What can we glean from the Oscar nominations about this group of people?
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7. The British voting bloc doesn't always come through.
I'm as guilty as any pundit of referring to the vaguely-defined, silently lurking "British bloc" within the Academy as an estimable factor in the voting -- they're the ones, we say, who pushed such films as "Elizabeth" and "Atonement" into the Best Picture lineup after the Guilds spurned them, and a few of us thought they might do the same for "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" this morning. What we learned, however, is that the fabled Brit vote only comes through for films (and performances) that are already in the Academy's wheelhouse: despite 11 BAFTA nods, the chilly spy thriller was frozen out of the top Oscar race, while Tilda Swinton and Michael Fassbender were similarly slighted for their edgy Britpics. (As for "Harry Potter," despite year-long cries from fans that the Brits would come to its rescue, even BAFTA didn't care much.) --Guy Lodge