‘Education,’ ‘Hurt,’ ‘Avatar’ lead BAFTA nominations

Posted by · 12:00 am · January 21st, 2010

Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard in An EducationFor once, my predictions weren’t too shoddy … though the field-beating haul I anticipated for “An Education” didn’t quite pan out. Instead, Lone Scherfig’s film ties for the lead with Oscar frontrunners “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker,” all three films securing eight nominations.

“An Education” still looks like the one to beat here, though it’s not quite as strong as I might have thought. (I’m especially disappointed that Rosamund Pike fails to show up, despite being one of the BAFTA acting branch’s top five picks.)

However, the especially robust showing for “The Hurt Locker” (I didn’t see that FX nod coming) suggests it could give the British pic trouble. Both films, meanwhile, scored directing bids, marking the first time BAFTA has nominated two female helmers in the category.

Of course, “Avatar” also poses a threat, though when it comes to the win, it doesn’t strike me as BAFTA’s cup of tea. It’s worth bearing in mind that Cameron’s last awards behemoth, “Titanic” went 0-for-10 at the 1997 ceremony. (Before you ask, it lost Best Visual Effects to “The Fifth Element.”)

More discussion, and a full list of nominations, after the cut.

The surprise here is the omission of “Inglourious Basterds” from the top category, despite nods in six categories, including Best Director. The film that presumably nudged it out is “Precious,” which registered more strongly with the British voters than I thought it might. Both “Precious” and “Up in the Air” made it into the top race without accompanying nods for their helmers.

“District 9,” meanwhile, copped a directing nod for debut helmer Neill Blomkamp, amid seven nominations overall: it looks like competition for those final two Best Film slots was heated. In any event, this healthy haul provides the film with added ammunition to go one better on Oscar nomination morning.

Other surprises (to me at least) include a pair of Best Actress nominees. Audrey Tautou’s vehicle was clearly well-liked, to judge from its three other nods, but while Saoirse Ronan was one of the acting branch’s top selections, I figured the terrible buzz on “The Lovely Bones” would torpedo her chances. Evidently, however, voters really saw something in the Irish teenager’s performance that I don’t.

Meanwhile, two Brits who have scored in a number of the U.S. precursors, Helen Mirren and Emily Blunt, were frozen out here. (Justly so, in my opinion.) That fifth Best Actress slot at the Oscars is really looking like anyone’s for the taking. (Before the Sandra Bullock haters rejoice, she wasn’t eligible here.)

Some will be surprised by Andy Serkis’s appearance in the Best Actor category, but I anticipated that: “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll” is on UK cinema screens right now, and critical acclaim for his portrayal of rock legend Ian Dury has been off the charts. The film is, however, one of the few British independents to muscle into the main categories, continuing a downward trend I discussed yesterday.

In fact, the situation was even bleaker than I had anticipated: “Moon” failed to convert any of its 10 longlist mentions into a nomination, while “Fish Tank” was similarly blanked. (It’s a bitter pill to swallow when “The Hangover” beat both films to an Original Screenplay nod.)

Both films, at least, show up (and are probably the ones to beat) in the Best British Film category, which is more than poor “Bright Star” managed: despite 10 longlist bids, five of them among the top five chapter picks in their category, Jane Campion’s beleaguered masterpiece received a solitary nomination for Best Costume Design.

And on it goes. The BAFTA Awards will take place in London’s Royal Opera House on February 21.

Best Film
“An Education”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Up in the Air”

Best British Film
“An Education”
“Fish Tank”
“In the Loop”
“Nowhere Boy”

Best Director
James Cameron, “Avatar”
Neill Blomkamp, “District 9”
Lone Scherfig, “An Education”
Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”
Quentin Tarantino, “Inglourious Basterds”

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney, “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth, “A Single Man”
Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker”
Andy Serkis, “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll”

Best Actress
Carey Mulligan, “An Education”
Saoirse Ronan, “The Lovely Bones”
Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”
Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia”
Audrey Tautou, “Coco Before Chanel”

Best Supporting Actor
Alec Baldwin, “It’s Complicated”
Christian McKay, “Me and Orson Welles”
Alfred Molina, “An Education”
Stanley Tucci, “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”

