A note on ‘Senna’ and the Oscars

Posted by · 4:08 am · August 12th, 2011

Longtime Oscar-watchers know that the Academy’s documentary branch is a law unto itself: no amount of glowing reviews, previous awards, robust box office and/or pop-culture prominence is enough to secure a film a guaranteed nomination in the Best Documentary Feature race. Indeed, anticipating the “surprise” snub in the branch’s series of shortlists is something of an […]

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Best Picture, in black and white

Posted by · 12:06 pm · February 21st, 2011

These hit the web last week, but I was distracted with Berlin matters. There’s no sell-by date on pretty pictures, after all. And these are particularly pretty: every year, BAFTA commissions an illustrator to design brochure artwork for each of the group’s five Best Film nominees. This year’s artist, Adam Simpson, has taken a highly […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 53 — BAFTA fallout, foreign language and animated short races, Banksy in L.A.

Posted by · 8:00 am · February 18th, 2011

Welcome to Oscar Talk. In case you’re new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty […]

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Why some BAFTA winners shouldn’t get their hopes up

Posted by · 11:50 am · February 17th, 2011

A number of people asked about the BAFTA outcome in our solicitation for Oscar Talk queries this week. We’ll be discussing last weekend’s awards on the show, but I thought I’d address those questions separately here. A sample: With the BAFTA below-the-line awards not all going to The King’s Speech (even things like Art Direction […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 52 — Nominees Luncheon, Bening vs. Portman to a photo finish, WGA and Scripter awards, Melissa Leo’s personal campaign, BAFTA preview with Guy Lodge

Posted by · 9:00 am · February 11th, 2011

Welcome to Oscar Talk. In case you’re new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty […]

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‘King’s Speech’ leads BAFTA list with 14 nods

Posted by · 11:53 pm · January 17th, 2011

If you’ve been with us for a couple of years, you’ll know that the BAFTA nominations infuriate me on an annual basis. However, my therapist recently advised me that I need to heal my relationship with BAFTA through forgiveness, so I’ll lead with few the things that pleased me about this morning’s announcement. For one […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Guilds galore and season fatigue

Posted by · 7:13 pm · January 14th, 2011

• The Directors’ Guild of America presented few surprises in their award nominations, though some raised eyebrows at “True Grit”‘s omission. (Their documentary nods didn’t move the needle either.) • The American Cinema Editors’ nods matched those of the directors; the American Society of Cinematographers didn’t deviate much from the formula either. • This week’s […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Jawellnofine

Posted by · 10:10 am · January 13th, 2011

(Updated Oscar predictions here.) It’s six years this month since I left Johannesburg for the sodden streets of London, so it could just be that I’m in a commemorative mood, but the endlessly useful South African idiom “jawellnofine” (mostly redundant translation: “yes… well… no… fine”) has been on my mind rather a lot this week. It’s […]

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‘King’s Speech’ rules UK box office

Posted by · 5:27 pm · January 11th, 2011

“Tailored largely for the international audience for whom the internal politics of the Royal Family seem never to lose their mystique or fascination,” I wrote in my October review of “The King’s Speech.” I guess I have to take that back, since the film — which only opened on Friday in its home country — […]

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BAFTA announce foreign-language nomineezzzzz

Posted by · 7:22 am · January 7th, 2011

Along with my annual bewilderment as to the reasoning for BAFTA’s longlist announcement, I’ve never really got why they announce their Best Foreign Language Film nominations separately, 11 days ahead of the other categories. To me, it seems merely an additional way to marginalize an already marginalized category, but what else is new? The official […]

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‘Black Swan,’ ‘King’s Speech’ lead BAFTA longlists

Posted by · 6:38 am · January 7th, 2011

I’ve never really been sure why BAFTA bothers to announce this stage in their voting process — the 15 names in each category from which the final nominees will be plucked — unless it’s to reveal the extraordinarily narrow range of titles they’re willing to consider for awards in any one field. (Ellen Page for […]

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Why we should be watching Kristin Scott Thomas

Posted by · 5:55 pm · October 7th, 2010

Hey, did you know I’m something of a Kristin Scott Thomas fan? If you didn’t, chances are you only just met me. Welcome. The precis version is that I think she’s one of the few great contemporary actresses currently working on career-peak form, and in two languages to boot. The non-precis version — well, dig […]

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Christopher Nolan honored by BAFTA/LA

Posted by · 4:38 pm · August 5th, 2010

As if you needed reminding that this is a pretty good summer for a certain Mr. Christopher Nolan, BAFTA/LA — the Anglo-American wing of the British Academy — has handed him their annual John Schlesinger Award for artistic excellence in directing. The award will be presented at their 2010 Britannia Awards ceremony in Los Angeles […]

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BAFTA win for Rebecca Hall

Posted by · 3:21 pm · June 6th, 2010

I wouldn’t ordinarily mention the BAFTA Television Awards — generally treated as the ugly sister of February’s film awards ceremony — which were dished out in London tonight, but one win in particular strikes me as worth noting. You know by now that I’m a great admirer of Julian Jarrold’s “Red Riding: 1974,” which was […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Hurt Locker’ BAFTA sweep, minor fracas

Posted by · 6:06 pm · February 26th, 2010

• “The Hurt Locker” continued its cruise through the precursors, taking six awards at the BAFTAS. • The pile of guild awards grew as the writers, costume designers and sound editors all picked their winners. • In our ongoing Oscar Guide series, we broke down the lead actress, documentary feature, documentary short, original score and […]

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Best Picture race, illustrated

Posted by · 5:32 am · February 24th, 2010

This is a terrific idea that the Academy really ought to steal, particularly in light of this year’s dismal official Oscar poster. BAFTA commissioned Dutch Uncle Agency illustrator Tavis Coburn to create designs for each of their five Best Film nominees, for use on this year’s official BAFTA programme covers. The retro-inspired results are quite […]

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‘The Hurt Locker’ sweeps BAFTA Awards

Posted by · 11:34 am · February 21st, 2010

The writing, in case you hadn’t already read it, is on the wall. In the biggest BAFTA haul for a non-British production since “American Beauty” a decade ago, Kathryn Bigelow’s Iraq drama took six awards at the Royal Opera House, including Best Film, Director and Original Screenplay. Next up: Oscars. And plenty of ’em, I’m […]

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BAFTA predictions

Posted by · 6:35 pm · February 20th, 2010

Enjoying a curious position this year as the only televised awards ceremony between the Academy Award nominations announcement and Oscar night itself, the BAFTAs will no doubt be relishing their precursor status even more than usual. Since they made the move to precede the Oscars nine years ago, BAFTA hasn’t slavishly anticipated the bigger awards […]

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