The 2023 BAFTA Nominees Rundown

The 76th British Academy Film Awards are tonight, so let’s dust off the old suit and tie to try predicting some winners.

The last time that I did one of these BAFTA preview pieces I was… so very over their shit, to put it mildly.  Even if we didn’t have a giant world-altering pandemic (plus a personal world-altering parental accident), I was prepared to call time on my yearly examinations of British film’s most prestigious awards ceremony.  There were only so many ways I could rephrase and rehash the same exact charges against the institution – unacceptable lack of nominee diversity, blatant release window flouting just so they could match US Awards Season, a lack of meaningful interest in the British film industry for the British Academy Film Awards – before I just stopped getting angry and resigned myself to accepting that they would never change.  I still stand by my belief that awards do actually mean something in this industry so all this bitching and campaigning is justified, but I was set to tune out after 2020’s calamitous ceremony.  Then a pandemic happened, my priorities shifted and relationship to movies changed, and it became real easy to just not pay any attention.  Who even won Best Actress last year?  *searches up*  Joanna Scanlon?  OK, sure, whatever.

But it is now 2023.  I’m back on the Film beat properly after a few years disassociating; even if I’m not as enthusiastic as before.  And the BAFTA nominations this year… were actually quite decent?  Not dreadful?  Sure, there were some absolutely bewildering picks – in no sane and just universe should Elvis, a movie whose first half is like listening to a hyperactive eight-year-old tell you a story in between chugging 2ltr bottles of Coca Cola and snorting kettle-sized piles of cocaine – and some disappointing but expected snubs.  Yet, by and large, these are… fine.  Some pleasant surprise picks, a decent enough spread across films, and multiple categories with multiple nominees I’d love to see win.  None of this sounds worthy of praise, I know, but long-time followers of both the BAFTAs and myself will recognise just how significant this year’s slate being “decent” truly is.  They’re even broadcasting part of the ceremony live tonight instead of on tape-delay for the first time ever!  What a world!

Anyways, let’s dust off the old format and rundown the major categories.  When I was on the regular beat for these, my track record across seven ceremonies was 51-16.  But it has been a few years, I may have some ring-rust, and this Awards Season doesn’t seem so clear-cut easy to guess.  One thing’s for certain, though, I’m gonna do way better than Peter fucking Bradshaw.  (What do the Guardian pay that twerp for, honestly?)  Let’s do this thing.

Best Animated Film

Cr: Netflix © 2022

Nominees: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio; Marcel the Shell with Shoes On; Puss in Boots: The Last Wish; Turning Red

Who Should Win: Honestly?  Any of them.  Animation had an exceptional year in 2022, even if most of that exceptional line-up all clustered in the last two or three months of the year (or got held over to the start of 2023 for UK viewers cos YOU FORCIBLY COLONISE A NATION ONE TIME).  All four of these nominees are outstanding works of art, each utilising the medium of animation in different ways, and all tailoring their stories to take full advantage of its possibilities.  I do have a personal preference order – Marcel, then Puss for the surprise factor of it being that great, then Red, and lastly Pinocchio cos the songs didn’t work for me – but am genuinely good with any member of this line-up taking home the prize.

Who Will Win: But it’s going to Pinocchio.  Admittedly, that’s not quite a sure thing, but awards bodies do love when respected live-action auteurs jump over to the animation medium and bring their Prestige to the funny cartoons.  Makes them feel less ashamed about crying at a kiddie thing.  (Obviously this is not my viewpoint on animation, but you can always see the disdain this medium gets from the yearly Brutally Honest Oscar Ballots series.)  Plus, del Toro and Netflix have been relentlessly campaigning whilst Disney sent Turning Red to the Disney+ mines and has largely forgotten its existence in the face of Marvel/Star Wars content to sell.