Best Supporting Actress
Anne-Marie Duff, “Nowhere Boy”
Vera Farmiga, “Up in the Air”
Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique, “Precious”
Kristin Scott Thomas, “Nowhere Boy”

Best Original Screenplay
“The Hangover”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“A Serious Man”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“District 9”
“An Education”
“In the Loop”
“Up in the Air”

Best Foreign Language Film (previously announced)
“Broken Embraces”
“Coco Before Chanel”
“Let the Right One In”
“A Prophet”
“The White Ribbon”

Best Animated Film
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”

Best Cinematography
“District 9”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“The Road”

Best Production Design
“District 9”
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
“Inglourious Basterds”

Best Costume Design
“Bright Star”
“Coco Before Chanel”
“An Education”
“A Single Man”
“The Young Victoria”

Best Film Editing
“District 9”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Up in the Air”

Best Makeup & Hair
“Coco Before Chanel”
“An Education”
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
“The Young Victoria”

Best Music
“Crazy Heart”
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll”

Best Sound
“District 9”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Star Trek”

Best Special Visual Effects
“District 9”
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Star Trek”

Best Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
Stuart Hazeldine (writer/director), “Exam”
Duncan Jones (director), “Moon”
Lucy Bailey, Andrew Thompson, Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock and David Pearson (directors and producers), “Mugabe and the White African”
Sam Taylor-Wood (director), “Nowhere Boy”
Eran Creevy (writer/director), “Shifty”

Rising Star Award (previously announced)
Jesse Eisenberg
Nicholas Hoult
Carey Mulligan
Tahar Rahim
Kristen Stewart

Best Short Film
“I Do Air”
“Off Season”

Best Animated Short
“The Gruffalo”
“The Happy Duckling”
“Mother of Many”

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75 responses so far

  • 1 1-21-2010 at 8:38 am

    Jim T said...

    Me, I guess their answer will be: If the HFPA members give you an explanation, read it as our own. :p

  • 2 1-21-2010 at 8:39 am

    Cameron said...

    Yay for Saoirse Ronan! She gave my favorite performance of the year (after Christoph Waltz) and should have been nominated by many others as well.
    Pity The Lovely Bones didn’t get the Cinematography nod as well.

  • 3 1-21-2010 at 8:40 am

    voland said...

    Exactly. The Tautou bashing has to stop, her performance was very very good and she deserves every recognition she gets.

  • 4 1-21-2010 at 8:55 am

    Me. said...

    I agree with voland. Tautou was great as Coco Chanel and deserves the nom. But so does Abbie Cornish. And now that we are at it, so does Cruz for Broken Embraces. They were all soo much better and portrayed deeper layers of depth than Mulligan`s performance, which was good but nothing great.

  • 5 1-21-2010 at 8:56 am

    Me. said...

    At least they didnt nominate Bullock.

  • 6 1-21-2010 at 9:22 am

    Justin said...

    Really happy for Precious. Don’t know why everybody on here is so against that movie.

  • 7 1-21-2010 at 9:31 am

    Suzanne said...

    The Bright Star shut-out still kills me every time a new nomination list is announced.

  • 8 1-21-2010 at 9:32 am

    tintin said...

    Very happy to see Saoirse Ronan and Harry potter 6.

  • 9 1-21-2010 at 10:00 am

    Morgan said...

    “They must be mixing pot with amphetamines and crack for thinking that the horrendous photography of District 9 was better than that of Bright Star.”

    Ummm… I think the “horrendous” photography was the point, and I’m pleased to see Trent Opaloch honored for his creativity.

  • 10 1-21-2010 at 10:04 am

    RJNeb2 said...

    OF COURSE Carey Mulligan will nab Best Actress over La Streep. The BAFTAs almost always go for homegrown.

    Delighted for the double shout-out for Anne-Marie Duff and Kristin Scott Thomas though.

  • 11 1-21-2010 at 10:11 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    @Me: As I write in the article, Bullock wasn’t eligible, since “The Blind Side” doesn’t open in the UK in time to qualify for BAFTA. So her omission here means nothing.

  • 12 1-21-2010 at 10:18 am

    Rob said...

