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Bright and early tomorrow morning -- or just as you're about to go to bed, depending on where you are -- the British Academy of Film & Television Arts will announce their annual film nominations. And predicting those has got slightly less easy in the last two years, since BAFTA brass revised their voting system and ditched those telltale pre-nomination longlists.
The home favorite could, however, be crowded out by a gaggle of more quintessentially American contenders that may seem likelier Oscar plays than BAFTA favorites -- but never underestimate the voters' allegiance to Oscar buzz. ("The Help," for example, made little impact commercially or critically in the UK, yet there it was on nomination morning.) From that group, "American Hustle" would appear to be the biggest threat -- though BAFTA voters largely resisted Russell's last two Oscar-favored efforts. "The Fighter" and "Silver Linings Playbook" were nominated only for acting and writing, though Russell surprised with a Best Adapted Screenplay win last year. "Hustle"'s buzz should be loud enough this year to get one of his films into the top races for the first time.
Like Russell, Alexander Payne is less favored by BAFTA than he is by Oscar: "Sideways" scored a solitary writing nod in 2004 (though, again, he won), while "The Descendants" cracked a Best Film nod, but missed for Best Director. Something tells me "Nebraska" hasn't registered enough in the UK to snag more than acting and writing recognition, but it could be a spoiler. And the position of "The Wolf of Wall Street" is hard to read. The film hasn't been extensively screened, while the critical debate over the film that is currently raging in the US has yet to make its way over here -- that may be a plus or a minus. "Hugo" scored a fat pile of BAFTA nods, including Best Director for Scorsese, but missed out in the top category; I wonder if "Wolf," albeit with less below-the-line padding, might follow a similar path.
Anyway, my BAFTA nomination predictions in all categories are on the next page. Who do you think/hope will show up tomorrow? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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