Other notes: On the one hand, glad to see that BAFTA have learned to count past three when it comes to this category at long last.  (They actually upped the nominees to four last year, but as mentioned I wasn’t paying attention.)  On the other hand, you can still very easily get this up to five nominees and stop condescending the medium.  2023 was a bountiful year for animation.  So bountiful that I haven’t actually gotten around to watching Wendell & Wild or Entergalactic yet, so put them on the potential pile.  The big snub to my eyes, though expected since Japan has never once cracked this category, is Mamoru Hosada’s Belle.  A gorgeous, inventive, mature, and timely exploration of connection in the social media age that might just be the anime legend’s magnum opus; and, crucially, released in February of 2022 in the UK.  Cartoon Saloon continue to get paid dust as My Father’s Dragon was another home-run from the Irish studio, and nominating it would have given traditional 2D animation a representative in the field.  For a deserving left-field pick, The Bob’s Burgers Movie.  This is a great category, but it could have been even better by including just one additional nominee.

Outstanding British Film

Photo by Jonathan Hession. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios

Nominees: Aftersun; The Banshees of Inisherin; Brian and Charles; Empire of Light; Good Luck to You, Leo Grande; Living; Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical; See How They Run; The Swimmers; The Wonder

Who Should Win: Brian and Charles was one of my absolute favourite discoveries of 2022.  So charming, so sweet, so earnest and wholesome and intimate.  Jim Archer’s feature debut is an utter delight and British to its very core, in a good way cos I know what such a charge usually connotates nowadays.  It’s not going to win, but Charles Petrescu is going to walk the red carpet and hopefully sit in the to-camera audience, so I’m considering this a victory regardless.

Who Will Win: It’s not going to be Living, no matter what Bradshaw tries to insist otherwise.  The last time that Outstanding British Film was won by something which wasn’t also up for Best Film was Brooklyn in 2016… because none of the category nominees that year were also up for Best Film.  The actual last time an upset happened was in 2013 when Best Film nominee Les Misérables lost out to non-Best Film nominee Skyfall.  Of this year’s Outstanding British nominees, The Banshees of Inisherin is the only one also up for Best Film.  You don’t need a map here, is what I’m saying.

Other notes: Eeeeehhhhhh.  I think it’s admirable that BAFTA have expanded the nominee slate for this category to 10, highlighting more lower-deck features for greater exposure to avoid having the list be dominated by American-funded/centric productions like what usually happens.  (Remember when GRAVITY won Outstanding British Film?  Wild times.)  And I would love to join in on the calls for British films to make more headway in the major general categories since, again, BRITISH Academy.  But, to me, this list exposes how dismal of a state British cinema is in right now.  How staid and unexciting it is if these were the best nominees we could find.  Banshees and Brian are excellent, See How They Run is pleasantly diverting.  That’s it, really.  Matilda sank from two dismal central performances and lacking the edge of Dahl’s material, Leo Grande is the Guardian Opinion Pages of sex-work discussion, and Empire of Light getting on here is a joke.  And, I’M SORRY, I DIDN’T CARE FOR AFTERSUN!  I FOUND IT TOO COLD AND DISTANT!  PLEASE FORGIVE ME!

(Living, The Swimmers, and The Wonder; I didn’t get to see in time.)

This would be where I list a bunch of snubs or potential replacements to fantasy book a better category, but I can’t.  I don’t even have enough picks to make a five-nominee list I truly believe in, let alone ten!  Maybe Mr. Malcolm’s ListBlue Jean, if I want to justify BAFTA’s stupid lax idea of what a “year” actually entails.  (Georgia Oakley’s incredible feature wasn’t eligible, though, since the rules insist that Outstanding British Debut nominees are only allowed to compete in that category for some asinine reason.)  Ali & Ava was nominated as a 2021 film despite not opening until the first week of March 2022, so can’t include that.  I dunno.  British cinema’s just not very interesting at the minute.  Guess I should just be glad they didn’t nominate The Railway Children Return.

Best Original Screenplay

Photo by Jonathan Hession. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios

Nominees: The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh); Everything Everywhere All at Once (Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert); The Fabelmans (Tony Kushner & Steven Spielberg); TÁR (Todd Field); Triangle of Sadness (Ruben Östlund)

Who Should Win: All aboard the Everything Everywhere All at Once express!  Next stop: almost every single category it’s up for!