    “What wrong with Scherfig’s inclusion? That ensemble didn’t direct itself, you know.”

    Would you say, by the same logic, that Lee Daniels deserves a nomination, Guy?

  • 13 1-21-2010 at 10:30 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    If I liked the construction of his film at all, I would consider him, yes.

    I’m not saying Scherfig would have a spot on my personal ballot. (Nor would the film.) But I do think she did an intelligent job, so I don’t have a problem with her inclusion. I’d nominate her over Cameron in a heartbeat.

  • 14 1-21-2010 at 1:04 pm

    Me. said...

    Yeah, talk about “District 9” having creative photography… it was the same style of something like “The Blair Witch Project”. Nothing new, nothing special. Just bleh.

    I suggest sending a letter to AMPAS so that they nominate Bright Star and Abbie Cornish with every Bright Star fan signing it.

  • 15 1-21-2010 at 1:33 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Is it really not at all conceivable to you guys that they just didn’t think “Inlgourious Basterds” was one of the five best pictures of the year?

    Why does Tarantino always make people so delusional?

  • 16 1-21-2010 at 1:36 pm

    Ed said...

    I weep for Cornish too…

    Please Carey win SOMETHING for your highly under-rated performance!

  • 17 1-21-2010 at 1:43 pm

    Andrew said...

    Suzanne this shut out is the hardest to take as Bright Star made the chapter top 5 in 5 categories and the longlist in 10. The nominations usually follow the chapter selections, but not for Bright Star

  • 18 1-21-2010 at 3:24 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    “I love Hurt Locker but visual effects? Guess I must have missed them. ”

    That’s exactly why they’re better than 2012 and Transformers red_wine.

  • 19 1-21-2010 at 3:57 pm

    M said...

    Congrats to Saoirse, and District 9. I liked District 9 so nice to see it getting recognition.

  • 20 1-21-2010 at 6:15 pm

    Frank Lee said...

    Isn’t it time to take Julianne Moore’s name off the prediction lists? I adore her, and I loved he in “A Single Man,” but what is there to suggest she is likely to be nominated for an Oscar? SAG nomination? Nope. Bafta nomination? Nope.

  • 21 1-21-2010 at 7:02 pm

    Kevin said...

    Frank, for what it’s worth, Julianne did manage a Golden Globe nomination and is likely widely respected in the industry (although, that SAG oversight might just contradict that?) Neevrtheless, common knowledge is that the film features a very potent acting showcase between her and Firth that might be sufficient to grab the Academy’s notice.

    Brevity is not always a liability – remember Dench’s Oscar-winning performance in Shakespeare in Love?

  • 22 1-21-2010 at 7:18 pm

    tim said...

    Frank Lee — There are only three locks for best supporting actress. But this is BAFTA, and Anne-Marie Duff and Kristin Scott Thomas aren’t coming near an Oscar nom. And as we near nomination morning, neither are any of the Nine girls (I especially think Cruz and Cotillard will cancel eachother out). Moore managed a ton of other precursor nods and is deeply beloved in the Academy, making her nomination likely if not certain. My guesses for supporting actress…

    Mo’Nique (your winner)
    Anna Kendrick
    Vera Farmiga
    Julianne Moore
    Diane Kruger

  • 23 1-21-2010 at 8:05 pm

    Kevin said...

    That line-up definitely looks viable Tim, although I’m counting on the other Basterd Melanie Laurent to snag Kruger’s spot – I just can’t help thinking voters would rather vote for her instead.

  • 24 1-22-2010 at 11:49 am

    Annewbie2002 said...

    A BIG “HOO-YAH” for Saoirse Ronan! Just loving the love here—though I am disappointed that Abbie Cornish was snubbed once again…And who says a film has to get raves for a performer’s work to be recognized? Remember Cate Blanchette in “Elizabeth:The Golden Age”? Critics weren’t exactly crazy about that film either, but Blanchett managed to snag an Oscar nod. Huge kudos to Saoirse. Her performance,IMO, was incredible. Sorry you *missed* it Guy!

  • 25 1-22-2010 at 1:57 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    So am I, Annewbie, so am I.