Two weeks ahead of the Oscar nominations, the BAFTAs have announced their own picks for the year's best. They've kept their Best Picture list to five, the ungreedy bastards. The BAFTAs will always be awesome for giving the award to The Purple Rose of Cairo and for nominating Big Fish, although they have been matching Oscar more closely as of late, especially in their acting honors. Last year, Mickey Rourke was the only one of their winners not repeated at the Oscars, many f the nominees in the categories were different (Freida Pinto and Tilda Swinton for Supporting Actress, Dev Patel for Actor). Always exciting to see an awards group's nominations though, eh?
The Hurt Locker
Up in the Air
Who would've thought Precious would do so well across the pond? The other four are understandable, though it intrigues me that Inglourious Basterds is not here. Did the Brits not love it as much as they should have?
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
In the Loop
It's nice to finally see In the Loop and Moon getting mentioned at a major awards show. Fish Tank was just released in America Saturday, and we've still got to wait Nowhere Boy. Methinks, then, that An Education has a slight edge here.
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Neill Blomkamp, District 9
James Cameron, Avatar
Lone Scherfig, An Education
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
And yet the Basterds show up here. That's cool, at least. Even cooler is the inclusion of Blomkamp and Scherfig, two of the more deserving directors this year. Glad to see them honored!
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
Andy Serkis, Sex & Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll
Serkis gets a mention for a movie not yet in America, but which the Brits went crazy for. I hear tell Serkis will probably get in for the 2010 Oscars, too. A nomination for Renner is absolutely stunning, amazing, deserving; so, too, of course, are the noms for Clooney and Firth. Still need to see Crazy Heart, though I hear that's not coming to my town until mid-February (i.e., well after the nominations are announced).
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Saoirse Ronan, The Lovely Bones
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Audrey Tautou, Coco Before Chanel
Now this is a neat lineup. I am surprised to see Streep there, since I know Julia Child wasn't as popular in the UK as she was here. BAFTA keeps up their trend of honoring international cinema with a surprising nod at Tautou. Also present is young Ronan, one of the better things about the disappointing Lovely Bones. And again, I didn't expect Precious to do as well overseas -- maybe it's not a strictly American piece after all.
Alec Baldwin, It's Complicated
Christian McKay, Me and Orson Welles
Alfred Molina, An Education
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Baldwin, McKay and Molina? MOLINA? Thank God! This is a pretty cool list (though I still need to see Me and Orson Welles). Waltz and Tucci are set, of course, but the other three were welcome surprises.
Anne-Marie Duff, Nowhere Boy
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Kristin Scott Thomas, Nowhere Boy
A lot of vote-splitting here, overkilling it to the same result. But now I'm really excited about Nowhere Boy.
Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen, A Serious Man
Pete Docter & Bob Peterson, Up
Jon Lucas & Scott Moore, The Hangover
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Well, this is a fun lineup. The Hangover is doing pretty damn well this season, isn't it? Otherwise, the expecteds are here -- at least I hope the Coens can be expected to be honored for their amazing screenplay time and again.
Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Ianucci & Tony Roche, In the Loop
Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell, District 9
Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious
Nick Hornby, An Education
Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
Of course the Brits find love for their own, In the Loop. The rest will probably be repeated at the Oscars.
Stephen Bruton & T-Bone Burnett, Crazy Heart
Alexandre Desplat, Fantastic Mr. Fox
Michael Giacchino, Up
James Horner, Avatar
Chaz Jankel, Sex & Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll
This category is always funny because pre-written music is eligible, for some reason. This year, that's Jankel, who co-wrote music for the Blockheads with Ian Dury, the subject of Sex & Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll. Desplat's mention for Mr. Fox is a welcome surprise, and then there's the usual-usual.
Barry Ackroyd, The Hurt Locker
Javier Aguirresarobe, The Road
Mario Fiore, Avatar
Trent Opaloch, District 9
Robert Richardson, Inglourious Basterds
Is it strange that my only reaction here is that Aguirresarobe also shot New Moon?
The big shocker, of course, is the lack of love for Nine, which I kind of thought they would appreciate. Invictus, thank God, is nowhere to be seen. Full list of nominees here.