Who Will Win: I’m doubting myself here.  On the one hand, this is obviously going to Banshees.  It’s a writer’s movie, McDonagh has won this very category before with a significantly-worse hot mess of a screenplay, and Banshees is set to clean up big tonight on home-ish turf.  On the other hand, awards bodies and BAFTA do sometimes use the screenplay categories as a means of giving a token victory to the critically-beloved nominee-hoard of the season which otherwise won’t get its due in the other major categories.  In so many words, prime ground for Everything to reap a consolation prize when it maybe doesn’t win Best Director or Best Film.  On the other other hand, TÁR just feels like something that BAFTA would reward here, seeing as it’s a Prestige Picture covering Timely and Very Important Issues with Great Seriousness.  So, Field could play spoiler.  …sod it, I’m sticking with my head and saying Banshees.  It makes too much sense.  Also, it’s a great screenplay, for whatever that’s worth.

Other notes: Not managed to see Triangle of Sadness before press time.  Hopefully it’s good, I really jive with Östlund’s satirical sensibilities in his other films!  Fabelmans’ screenplay is great, so that can stay too.  I’m not quite prepared to say that TÁR is BAD, but I will say that I really do not get what nearly everyone else is seeing in it; the filmmaking is dry and rudimentary, the screenplay has precious little to say about abusive power dynamics and predatory relationships in the art world besides its not-actually-that-provocative “women/lesbians can be abusive predators too!” hook, and Cate Blanchett is good but in an autopilot manner – I’ve seen her do this performance better in other movies.  Getting that out of the way here so I don’t repeat myself later.

What would I switch out TÁR with, then?  (And also Triangle if it’s bad.)  Welp, the biggest snub of the year is Jordan Peele’s NOPE.  It’s like the film industry at large decided they’d sufficiently solved institutional racism in their awards bodies by nominating Get Out and so now they don’t have to seriously recognise anything Peele puts out for the rest of his career.  Or maybe they didn’t like having their industry called out as exploitation porn peddlers by his movie.  Somewhat ditto for Damien Chazelle’s Babylon which, yes, I would nominate, warts and all.  Also, hey, did you know you can nominate animated films for categories outside of Best Animated Film?  It’s true!  Domee Shi and Julia Cho’s screenplay for Turning Red is empathetic, doesn’t talk down to its target audience or those outside of it, and completely nails being an adolescent in the mid-00s.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Photo by Reiner Bajo. © 2022 Netflix.

Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front (Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson and Ian Stockell); Living (Kazuo Ishiguro); The Quiet Girl (Colm Bairéad); She Said (Rebecca Lenkiewicz); The Whale (Samuel D. Hunter)

Who Should Win: Lenkiewicz’s She Said screenplay moves with the propulsion of a thriller but has the tender heart required to keep this dramatization of the Weinstein abuse investigation from becoming exploitative.  Forensic in its detail, blistering in its depiction of the institutions which failed these women for so very long, and frequently willing to cede the floor to the victims’ stories in a way which allows them dignity and a chance to reshape the narrative.  There were so many ways this could’ve gone wrong and Lenkiewicz avoided them all.

Who Will Win: Tricky to say.  I personally had this one down as being All Quiet on the Western Front’s consolation prize, since it reeks of a classic bridesmaid movie; hoovering up an absurd number of nominations but not converting them into major wins outside of production and Foreign Language.  (And I mean, a truly absurd number of nominations.  It’s tied with The King’s Speech in 2011, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Gladiator in 2001, The Aviator in 2005, Atonement in 2008, and American Beauty in 2000 for the most nominated film of the century.)  But all the experts are adamant that Living is gonna walk away with the trophy instead.  Perhaps if I’d managed to see Living, I’d better understand where they’re coming from.  Instead, this is my predictions piece so I’m putting it all on 23-I mean All Quiet!

