2021 BAFTA Film Awards: ‘Nomadland,’ ‘Rocks’ are the top nominees

March 9, 2021

by Carla Hay

With seven nominations each, the dramatic films “Nomadland” and “Rocks” are the top nominees for the 74th Annual EE British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the show will be a virtual ceremony held at Royal Albert Hall in London. The show will also be split between two broadcasts on April 10 and April 11, 2021. BBC televises the show in the United Kingdom, and BBC America televises the show in the United States.

The April 10 broadcast (on BBC Two in the U.K.) will be for technical categories, such as editing and production design. The April 11 broadcast (on BBC One in the U.K.) will be for the more high-profile categories, such as all the actor/actress categories, Best Director, Best Film and Outstanding British Film. The host for the 2021 BAFTA ceremony is to be announced. Eligible films were those released in the United Kingdom in 2020 or January and February 2021.

Searchlight Pictures’ “Nomadland”(directed by Chloé Zhao and starring Frances McDormand) and Altitude Film Entertainment’s “Rocks” (directed by Sarah Gavron and staring Bukky Bakray) are nominees in the categories of Best Director and Best Actress. In addition, “Nomadland” is nominated for Best Film, while “Rocks” is a contender for Outstanding British Film. “Nomadland” is about an American widow named Fern (played by McDormand), who lives in her van and travels to look for work. “Rocks” (which does not have a U.S. distributor, as of this writing) is about a black British teenage girl named Rocks (played by Bakray), who has to care for her younger brother when their single mother goes missing.

Other movies with several BAFTA nominations include Sony Picture Classics’ “The Father,” Netflix’s “Mank,” A24’s “Minari” and Focus Features’ “Promising Young Woman,” with six nominations each. Netflix’s “The Dig” and STX’s “The Mauritanian” earned five nods each.

Snubs and Surprises

Carey Mulligan in “Promising Young Woman” (Photo courtesy of Focus Features)

Although “Promising Young Woman” is one of the most-nominated films of the 2021 BAFTAs, the movie failed to get nominations for categories where it has been getting nominated at many other award shows. BAFTA nomination snubs include Best Actress for “Promising Young Woman” star Carey Mulligan and Best Director for writer/director Emerald Fennell, who did get a BAFTA nomination for Best Original Screenplay. “Promising Young Woman” is Fennell’s feature-film debut as a writer and director, but she was also snubbed in the BAFTA category of Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.

Also getting overlooked for a BAFTA Best Actress nomination was Viola Davis for the Netflix drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Davis has been getting nominated for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” at every major movie award ceremony except the BAFTAs. A big BAFTA surprise nomination for Best Actress is Radha Blank for the Netflix comedy “The Forty-Year-Old Version,” which is the only BAFTA nod for the film. Blank has been getting nominations and awards for writing and directing the movie, but not for starring in it.

Movies about African American experiences were overlooked in most of the major BAFTAs categories. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Amazon’s “One Night in Miami…” and Netflix’s “Da 5 Bloods” were snubbed in the categories for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay. However, each movie did pick up nods in the categories of Best Leading Actor or Best Supporting Actor. Dominique Fishback of “Judas and the Black Messiah” also go a surprise nod for Best Supporting Actress, after being largely snubbed for nominations at other major award shows.

As widely expected, Chadwick Boseman of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is a nominee in the leading actor category. Supporting actor nods also predictably went to Daniel Kaluuya of “Judas and the Black Messiah” and Leslie Odom Jr. for “One Night in Miami…,” because they’ve been getting these nominations at other major award shows. Clarke Peters of “Da 5 Bloods” has been mostly overlooked at major award shows, but he got a Best Supporting Actor nod for the movie. Meanwhile, “Da 5 Bloods” co-star Delroy Lindo, who was widely predicted to be nominated for Best Leading Actor, was shut out of the list of nominees. (Kingsley Ben-Adir of “One Night in Miami…” is a nominee for the Rising Star Award, which is an award for an individual’s career achievements, not for one movie or TV show.)

The Netflix horror movie “His House” also received surprise nominations (three nods), even though it’s being completely snubbed at many other major award shows for movies. “His House,” the feature-film debut of Remi Weekes, is about two South Sudanese refugee spouses who have immigrated to England and find out that their house is haunted. “His House” is nominated for Outstanding British Film; Best Leading Actress (for Wunmi Mosaku); and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.

In the Best Documentary category, documentaries that have been racking up awards elsewhere were snubbed for BAFTA nominations. Missing out on BAFTA nods were Amazon’s “Time,” Netflix’s “Crip Camp” and Netflix’s “Dick Johnson Is Dead.” Instead, the movies that made the BAFTA nominee list for Best Documentary are Magnolia Pictures’ “Collective,” Netflix’s “David Attenborough: Life on Our Planet,” Briarcliff Entertainment’s “The Dissident,” Netflix’s “My Octopus Teacher” and Netflix’s “The Social Dilemma.”

Diversity and Inclusion

Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù and Wunmi Mosaku in “His House” (Photo by Aidan Monaghan/Netflix)

After getting a lot of backlash and criticism in 2020 for nominating only white people in the actor/actress categories that year, the BAFTAs took major steps toward improving their diversity and inclusion initiatives. These measures included inviting 1,000 new members from underrepresented groups (the British Academy of Film and Television Arts currently has about 6,700 voting members) and expanding the number of Outstanding British Film nominees from five to 10. In addition, members underwent training about unconscious bias.

To address the complaint that films starring underrepresented groups were not seen by enough voting members, the BAFTAs now have a rule that BAFTA juries narrow down the potential nominees to a longlist for each category, and all voting members are required to watch all the films on the longlist in categories for which they are eligible to vote. BAFTA deputy chair Pippa Harris told Variety that there are “no quotas in place” and “these are not nominations that were designed in any way.”

