, it ain't the second coming!

As far as Frost/Nixon goes...I've had the screener for two weeks and can't bring myself to watch it! Ugh. I lived through that mess....and it's been a long time since Ron Howard knocked me out with a film.

NATHANIEL R said...

sally it's better than you're thinking but i still don't get all the "best" citations. I'm assuming it has to do with the median age of the voters and a story that's really important in their lives.

pon(y) said...

Jesus Christ Allmigthy! For some bizarre reason I didn't notice the absence of Sally Hawkins from the Best Actress nominees the first time I read the post and these comments (probably because of one of those psychological self-defense mechanisms the brain has). It was like having a bucket of freezing water thrown at me (or however the expression goes)... I mean, I'm out of words here. What happened? They seem to be jumping on all sorts of bandwagons (for Benjamin Button, for Slumdog, for Mamma Mia! -which can't be there for any reason other than getting high TV rankings for their show-), but they can't show their support for a performance almost everybody else in the rest of the world agrees is one of the finest we saw all year? Nat, you should have mentioned that snub in big, bold, bright-red colored letters, like the ones you'd use if you read from some allegedly serious news organisation that the end of times is coming.

James Colon said...

Gonna have to agree with you on FROST/NIXON. I loved it a lot more than BENJAMIN BUTTON or SLUMDOG (though that's not really saying much), but how it came to be a Best Picture lock is a mystery to me. I'm still of the mind that it will get snubbed at the last minute for WALL-E (but that's probably just mine own wishful thinking).

Michael Parsons said...

The British voters do not even bother to watch all their screeners apparently.

Howler said...

I'm still surprised how "Frost/Nixon" made it. I liked it, but I can't imagine anyone actually love it. I mean - what is there to love? And especially for British? What's more, it is lightweight, and there are so many lightweight films to choose from. Even if they didn't like their own "Happy-Go-Lucky", why not "WALL.E" and why not "Burn After Reading" - films for which they showed love in their shortlists?
It's kind of sad that they call themselves "BRITISH Academy of Film and Television Arts".
It's also kind of sad that they don't watch enough movies, even from their own country and they don't even know that there were terrific performances in their own movies (not only Fassbender, but Farrell and even Cross would be so much better instead of Patel, and everyone knows that).

Anonymous said...

NO SALLY HAWKINS? What the hell is that all about? Why hasn't that been ranted about on here? That should cause more anger than the Patel and Pinto nominations. At least the latter can be rationalized as supporting their own, but in Hawkins' case, again, WTF? It's funny you write about the grass being greener on the other side. The Oscars have a hard-on for Brits; the Brits have a hard-on for Americans. Each side is riveted by the other's craft -- the former for their regality and snob appeal, the latter for their raw emotionalism and pop cultural impact. It's kind of mind-boggling though that they liked "Changeling" more than they liked "Happy-Go-Lucky."

Not nearly enough love for "Milk" or "The Dark Knight". Big snubs for Christopher Nolan, Gus Van Sant, Sally Hawkins, Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie Dewitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Colin Farrell, Richard Jenkins, and Viola Davis. One after the other. "Mamma Mia!" in best film too over "Happy-Go-Lucky"? These nominations suck. Bad calls BAFTA.

The Jack said...

In regards to ALL these comments about these "snubs", I don't think anyone should fret for their Oscar-favorites. I very much doubt the BAFTAs will have any impact on the Oscars at all (thank God).

john said...

I just saw the most shocking thing on the BBC News, they were reporting Slumdog's 11 Bafta nominations, and they actually showed the red carpet at the National Board of Review Awards from last night, Anne Hathaway actually launched herself onto Dev Patel, hugging him and exclaiming infront of all the reporters that he's given the best performance of the year. Help! Nathaniel, even Anne's vision has been clouded. The clip should be on the net, it's one of the most disgusting things i've ever seen.

Rob said...

Ah, ya know - I love BAFTA - but even I'm really disappointed with some of these nominations.

I take BAFTA pretty seriously, it's improved over the years (I remember when it was combined with the TV awards show). They will at least make decent choices. They're just different, that's all. Not too many people I know take them seriously, except me.

I like The Reader, I liked it a lot, but Best Film and Direction over 'Milk', 'In Bruges' or 'The Dark Knight' ? I think not!