© 2022 Disney/Pixar.

Other notes: I was curious about Living, that’s no slight above against Living.  At London Film Festival, the press screening clashed with something else I wanted to see, and it was supposed to go on public release shortly after the Fest, so I skipped it thinking “I’ll can catch it in cinemas!”  My much-documented broken hip ended up having a few things to say about that and it’s still not out on home media, so alas.  Similarly, this Quiet Girl screener has been sat in my inbox for nearly a year and I’ll try to get to it soon honest.  Will go into a little more detail in this month’s WIBW, but I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed The Whale since I was expecting an offensive maudlin disaster.  But, whilst very stage play-y, Hunter writes a humanly cruel, prickly, and surprisingly funny character study that handles its themes of obesity, self-loathing, queer self-hatred, and religious bigotry with a deft hand.  And All Quiet is… there too.  It’s whatever.  The stuff away from the Front is unnecessary bloat and book readers tell me it fundamentally misunderstands the material, but it’s a serviceable enough War is Hell flick.

Of the categories we cover, this is the only one I’d do some serious redecorating on.  Keep She Said and The Whale whilst turfing All Quiet and (respectfully) Living & Quiet Girl.  For films already mentioned, both Marcel the Shell and Puss in Boots can lay strong claims to breaking out of the animation ghetto, and Brian and Charles really is a total delight.  Surprised that Glass Onion made no headway in the writing categories despite having a screenplay that caused no less than three moments of spontaneous laughter-based applause from yours truly.  And for a real wild card pick, Prey had a ruthlessly simple screenplay that’s nonetheless a perfect how-to guide for anybody looking to write effective action-horror movies.

Best Supporting Actor

Photo by Allyson Riggs. © 2022 A24.

Nominees: Brendan Gleeson as Colm Doherty (The Banshees of Inisherin); Barry Keoghan as Dominic Kearney (The Banshees of Inisherin); Ke Huy Quan as Waymond Wang (Everything Everywhere All at Once); Eddie Redmayne as Charlie Cullen (The Good Nurse); Albrecht Schuch as Stanislaus Katczinsky (All Quiet on the Western Front); Michael Ward as Stephen (Empire of Light)

Who Should Win: Fuck this industry for depriving us of Ke Huy Quan’s tremendous acting talents for over two decades due to its (racist) underappreciation for Asian actors.  In a movie where all three of its leads are on career-best form, Quan really does steal Everything Everywhere from everyone else.  Also, I am begging Wong Kar-wai to cast him in one of his films ASAP; he was so good in the Tony Leung pastiche section that it honestly transcended pastiche into something I want to see a full movie of.

Who Will Win: The big narrative of this evening is Banshees vs. Everything with the rest of the field fighting over scraps, and that continues to be the case here.  Quan has the feel-good comeback story narrative and has been cleaning up elsewhere, so I’d say he’s a lock here too for the one award I’m fully confident in Everything taking home.  That said, I’m not counting Gleeson out just yet.  It is home-ish turf advantage, after all, though nomming Keoghan as well likely splits the Banshees vote and clears Quan’s way since the rest are no-hopers.

Other notes: Every single time Eddie Redmayne is nominated for a non-Razzie award, he becomes further emboldened to commit unspeakable crimes against acting and it is on all of us to make him STOP.  It may not be for everyone since he was definitely making CHOICES, but I personally found Mark Rylance really unsettling and occasionally outright terrifying in Bones and All; nomming Redmayne is even more egregious when you have Rylance right there.  The big snub for me is Jalyn Hall as Emmett Till in Till.  The life and humanity he instils in Emmett with such little screentime – the recurring speech impediment, his youthful sense of fun and playfulness, the pure love he has for his mother, his nascent attempts at wooing girls – is such a vital component of director Chinonye Chukwu’s mission statement of reminding us that Emmett and Mamie were people before they were tragic figures of, and the fight against, racial hatred.  Also, I would nominate Ehren McGhehey for Jackass Forever and, you know what, I’d even have him win the damn thing.  I SAID WHAT I SAID!

