Just in case you were wondering, "The Iron Lady" is a better film -- and a better directed film -- than "Shame." Obviously. "Arthur Christmas" and "War Horse" are better British films than "Weekend," "Kill List" and "Wuthering Heights." Of course. Zoe Wanamaker and Judi Dench gave nomination-worthy performances in "My Week With Marilyn." (Sure, but why not throw in Emma Watson too? They're all better than Vanessa Redgrave in "Coriolanus.")
Hey, how about those awesome visual effects in "Midnight in Paris?" Better, I'm sure you'll agree, than those half-assed efforts in "The Tree of Life" -- which, by the way, has no place in a Best Director conversation that includes such visionary auteurs as Simon Curtis.
These golden truths all come to us courtesy of the BAFTA longlists, an annual preview (or, perhaps more appropriately, warning) of the British Academy's eventual nominations, in which 15 contenders are announced in each category, from which the five nominees will be chosen. Marked with an asterisk are the top choices of the relevant voting branch ("chapter" in BAFTA lingo) in each field -- in a reversal of the Oscar system, the general membership votes on the nominees in each category, while the chapter determines the winner in all categories except Best Film, Foreign Language Film, British Film, Documentary and the acting races.