'Avatar' leads BAFTA nods, but what does it mean for Oscar?
Brits give the love to 'An Education with 8 nods

The nominations for the Orange British Academy Film Awards in 2010 were announced this morning in London and as expected they provided some insight into the upcoming Academy Award nominations.  While not as significant a predictor as SAG, DGA or PGA Award nominations and winners, BAFTA has a significant amount of crossover with AMPAS membership and is certainly more of a true Oscar forecast than the Golden Globes.  Obviously, "Avatar," "An Education" (Britain's one true Oscar hope), "Up in the Air" had strong showings, but so did -- happily - "Precious."  Let's take a look and ponder the possibilities shall we?


BEST FILM
AVATAR James Cameron, Jon Landau
AN EDUCATION Amanda Posey, Finola Dwyer
THE HURT LOCKER Nominees TBC
PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness, Gary Magness
UP IN THE AIR Ivan Reitman, Jason Reitman, Daniel Dubiecki

Lowdown:
Surprise here is that "Basterds" didn't crack the top five.  Again, repeat the mantra: "Avatar," "Avatar," "Avatar."

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
AN EDUCATION Amanda Posey, Finola Dwyer, Lone Scherfig, Nick Hornby
FISH TANK Kees Kasander, Nick Laws, Andrea Arnold
IN THE LOOP Kevin Loader, Adam Tandy, Armando Iannucci, Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche
MOON Stuart Fenegan, Trudie Styler, Duncan Jones, Nathan Parker
NOWHERE BOY Kevin Loader, Douglas Rae, Robert Bernstein, Sam Taylor-Wood, Matt Greenhalgh

Lowdown: This is an extremely competitive category featuring five great films.  Nice to see the love for "Fish Tank," "In the Loop" and "Moon."  The Sundance press screening for "Nowhere Boy" should be packed tomorrow after this announcement.

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
LUCY BAILEY, ANDREW THOMPSON, ELIZABETH MORGAN HEMLOCK, DAVID PEARSON Directors, Producers – Mugabe and the White African
ERAN CREEVY Writer/Director – Shifty
STUART HAZELDINE Writer/Director – Exam
DUNCAN JONES Director – Moon
SAM TAYLOR-WOOD Director – Nowhere Boy

Lowdown: Got me.  Guessing Jones or Tayor-Wood.

DIRECTOR

AVATAR James Cameron
DISTRICT 9 Neill Blomkamp
AN EDUCATION Lone Scherfig
THE HURT LOCKER Kathryn Bigelow
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS Quentin Tarantino

Lowdown: Interesting that Blomkamp and Tarantino knocked out "Precious" Lee Daniels and "Air's" Reitman after those films made the Best Picture field. Still, this should be another Bigelow vs. Cameron battle.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

THE HANGOVER Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
THE HURT LOCKER Mark Boal
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS Quentin Tarantino
A SERIOUS MAN Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
UP Bob Peterson, Pete Docter

Lowdown:
"The Hangover" received a BAFTA nod.  Just repeat that to yourself. Even the Warner Bros. crew is going, "Really?"

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
DISTRICT 9 Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
AN EDUCATION Nick Hornby
IN THE LOOP Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE Geoffrey Fletcher
UP IN THE AIR Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner

Lowdown: Great that "Loop" got in here.  Hoping it can pull this one out.

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

BROKEN EMBRACES Agustín Almodóvar, Pedro Almodóvar
COCO BEFORE CHANEL Carole Scotta, Caroline Benjo, Philippe Carcassonne, Anne Fontaine
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN Carl Molinder, John Nordling, Tomas Alfredson
A PROPHET Pascale Caucheteux, Marco Chergui, Alix Raynaud, Jacques Audiard
THE WHITE RIBBON Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka, Margaret Menegoz, Michael Haneke

Lowdown: And yes, that's a strange name for the category we admit.  We'd vote for "Let the Right One In," but this is "White Ribbon" all the way.

ANIMATED FILM

CORALINE Henry Selick
FANTASTIC MR FOX Wes Anderson
UP Pete Docter

Lowdown:
If "Up" is going to get upset anywhere it's at the BAFTA's from "Fox."  Still, that would be a huge surprise.

LEADING 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

Lowdown: The Brits didn't go for Morgan Freeman in "Invictus," but this is another Bridges vs. Clooney battle.  We say Bridges.

LEADING ACTRESS

CAREY MULLIGAN An Education
SAOIRSE RONAN The Lovely Bones
GABOUREY SIDIBE Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
MERYL STREEP Julie & Julia
AUDREY TAUTOU Coco Before Chanel

Lowdown: Nice to see Tautou get some love for her under appreciated performance in "Coco." Mulligan could certainly defeat Streep here and get her moment in the sun.    And no, the fact Bullock isn't recognized here means absolutely nothing about her Oscar chances.