Best Supporting Actress

Photo by Jonathan Hession. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios

Nominees: Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever); Hong Chau as Liz (The Whale); Kerry Condon as Siobhán Súilleabháin (The Banshees of Inisherin); Jamie Lee Curtis as Deidre Beaubeirdre (Everything Everywhere All at Once); Dolly de Leon as Abigail (Triangle of Sadness); Carey Mulligan as Megan Twohey (She Said)

Who Should Win: Since A24 pushed and BAFTA nominated the wrong supporting actress for Everything Everywhere, I can go full-force on my “Angela Bassett deserves a statue for Wakanda Forever” charge.  If you weren’t experiencing full body chills when Ramonda screams about having lost her entire family, a mixture of despair and rage pulled from the very pit of her soul, then I can only assume that you’re either lying or on holiday from the Neutral Planet and want me to tell your wife if you die that you said ‘hello.’

Who Will Win: Nearly any other ceremony, since it wasn’t until the very last minute that A24 got their fingers out their arse and pushed Stephanie Hsu like they should’ve from day one, and Angela Bassett becomes the first actor to win a BAFTA for their Marvel Cinematic Universe performance.  At THIS ceremony, however, the award is Kerry Condon’s to lose.  As I keep saying, home-ish turf advantage.  But she has also been the firm #2 behind Bassett all Season-long with a fiercely-commanding performance in Banshees which notably wrangles all attention onto her whenever Siobhán is on-screen.  Wherever Hsu or Bassett wasn’t cleaning up, Condon was right there to reap the spoils.  Also, she won out at the London Critics Circle Awards, so this is a lock.

Other notes: It’s just as much on A24 as BAFTA for not giving Hsu her rightful nom, that’s all I got to say about that.  Replace Curtis with Hsu and let me get around to watching Triangle, and I have no notes on this category.  Hong Chau, in particular, blew me away in The Whale and firmly cemented her dire performance in Alexander Payne’s dreadful Downsizing as being a direction problem rather than a her problem.  Wish there was room for either of Lashana Lynch’s mega-watt 2022 performances in The Woman King or Matilda; that woman should be toplining films, al-goddamn-ready.  I know we’re still only a few years removed from that time BAFTA ridiculously nommed her twice in one category, but Margot Robbie was on career-best form in Babylon as both a Movie Star and a tragic explosion of self-destruction.  Also, in my continuing quest to see outright comedies be given the respect they deserve at awards shows, it was a great year for scene-stealing supporting actresses in murder-mystery comedies with Saoirse Ronan in See How They Run and Kate Hudson in Glass Onion.

Best Actor

Photo by Jonathan Hession. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios

Nominees: Austin Butler as Elvis Presley (Elvis); Colin Farrell as Pádraic Súilleabháin (The Banshees of Inisherin); Brendan Fraser as Charlie (The Whale); Daryl McCormack as Leo Grande (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande); Paul Mescal as Calum Paterson (Aftersun); Bill Nighy as Mr. Williams (Living)

Who Should Win: Butler is a phenomenal Elvis… when Baz Lurhmann’s film simmers the fuck down enough to trust his leading man in the second-half.  Fraser is so damn good in The Whale; I had forgotten just how expressive he can be with his eyes, more actors (and directors) should learn how powerful a tool good eye acting can be.  But for my money, the best male performance last year was Colin Farrell in Banshees.  To recycle from my entry in last month’s WIBW: there’s a golden retriever energy to his performance as Pàdraic which is both a source of great comedy and sells the character’s descent into despairing revenge all the more tragically.  He’s brilliant and deserves the trophy.