And ya know - I liked Changeling, I enjoyed it a lot and a lot of those technical nominations are deserved. But even Direction is a stretch. Original Screenplay is certainly ridiculous. It's a very weak screenplay, and to Eastwood's discredit he was fine with the first draft.

It's such a shame Sally Hawkins didn't make it in here. As for Mike Leigh he's been well rewared in the past. It was well reviewed but opened far too early in the UK. You had to expect snubs after the pitiful longlist mentions. It's not like she hasn't been well rewarded elsewhere - she has won a lot of major critics prizes and she has a Golden Globe.

I'm delighted about the Burn After Reading love. It's such a great film. And Kristin Scott Thomas - FINALLY gets a nomination! Its probably the best performance of the year - and she has a strong chance of actually winning, if we all have Winslet fatigue.

BAFTA is a strange beast - they like to nominate their own, but in a bizzare fashion, yet still like to be seen as a barometer for the Oscars and pick up oscar-bait movies that seem to be dying in buzz.

I've always thought Oscar get the nomination process right (branches) and BAFTA make better picks (in recent years at least) for the winners on the basis of the chapter or jury votes.

Oh well. I don't think we'll see any absurd acting wins this year. I'd say its Winslet in "The Reader", Penn in "Milk", Ledger in "The Dark Knight" and Cruz in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" (probably).

The only thing that could affect VCB is that the film opens 2 days before the ceremony - and that's just the London release. The nationwide release is 13 February. Maybe only Tomai can trouble her.

The Know Nothing Know It All said...

Frost/Nixon's universal inclusion could be the result of the need to have more "traditional" fare in the mix. I could give you a million reasons why "Benjamin Button" fits that particular bill, but on the surface, it is a bit "different." "Slumdog" is about brown people, so it's automatically "different." "The Dark Knight" is a comic book film. Not what they're used to. "Milk" is a pretty straightforward (albeit great) biopic, but then again...Gay. So that's a no. The Academy has to include a film like "Frost/Nixon," lest they lose they're reputation as out-of-touch, old codgers and John Wayne be forced to(as Ernest Borgnine so eloquently put it in the year of "Brokeback Moutain") "spin in his grave."

Anonymous said...

Just when you thought the ridiculous love for Slumdog Millionaire couldn't get any worse they throw this at us!!!

These are like the worst noms ever. It's actually not even funny... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Or people just like "Frost/Nixon", think it's a great film, and want to see it recognized. There's not always a big consipracy about why something's nominated or a need to explain everything about people's different preferences.

Anonymous said...

A little off-topic, since everyone kind of hit the nail on the head with these rants. Although, is it sad that I'm a little gleeful in reveling in the fanboys misery over TDK not getting nominated for Picture or Director. It's up there with Slumdog for overhyped out the ass.

I think my big thing about the Academy is the people they let in. Isn't Abigail Breslin a member of the academy or someone close to that range? I may be assuming - but I doubt some of these members have seen Milk or could bear to watch Rachel Getting Married.

Maybe make memberships that require a re-evaluation or something. Or fuck, just force them to watch all the movies. Have a quiz on the ballot...

I'm always perturbed at what actors/directors are in the Academy and how you just KNOW they probably have bad taste.

NATHANIEL R said...

well, yeah. that's obviously a problem. The Academy has a few members who aren't even old enough to watch R rated movies... so how can they be expected to vote on them let alone be mature enough to see what the films are about?

but that's jsut the tip of the iceberg.

I've long maintained that if you were forced to watch everything in a category before you ould vote (like foreign film does for the winners) the winners would be less prone to go to things that just happen to be popular at the moment and you'd definitely have more surprises.

Emma said...

"A bit of a shambles" doesn't even to cover it. I ain't happy.

Arkaan said...

I don't agree with this line-up. But I think it's absolutely hilarious. I think I'm definitely rooting for Kate to win twice just so she gets the backlash and we're reminded just how deeply Nathaniel hates this oscar season.

NATHANIEL R said...

it sounds like you're enjoying my pain Arkaan?!?

Arkaan said...

