Last year’s expansion of the outstanding British film Bafta from six to 10 nominees can be considered a success. Any concerns that there would not be a sufficient number of serious candidates to fill the award proved irrelevant, and few would turn down a nomination to any of the titles that emerged from the award. complicated two-step appointment process.
For this endlessly intriguing category, the first five titles of the first round – voted by the great British opt-in chapter – are automatically nominated. Last year these are presumed to be The father, Promising young woman, Mauritanian, Rocks then Holy maud Where Excavation. Then a jury selects five more titles – from those films that land at places 6-20 in the UK Chapter’s votes. Last year the additions to the jury were likely to have been His home, Mughal Mowgli, Limbo, Quiet with the horses then Holy maud Where Excavation.
While some titles were clearly in the top five voters’ favorites and others were blatantly jury additions, overall the 10 nominated films seemed a pretty cohesive package, all offering independent sensibilities and a budget that wasn’t too contrasted. – at least compared to some recent years. when the list of six nominees appeared particularly unbalanced.
This time around, the 10 nominees for Outstanding British Films could offer greater contrasts in terms of scope and scale – especially if Cary Joji Fukunaga’s film No time to die made the list. Casino Royale was nominated in this category in 2007, and Fall from the sky won in 2013 – back when there were only five nominees and a totally different nomination process.
Corn No time to die isn’t the only big studio film in contention: so too is Ridley Scott’s Gucci House, which Bafta called British – the essential test being that the films must have a meaningful creative implication on the part of people who are British or reside in the UK. The $ 75 million budget film from Bron Studios, Scott Free Productions, MGM, and Universal Pictures would certainly throw a glamorous firecracker into the mix. If nominated, Joe Wright’s Cyrano – based on the musical of the same name transferred to Broadway – would add a dazzling glare as well.
Less generously budgeted but amply accredited is that of Kenneth Branagh Belfast, with a cast including Jamie Dornan, Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench and Ciaran Hinds. Considered a favorite in several categories for Bafta and Oscar, it would be a shock if he wasn’t nominated for this particular award. Bafta voters are also likely to rally The Duke, Roger Michell’s latest feature film, starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren.
Likewise, that of Pablo Larrain Spencer, along with Kristen Stewart, is likely to feature in more than one category, and he has been dubbed as British. The same goes for Rebecca Hall Who passed – set and filmed in New York – another film likely to feature high in this year’s awards.
What then of the work of Edgar Wright Last night in Soho, one of the most ambitious and generously budgeted films this year? by Wright Shaun of the Dead was nominated for Best British Film in 2005, while Baby Driver won Bafta nominations for Editing (which it won) and Sound in 2018. Disney-distributed from Locksmith Animation Ron was wrong is another film with a commercial ambition that’s in the mix – although the best animated film category seems the most likely route to a nomination. Disney also qualified Cruel as a UK film – the source material and setting is definitely that, but somehow this film backed by Hollywood studios of producers Marc Platt, Andrew Gunn and Kristin Burr, directed by Craig Gillespie, hailing from Sydney, not quite what we imagine when considering this particular category of Bafta.
Five titles likely to be added by the jury, provided they are in the top 20 in the first round, have all been strong performers in this year’s British Independent Film Awards (Bifas) nominations: Aleem Khan’s After Love starring Joanna Scanlan as a woman uncovering secrets about her recently deceased husband; Joanna Hogg’s Autobiography Remembrance: Part II; that of Sean Durkin The nest, with Jude Law and Carrie Coon; that of Philippe Barantini Boiling point, shot in one continuous take and starring Stephen Graham negotiating a rough night at his busy restaurant; and the romantic drama of Bradford by Clio Barnard Ali and Ava, with Adeel Akhtar and Claire Rushbrook.
Hogg’s original Memory, that’s right, landed a bunch of nominations at Bifa and then was completely shut out at Bafta, but that was around the time when the Outstanding British Films category had only six nominees. With its extension to 10, second part now has a better chance of being included.
by Marley Morrison Sweetheart, who won the Bifa for Groundbreaking Producer (Michelle Antoniades) and Groundbreaking Performance (Nell Barlow) has his best chance in Bafta’s Outstanding British First Prize, where he will face competition from After Love, Who passed, Prano Bailey-Bond’s Censor, Aml Ameen’s The day after Christmas, Reggie Yates’ pirates, Aneil Karia’s Rise and more. Barantini’s first feature film Scoundrel received a theatrical release in 10 theaters in February 2020, so Boiling point will not count as his debut.
Eva Husson is excellent Mothers Day, scripted by Alice Birch, produced by Number 9 Films and with a cast including Odessa Young, Josh O’Connor, Colin Firth and Olivia Colman, was excluded from Bifa nominations – possibly because Graham Swift’s adaptation in 1924 was felt by those voters to be more suitable for the Baftas. By extension, the film now has its chance to shine, although the category is already shaping up to be very competitive.
Terence davies Blessing won Bifa nominations (for screenplay and costume design), and a sympathetic jury might just add it up for this award – though the film is most admired for Jack Lowden’s performance as the premiere poet. World War Siegfried Sassoon. Likewise, that of Harry Wootliff Real things was nominated at the Bifa for actress Ruth Wilson, and it’s quite possible that Bafta’s jury will be pulled in her direction. Wootliff was nominated for her exceptional debut in 2020 for her feature film Only you.
Also nominated for an exceptional debut – and in fact the winner of this category in 2019 – was The beast, written and directed by Michael Pearce. The filmmaker returns with the American set Meet, with Riz Ahmed as a former sailor who takes his young sons from his ex-partner’s house to save them from an alien invasion of parasitic microorganisms. The Amazon-backed film hasn’t landed as a major force this awards season, and Ahmed as an actor has the best shot for a nomination.
Will sharpe Louis Wain’s electric life elicits mixed reactions and faces the challenge that lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch is heavily in the awards mix for another title: Jane Campion’s The power of the dog.
Operation Minced Meat, John Madden’s story of WWII derring-do has many compelling references to the Bafta, including a cast directed by Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen; the film was deemed eligible for this year’s awards despite a late move to an April release. Christian Schwochow Munich: On the brink of war starring George MacKay, Jannis Niewöhner and Jeremy Irons may not have enough influence with voters or the jury. Then there is Claire McCarthy The color room, about pioneering ceramic artist Clarice Cliff and starring Phoebe Dynevor and Matthew Goode – which may be seen as a little too conventional to go the distance in Bafta.
Last year no documentaries made the top 10 nominees for Outstanding British Film, but in 2020 For Sama was named, just like Mcqueen in 2019 and Notes on blindness in 2017. This year, Andrea Arnold Cow could find the favors of the jury – the director has already been nominated in this category twice, in 2010 with Aquarium (who won) and in 2017 with American honey. Or maybe the jury will prefer the film that won Best British Bifa Documentary: Paul Sng and Celeste Bell Poly styrene: I’m a cliché – as long as he is first among the top 20 in the category in the first round of voting. As always, just getting the attention of voters can be half the battle.