Who Will Win: And he may just get it.  Look, I’m already sick of saying it but, yes, home-ish turf advantage is at play here.  I also think that Fraser’s lost a bit of momentum as the season’s gone on?  The Golden Globes snubbing him – not that he would’ve turned up anyway, for obvious reasons – does seem to have re-upped Butler’s chances at the top prize, plus the fact that a Lurhmann movie is a significantly easier time than a Darren Aronofsky movie.  If anyone has a chance at stopping Farrell, I’d put money on it being Butler since he’s got the big flashy replica performance that acting bodies cannot get enough of (and this one has an actual soul to it unlike Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody).  But I will be more than a little surprised if Farrell’s name isn’t the one being read out once the broadcast goes live.

Other notes: Leo Grande?  Really, now?  I mean, McCormack is one of the few bright spots in it but Best Actor?  Y’all know that Daniel Kaluuya was on tremendous understated form in NOPE, right?  Also, did any of you even try to catch The Northman?  You could teach an entire acting course on Alexander Skarsgård’s physical performance there!  Still, not gonna complain too much.  This is genuinely the first time since 2014 that the Best Actor category has more than two nominees I’d be alright seeing win, and one of them will almost definitely win it.  I’m not going to look this gift horse in the mouth.

Best Actress

Photo courtesy of Focus Features. © 2022 Focus Features, LLC.

Nominees: Cate Blanchett as Lydia Tár (TÁR); Viola Davis as General Nanisca (The Woman King); Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe (Blonde); Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie Till-Mobley (Till); Emma Thompson as Nancy Stokes (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande); Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Wang (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Who Should Win: See, the Oscars made this dead-easy for me by snubbing both Davis and Deadwyler in favour of *stifles laughter* Andrea Riseborough.  Every bone in my body is born to stan Michelle Yeoh anyway, but then she goes and gives a career-best career-surmising performance like Evelyn Wang and it makes the stanning so much easier, y’know?  But the BAFTAs, in a shocking deviation from past practice, chose to also nominate the two performances which came anywhere near close in 2022.  Davis giving the kind of lead performance that makes me ready to follow her into literal battle.  Deadwyler a wounded raw nerve of a turn determined to keep her dignity in the face of indignity after indignity and injustice after injustice.  I rotate on a daily basis between any of these three taking the top prize.  Today, it’s Yeoh’s turn.  Tomorrow, she’ll mail it to Deadwyler’s house.  Day after, Deadwyler will mail it to Davis, and the cycle shall begin anew!

Who Will Win: Well, it’s a duel between Yeoh and Blanchett, as it has been all season, let’s get that out of the way first.  The Golden Globes made that very clear since both actresses were split along the comedy and drama lines, getting to take home a statue each.  Whenever Yeoh hasn’t won at one of the other awards ceremonies, Blanchett’s taken the prize and vice versa.  Really glad to have been proven wrong in my initial fears that Yeoh wouldn’t get nominated by respected awards bodies.  I think, in the end, it’s going to come down more to the movies rather than the performances since both actresses tailor their turns for the movies around them.  And, sorry to say, I think TÁR will ultimately play better to BAFTA voters and give Blanchett the win here.

Other notes: Guess I should at least be grateful that they nominated Thompson for Leo Grande rather than her underwhelming Miss Trunchbull in Matilda.  I kept putting off Blonde cos of the noxious responses from literally everyone and its imposing runtime, so am yet to see how well de Armas does in the bad movie.  (Just reminds me that she should’ve been nominated twice already for Knives Out and Blade Runner 2049.)  For personal snubs: Keke Palmer in NOPE and I can do that as well as Kaluuya cos they’re co-leads and Leo Grande got away with this so deal with it.  Taylor Russell was magnetic and disarmingly natural-feeling in Bones and All.  Amber Midthunder had a star-making turn in Prey and barely needed any dialogue to do so.  On the voice acting side, Rosalie Chiang was all delightful soul in Turning Red.  Lastly, I’m not sure if they would fit here since they officially came out as non-binary last year – or as, to quote directly from the source, “a free-ass motherfucker” – but I just wanted to mention that Janelle Monáe owned Glass Onion.