A little bit. I have to admit it's disheartening to think that wait, you actually ENJOYED Slumdog Millionaire when you first saw it (I believe your initial grade was a "B") - so essentially, a film you enjoyed is going to win best picture. Now, that's a good thing. Given that films like Gladiator, Crash, and A Beautiful Mind have won the trophy, this should be a good thing. But this mass acceptance of the film (I've read of oscar members watching the film six or seven times they love it so much) seems to be pissing off so many people that they're forgetting that simple fact (obviously, not everyone has warm feelings towards the film, and not everyone is reacting to the hype predominantly).

I mean, Challenging - a film you disliked strongly - did well at the BAFTAs. But it bugs you more that a film you enjoyed did better than it should have (which is what it boils down to). Hell, it bugs you so much you're advocating category fraud.

Now, as someone who thinks Patel did give one of the five best performances by a leading male this year (note: I haven't seen Rourke, Eastwood, Penn, Langella, Sheen, Fassbender, Brolin, del Toro or Dicaprio. I have seen Pitt and Jenkins, and I think he's better than both. For what it's worth, I have him ranked fifth, and I doubt Patel's staying in my top five for very long) and while I don't think Patel actually deserves a nomination, I think there will be far more egregious nominations come Thursday.

So yeah, much like in 2006 (Eastwood debacle/Blanchett thing), I'm getting a little bit of schadenfraude at this whole circus.

Arkaan said...

I should also state that I'm aware that one of Nathaniel's biggest pet peeves is the overrewarding of people/things by any awards show (see Emmys, than gag), and I get that's bugging him more than anything. Just in context of this year, I'm finding it all rather amusing. If I didn't I'd likely get angry.

NATHANIEL R said...

angry at whom? Me for not liking Slumdog?

the thing with grades is this. Just because I gave something a B- and then subsequently everyone decided it was a masterpiece does not mean their praise caused me to hate it.

of course being entirely off consensus can be trying -- i suffer through ;) -- but in truth the movie was a quick fade for me (just like Benjamin Button), the things i liked about it receding behind the things i didn't like about it very quickly. The things i disliked are too much.

With Slumdog I just don't like it's story (though i did like the color and energy) and i hate the determinism and ridiculous coincidences piled atop one another (this is more annoying in retrospect than during)

With Benjamin Button i just think it was kind of lazy and meandering ... which is a really wierd thing to say baout a David Fincher picture but it does have some really weird strange choices. Like making Cate Blanchett look like she's 120 when her daughter is only 40... and so on. and all the time spent with old Brad and then young Brad is over in minutes... as if the film forgot what it wanted to say about aging in reverse.

I'm not crazy about either film.

Arkaan said...

1. I do know that you're opinion of the film is as divorced from other perceptions as much as it can be (though, obviously, not entirely). But go through your posts on the subject and your reaction to the film's success seems less targeted to the film itself and more to the critics who... well, enjoyed it. You know, for many good reasons.

2. Angry at your reaction to the awards, not the film itself. If you want me to email you and explain more coherently, I will. Though I will say that seeing a film I loved getting dragged through the mud here certainly bugs me.

YH said...

Since when did the Brits not care about the BAFTA's? I thought it was always highly regarded there as the "British Academy." They've had some excellent winners over the years, and I won't hold it against them that they want to be an Oscar precursor. It's their award to do with as they please. But you guys paint it like they're your version of the People's Choice Awards. I'll still watch to find out who wins, but with all of these ridiculous snubs and mediocre inclusions this year, I doubt that I'll enjoy it much.

sphinx said...

Something about pretty looking asians gets to them. Plus it also makes the list seem 'diverse'. Don't ask me about last year but remember Ziyi Zhang was nominated two years in a row and just about every other actress out there is as good or better than her. And like a few out here, I officially have no regards for the BAFTAS for one reason alone: Viola Davis.

Glenn said...

In regards to the BAFTA eligibility, a film needs to be released before the ceremony to be eligible. Movies aren't released day-and-date overseas so they made it that way so movies that open at the start of the year are eligible.

I LOVED last year's nominations. I really did, but this years' are so disappointing. Totally agreed on the Pinto and Patel nominations plus the anger at lack of Sally Hawkins (or the movie in general). I didn't care for Hunger or Fassbender in it, but he was far more deserving than Patel.

And what's with that Eastwood director nomination?

The two categories that I think they did really well on are Best Original Screenplay and Best Animated Film.

Anonymous said...

yeah- I'm a die hard slumdog fan and even I don't think that Frieda Pinto or Dev Patel should be nominated.