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

Lowdown: Baldwin?  Egad.  OK, BAFTA.  Won't matter much, this is Waltz all the way.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
ANNE-MARIE DUFF Nowhere Boy
VERA FARMIGA Up in the Air
ANNA KENDRICK Up in the Air
MO’NIQUE Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS Nowhere Boy

Lowdown:
Mo'Nique should win this one, but don't be surprised if one of the "Nowhere Boy" ladies surprise.

MUSIC
AVATAR James Horner
CRAZY HEART T-Bone Burnett, Stephen Bruton
FANTASTIC MR FOX Alexandre Desplat
SEX & DRUGS & ROCK & ROLL Chaz Jankel
UP Michael Giacchino

Lowdown:
Giacchino or Desplat.  Book it.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

AVATAR Mauro Fiore
DISTRICT 9 Trent Opaloch
THE HURT LOCKER Barry Ackroyd
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS Robert Richardson
THE ROAD Javier Aguirresarobe

Lowdown: Thank you BAFTA for not nominating the overrated work in "White Ribbon!  Someone has some sanity.  This one is def a toss up though.

EDITING
AVATAR Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua, James Cameron
DISTRICT 9 Julian Clarke
THE HURT LOCKER Bob Murawski, Chris Innis
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS Sally Menke
UP IN THE AIR Dana E. Glauberman

Lowdown:
"Avatar," "Locker" or "Basteds." Pick 'em.

PRODUCTION DESIGN
AVATAR Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg, Kim Sinclair
DISTRICT 9 Philip Ivey, Guy Poltgieter
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan
THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS Nominees TBC
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS David Wasco, Sandy Reynolds Wasco

Lowdown: We say "Avatar" or "District 9."  These early wins could def influence Oscar.  Ones to watch.

COSTUME DESIGN
BRIGHT STAR Janet Patterson
COCO BEFORE CHANEL Catherine Leterrier
AN EDUCATION Odile Dicks-Mireaux
A SINGLE MAN Arianne Phillips
THE YOUNG VICTORIA Sandy Powell

Lowdown:
Patterson for "Bright Star."  Even the Brits know Powell's work in "Young Victoria" was pretty by the book.

SOUND
AVATAR Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson, Tony Johnson, Addison Teague
DISTRICT 9 Nominees TBC
THE HURT LOCKER Ray Beckett, Paul N. J. Ottosson, Craig Stauffer
STAR TREK Peter J. Devlin, Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer, Mark Stoeckinger, Ben Burtt
UP Tom Myers, Michael Silvers, Michael Semanick

Lowdown:
Uh, "Avatar."

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
AVATAR Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham, Andrew R. Jones
DISTRICT 9 Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros, Matt Aitken
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE John Richardson, Tim Burke, Tim Alexander, Nicolas Aithadi
THE HURT LOCKER Richard Stutsman
STAR TREK Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh, Burt Dalton

Lowdown:
Uh, "Avatar."

MAKE UP & HAIR

COCO BEFORE CHANEL Thi Thanh Tu Nguyen, Jane Milon
AN EDUCATION Lizzie Yianni Georgiou
THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS Sarah Monzani
NINE Peter ‘Swords’ King
THE YOUNG VICTORIA Jenny Shircore

Lowdown: Has to be "Nine" for covering up all those years of plastic surgery on those ladies right?  No, we kid (sorta).  Most likely "Parnassus" here.

SHORT ANIMATION
THE GRUFFALO Michael Rose, Martin Pope, Jakob Schuh, Max Lang
THE HAPPY DUCKLING Gili Dolev
MOTHER OF MANY Sally Arthur, Emma Lazenby

Lowdown: Got me, but "Happy Ducking" sounds cute.

SHORT FILM

14 Asitha Ameresekere
I DO AIR James Bolton, Martina Amati
JADE Samm Haillay, Daniel Elliott
MIXTAPE Luti Fagbenle, Luke Snellin
OFF SEASON Jacob Jaffke, Jonathan van Tulleken

Lowdown: No clue, but do you care?  Does anyone besides their parents care?

THE ORANGE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)
JESSE EISENBERG
NICHOLAS HOULT
CAREY MULLIGAN
TAHAR RAHIM
KRISTEN STEWART

Lowdown: We want Kristen to win just for the screams from the audience. That would rock. Needless to say, only Rahim is a true "rising star" here.  The rest are all pretty established.

The BAFTA's are awarded on Feb. 21 and should cause some excitement before Oscar a few weeks later. My lord, we may be inclined to stay up and even live blog them.  Maybe.