Best Director

Photo by Jonathan Hession. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios

Nominees: Edward Berger (All Quiet on the Western Front); Park Chan-wook (Decision to Leave); Todd Field (TÁR); DANIELS (Everything Everywhere All at Once); Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin); Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Woman King)

Who Should Win: You’re expecting me to say DANIELS here.  And, sure, what they pulled off with Everything is mighty impressive, juggling all of those absurdist tones & strands in the narrative and technical craft equivalent of a handstand chainsaw juggle on an acrobat wire above a flaming pit of alligators.  No denying that.  But, my god, Gina Prince-Bythewood on The Woman King!  If you find yourself looking at modern blockbusters going “they sure don’t make them like they used to,” then you should absolutely see The Woman King because Prince-Bythewood has that kind of epic, sweeping, muscular, tangible, grounded filmmaking sensibility down pat.  This $50 million movie looks significantly better and more expensive than nearly every single nine-digit movie that released in 2022, and it courses with character-centric heart.  Turns out she was born to direct BLOCKBUSTERS.  She’s got zero chance of winning the official award, but she wins my heart and that should be prize enough!

Who Will Win: It could be DANIELS as a “splitting Director/Film prizes” compromise, but I’m thinking just a plain-old Martin McDonagh sweep here is going on here.

Other notes: I see that surprise Park Chan-wook nod and I am here for it!  He really should have gotten a nod for Handmaiden back in the day.  Dumping out Field’s snooze-worthy work on TÁR, Berger’s just-fine competency on All Quiet, and McDonagh because I can think of a few more-deserving candidates, that leaves three slots to take your pick from.  Chinonye Chukwu manages to inject Till with the humanity and muted catharsis that made Clemency a powerful watch.  Maria Schrader takes the afore-praised Rebecca Lenkiewicz screenplay of She Said and realises it with a deftness and respect that the subject demands.  Three times Jordan Peele has turned in one of the very best directorial jobs of the year, three times that BAFTA have gone “new phone, who dis?” when presented with that fact.  On a similar note to Prince-Bythewood, Robert Eggers put on a blockbuster directing clinic with The Northman; even on a TV screen at home, my eyes were glued unfailingly to the pictures the entire time.  Dan Trachtenberg proved that 10 Cloverfield Lane was no fluke with Prey.  And, on animation, Domee Shi made Turning Red the most alive Pixar movie in over half-a-decade.

Best Film

Photo by Jonathan Hession. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios

Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, TÁR

Who Should Win: The best film of 2022 is on this list.  For the first time ever, BAFTA can give Best Film to my favourite film of the year.  Do it.  Give it to Everything Everywhere All at Once.  Do it, you pussy.

Who Will Win: I mean, it’s gotta be Banshees, right?  I just don’t see BAFTA going with Everything Everywhere, I don’t think they’ve diversified their membership base enough for this to happen and they don’t do ranked-choice polling like the Oscars do which is where those more leftfield winners in recent years have sprang from.  TÁR did just win Best Picture at the London Critics Circle awards, but it seems a little too academic for BAFTA’s base.  They could always go for ultimate chaos and pick All Quiet or Elvis to allow opinion columnists to afford rent this month with the delicious bewildered fury those outcomes would be received.  But, nah, it’s gotta be Banshees.  It’s the only logical outcome at the BAFTAs.  Anticlimactic, admittedly, but at least an understandable and deserving one for once.

Other notes: I just don’t understand why the acting categories had their nominee slots expanded to six each, and British Film is up to ten, but the screenplay and Best Film ones stay stuck at five?  What’s the logic behind that?  It’s not like you’d be devaluing the honour by also nicking the Oscars’ “between five and ten nominees” system, like you’ve nicked everything else from them over the years.  I’ve even gone through the official BAFTA rules and regulations document multiple times trying to find some kind of reasoning, but there isn’t any.  I don’t get it, just as much as I don’t get TÁR.  Anyways: Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Woman King, Brian and Charles, NOPE, Jackass Forever, and this should always be a ten-nominee category end of discussion.

Callie Petch will tell you they’re the king of these Barrio streets.


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