As usual, BAFTA delivered a few surprises this morning. While nothing in their nominee list is as far off the Oscar radar as, say, "Drive"'s hefty haul last year, they've muddled up the hierarchy a little among the leading awards players, as two of the three leading nominees found their directors frozen out -- and not even in favor of certain underperforming British hopefuls, as might have been expected.
"Lincoln" led this morning's BAFTA nominations with 10 mentions, followed closely by "Life of Pi" and ""Les Misérables" with nine each -- but in something of twist, only one of those field-leading Best Film nominees managed an accompanying Best Director nomination, as Steven Spielberg and Tom Hooper, both nominated yesterday by the DGA, were frozen out by the British Academy. Less compromised success was enjoyed by "Argo," with seven nominations -- indeed, BAFTA took such a shine to Ben Affleck's film that they became the first group to nominate him for Best Actor too.
"Skyfall," the highest-grossing film in UK box-office history managed eight nominations, including ones for Judi Dench and Javier Bardem -- but Best Film, perhaps surprisingly, was not among them. Meanwhile, the year's other home-grown box office sensation, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," earned a solitary nomination in the Best British Film category, with even BAFTA darling Maggie Smith left on the sidelines. Ouch. Full list of nominees after the jump.
When the Academy announced it was shifting its nomination date forward, nowhere else was the 'Simon says' effect more blatantly evident than in BAFTA's decision to move theirs up a week or so -- squeezing in just one day before the Oscar nominations call time on the first stage of the season.
Since 2000, when the British Academy rearranged their calendar to precede their American counterpart, the BAFTAs have prided themselves on their status as the last major precursor before the Oscars -- one that has, on several occasions, foretold late-breaking shifts in momentum.
It's been one of the most competitive Oscar seasons in recent history, and that competition has also spread to the Best Director category. Five lucky helmers made it through with the Directors Guild today, but left off the list were talented craftsmen like Quentin Tarantino ("Django Unchained"), Paul Thomas Anderson ("The Master"), Wes Anderson ("Moonrise Kingdom") and Michael Haneke ("Amour"), as well as shepherds of awards season successes such as David O. Russell ("Silver Linings Playbook"), Benh Zeitlin ("Beasts of the Southern Wild") and Sam Mendes ("Skyfall"). A very good year indeed.
All of this morning's nominees have released statements reacting to their good fortune today. The work ranges from CIA thrillers to journo-cinema, Presidential epics to bombastic musicals, and a little 3D razzle dazzle thrown in for good measure. Read what they all had to say below.
The 65th annual DGA Awards will be held in Hollywood on February 2, 2013.
Back and forth between "Argo" and "Zero Dark Thirty" as the former has claimed another Best Picture prize, this time from the Denver Film Critics Society. Ben Affleck also took Best Director, while the acting categories followed the template: Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Anne Hathaway. Check out the full list of winners below and keep track of it all via The Circuit.
With 10 nominations to date, Steven Spielberg came into today's Directors Guild of America (DGA) announcement as the most honored director in the guild's history. Well, make it 11, as the "Lincoln" director predictably made it one more with a notice for his $144 million-grossing (and climbing) epic.
So here we go. After several months of previewing the contenders, it’s time to predict the nominees for the 85th Annual Academy Awards in the crafts categories.
Today, I'll analyze Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Production Design and Best Visual Effects. Tomorrow, I'll turn to Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
Let's dig in...
No surprise here: "Zero Dark Thirty," which led the nominations for the Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards last month, cleaned up when it came to winners. With eight awards, it won almost every category in which it was cited, with Kathryn Bigelow taking prizes for both Best Director and, obviously enough, Best Woman Director. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" took a trio of prizes while, among the groups quirkier categories, the Adam Sandler vehicle "That's My Boy" won the Hall of Shame award for misogynistic content. Full list of winners below, with everything else at The Circuit.
UPDATE (1/9 - 3:18am ET): Poor Matthew McConaughey looks so lonely over there now that there isn't a prediction to go along with the photo. Alas, the BAFTA nominations tonight have steered me this way and that. Of course "Skyfall" was going to go over big there, but that along with the SAG nod for Javier Bardem give me enough to go ahead and spring for him instead. Sorry, Matty.
I do, however, think BAFTA may have gone for "Django Unchained" more than the Academy did, but we'll see if that's true. Nevertheless, I've gone ahead and added "Django" to my Best Picture predictions (it was already at #10), bringing it to a full set of 10. Screw it. I've been thinking there's enough passion to go around to afford as much, but, well, we'll see. A few other tweaks and whatnot throughout. All this will be more set in stone when our final predictions gallery goes up Wednesday morning. Look for that for the final word.
EARLIER: So, these are pretty much finalized. I don't know that the DGA will add or subtract much, regardless of their choices. It's a funky season.
First question sure to come: Why "The Intouchables?" When you're the first screener out of the gate, you're seen early and, sometimes, often. And the film has stuck with a lot of members. While others like "Django Unchained" and "The Impossible" and even, though I'm still sticking with it, "Amour," are just hoping to be seen in the home stretch, films like "Skyfall" and "Flight" and, indeed, "The Intouchables" have built up some fans along with frontrunners like "Argo" and "Lincoln." That will either translate or it won't, but I don't mind stepping out onto a few limbs this year. It's a funky season.
That fifth slot in Best Supporting Actor? Yeah, it might just go to Javier Bardem, who managed the SAG nomination for a film that has the British voting block behind it (as does "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel") and is well-liked. It could go to one of the "Django Unchained" hopefuls, though they seem in danger of canceling each other out. So why not go on a wing and a prayer with Matthew McConaughey in "Magic Mike?" He picked up some key critics awards at the right time, just after hitting the press trail, rail thin, showing physical dedication to his next film. And he's likable. Sure, I'll make that bet. It's a funky season.
Every year there are discrepancies between guild/industry nominations and their Academy counterparts. And the Cinema Audio Society is no exception. Just last year, "Hanna," "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and "Super 8" all yielded to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "War Horse" with the Academy. And only twice in the Society's history have their nods and the sound branch's nominees for Best Sound Mixing (or Best Sound, as the category used to be called) matched up.
This year? Well, this year, who knows? It's a strange season in that a number of people have missed a number of movies. So something like "Django Unchained" misses here. Then again, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" did find a place. The two perceived frontrunners in the category, "Les Misérables" and "Skyfall," are there, but missing are summer blockbusters like "The Avengers" (which seemed all systems go for Oscar), "The Dark Knight Rises" (no surprise given the criticisms) and "Prometheus" (which boasts a heck of a track).