Awards season is now in full swing, and today’s BAFTA nominations reveal the latest crop of movies to compete for golden statuettes as we move closer to the Oscars.
The most nominated German war movie today was All Quiet on the Western Front, beating all estimates for 14 nominations. We’ll learn more about this unexpected success of the Netflix war drama later.
Just behind in terms of nomination success were the versatile adventure Everything Everywhere All at Once and the black comedy The Banshees of Inisherin, which each managed 10 nominations. Baz Luhrmann’s colorful biography, Elvis, received nine endorsements.
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So what were the scorn and surprises from the Bafta nominations? While some films have seen an increase in awards season stocks, others have taken a serious hit ahead of their Oscar nominations next week.
Let’s get to the big wins…
SURPRISE: All Quiet continues to dominate on the Western Front
The 1929 war novel Everything Is Quiet on the Western Front was written by German author Erich Maria Remarque and became the first film to win Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars a year later. Almost a century later, German director Edward Berger has brought the material back to its roots with a new adaptation for Netflix.
At today’s Bafta announcement, the film became the most awarded film with 14 nominations – equaling the foreign language film record set by Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon two decades ago. The movie was well received by critics, but no one saw it happen.
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It garnered Best Picture and Best Director nominations, as well as supporting actor nominations for Albrecht Schuch and recognition for the screenplay penned by Berger, Ian Stokell and Lesley Paterson. He will now be a major presence in Bafta, even if he turns most or any of his nominations into wins.
SNUB: Spielberg and Fabelmans are missing out
Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical drama The Fabelmans is one of the leading figures of the Best Picture Oscar. However, it floundered at Bafta, with only one nomination for the original screenplay written by Spielberg and regular collaborator Tony Kushner. Spielberg missed out on the Best Director award, and the movie wasn’t in the Best Picture, with some pretty keen acting contenders including the lead role Gabriel LaBelle, who played the Spielberg cast, and Michelle Williams as her mother, underestimated.
Read more: Fabelmans won big at the Golden Globes
Despite today’s disappointment, The Fabelmans is the kind of movie that got the Academy teary-eyed. If this kind of general disdain happens again at the Oscars, it will be considered a huge shock.
SURPRISE: Leo Grande confirmed for acting
Good Luck to you, Leo Grande is in many ways the epitome of a Bafta movie. A British comedy-drama starring a native stalwart and a thrilling rising talent. Indeed, in addition to the EE Rising Star award for playing Daryl McCormack’s named sex worker in the film, he also surprisingly received Best Actor endorsement. Co-star Emma Thompson, who plays the repressed teacher who hires Leo, is shortlisted for Best Actress.
The film was also nominated for Best British Feature and was nominated for Best First Feature by a first-time screenwriter, Katy Brand, a British Writer, Director or Producer. It’s a great distance for a hilarious movie, but don’t expect it to sweep the Oscars behind it.
SNUB: Tom Cruise and Top Gun are abducting
With Top Gun: Maverick, set as the second-highest-grossing film of 2022 – eventually lauded by the blue public – it was expected to exist in some form during awards season. The film managed to get four nominations in the technical categories at the BAFTA, but nothing for Tom Cruise for Best Actor or Joseph Kosinski for Best Director. It also missed the Best Picture award.
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Cruise missed out on a Best Actor nomination from just about every band—the Critics’ Choice Awards being a notable exception—and it seems unlikely that he’d be shortlisted for the Oscars. The fifth slot is very tempting, but Cruise faces a fierce battle to take it down.
SURPRISE: Baftas loud for The Quiet Girl
On an absolutely fantastic day for Irish movies and talent – in a huge success story with The Banshees of Inisher – Silent Girl was one of the real beneficiaries. Set in the ’80s, Colm Bairéad’s critically acclaimed drama in May last year follows an introverted nine-year-old girl who spends the summer on a farm.
Bairéad’s screenplay earned a shocking nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, and the Welsh-language film was also recognized for Best Non-English Language Film.
SNUB: No Hsu in EEAAO wave
Overall it was a very good day for Everything Everywhere All at Once, which garnered major nominations for Best Picture, Director and Original Screenplay out of 10 nominations. Michelle Yeoh made it into a crowded Best Actress field, and Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, while Jamie Lee Curtis received a Supporting Actress nomination.
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Curtis was pushed through awards season, but it’s a shame that Stephanie Hsu didn’t get the same recognition. The young star’s performance as Yeoh’s daughter is probably the emotional centerpiece of the entire movie. Hsu and Curtis were both nominated by the Screen Actors Guild, so given their obvious love for the film, it’s surprising that this hasn’t been replicated by the Baftalar.
SURPRISE: Michael Ward gets his Bafta crush
Empire of Light diverged somewhat from its awards season narrative after moderate criticism of Sam Mendes’ 1980s drama about a movie theater staff at Margate. The film won Best British Feature at BAFTA, while Micheal Ward, who won the EE Rising Star Award in 2019, won Best Supporting Actor.
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Ward is definitely one of the best things about this rather erratic movie, and it’s always nice to see the Baftas show some love to their best British talent instead of just going with the awards season flow.
SNUB: Aftersun misses Best Picture
Aftersun had a good day in their BAFTA nominations, but it probably should have been a great day. Charlotte Wells’ emotionally devastating debut feature secured a string of nominations in categories reserved for British films, and also received a well-deserved Best Actor award for Paul Mescal, who plays a father who takes his daughter on a rare vacation abroad.
But the movie missed out for Best Picture, Best Director and screenplay. Any sign that he’s a shocking Oscar black horse will likely vanish if he doesn’t garner nominations on his court. Don’t be surprised if Mescal grabs the fifth Best Actor slot, though. He’s a voice-over worth supporting.
SNUB: Nothing for RRR or Talking Women
The Indian epic RRR gained real momentum during the awards season, especially in the Best Original Song category. The lack of this category in the BAFTAs hit RRR hard, with SS Rajamouli’s flamboyant action movie being cut from the nominations altogether. That’s a real loser for his luck outside that song category, doubled by the fact that India didn’t submit it to the Oscar for Best International Feature Film.
Read more: How did the RRR become a global phenomenon?
Also completely excluded was Women Talking, the story of Sarah Polley’s group of Mennonite women who uncover a history of rape in their community and must discuss how to react. The film was voted a Best Adapted Screenplay contender for the Oscars and provided potential for acting awards, but received absolutely nothing from the BAFTA voters.
Watch: Talking Women Trailer