The results are a much more diverse lineup of nominees in almost all the major categories. For the first time in BAFTA history, white men are not the majority of the nominees for Best Director, and women are the majority (four out of six) of the nominees in the category in 2021. The nominees are the aforementioned Gavron and Zhao, along with Thomas Vinterburg for “Another Round,” Lee Isaac Chung for “Minari,” Shannon Murphy for “Babyteeth” and Jasmila Žbanić for “Quo Vadis Aida?”

In addition, in each of the categories for actors and actresses, people of color are the majority (four out of six) of the nominees. All of the people of color who are nominated in the acting categories are either black or Asian, but there are none of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity. For all BAFTA categories, “Minari” (a drama about a Korean family who moves to Arkansas) has the most overall representation for Asian nominees, while “Rocks” has the most representation for black nominees.

The few Hispanic/Latino people who received BAFTA nominations this year are in behind-the-scenes categories: producer Sergio Diaz of “Nomadland” for Best Picture; producer Carlos Cortés of “Sound of Metal” for Best Picture; Sergio Lopez-Rivera of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” for Best Hair and Makeup; and Colomo Martinez of Disney+’s “The One and Only Ivan” for Best Visual Effects. Shudder’s Guatemalan horror film “La Llorona” was snubbed in the category of Best Film Not in the English Language, even though the movie has been getting nominated at other awards shows that have categories for international films or films that are not in the English language.

The LGBTQ community is largely underrepresented, since there are no actors or actresses nominated for BAFTA Awards this year for portraying members of the LGBTQ community. Possible contenders could have been Davis as lesbian singer Ma Rainey in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” or Andra Day for her portrayal of bisexual singer Billie Holiday in Hulu’s “The United States of Billie Holiday.” The disabled community is represented mainly with Amazon’s “Sound of Metal,” about a heavy-metal musician who becomes deaf. “Sound of Metal” is nominated for Best Leading Actor (for Riz Ahmed); Best Supporting Actor (for Paul Raci, who is deaf in real life); Best Editing; and Best Sound.

Here is the complete list of nominations for the 2021 BAFTA Film Awards:

Best Film

“The Father”
“The Mauritanian”
“Promising Young Woman”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Outstanding British Film

“Calm With Horses”
“The Dig”
“The Father”
“His House”
“The Mauritanian”
“Mogul Mowgli”
“Promising Young Woman”
“Saint Maud”

Best Director

Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”)
Sarah Gavron (“Rocks”)
Shannon Murphy (“Babyteeth”)
Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”)
Jasmila Žbanić (“Quo Vadis, Aida?”)
Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”)

Best Leading Actor

Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”)
Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Adarsh Gourav (“The White Tiger”)
Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”)
Mads Mikkelsen (“Another Round”)
Tahar Rahim (“The Mauritanian”)

Best Leading Actress

Bukky Bakray (“Rocks”)
Radha Blank (“The Forty-Year-Old Version”)
Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”)
Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”)
Wunmi Mosaku (“His House”)
Alfre Woodard (“Clemency”)

Best Supporting Actor

Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Barry Keoghan (“Calm With Horses”)
Alan Kim (“Minari”)
Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night In Miami…”)
Clarke Peters (“Da 5 Bloods”)
Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”)

Best Supporting Actress

Niamh Algar (“Calm With Horses”)
Kosar Ali (“Rocks”)
Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
Dominique Fishback (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Ashley Madekwe (“County Lines”)
Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Moira Buffini (“The Dig”)
Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller (“The Father”)
Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani, M.B. Traven (“The Mauritanian”)
Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”)
Ramin Bahrani (“The White Tiger”)

Best Original Screenplay

Tobias Lindholm and Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”)
Jack Fincher (“Mank”)
Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”)
Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson (“Rocks”)
Aaron Sorkin (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

Remi Weekes (“His House”)
Ben Sharrock, Irune Gurtubai (“Limbo”)
Jack Sidey (“Moffie”)
Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson (“Rocks”)
Rose Glass, Oliver Kassman (“Saint Maud”)

Best Original Score

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross (“Mank”)
Emile Mosseri (“Minari”)
James Newton Howard (“News of the World”)
Anthony Willis (“Promising Young Woman”)
Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross (“Soul”)

Best Cinematography

Sean Bobbitt (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Erik Messerschmidt (“Mank”)
Alwin H. Küchler (“The Mauritanian”)
Dariusz Wolski (“News of the World”)
Joshua James Richards (“Nomadland”)

Best Film Not in the English Language

Thomas Vinterberg, Sisse Graum Jørgensen (“Another Round”)
Andrei Konchalovsky, Alisher Usmanov (“Dear Comrades!”)
Ladj Ly (“Les Misérables”)
Lee Isaac Chung, Christina Oh (“Minari”)
Jasmila Žbanić, Damir Ibrahimovich (“Quo Vadis, Aida?”)

Best Documentary

Alexander Nanau (“Collective”)
Alastair Fothergill, Jonnie Hughes, Keith Scholey (“David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet”)
Bryan Fogel, Thor Halvorssen (“The Dissident”)
Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed, Craig Foster (“My Octopus Teacher”)
Jeff Orlowski, Larissa Rhodes (“The Social Dilemma”)

Best Animated Film

Dan Scanlon, Kori Rae (“Onward”)
Pete Docter, Dana Murray (“Soul”)
Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young (“Wolfwalkers”)

Best Casting

Shaheen Baig (“Calm with Horses”)
Alexa L. Fogel (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Julia Kim (“Minari”)
Lindsay Graham Ahanonu, Mary Vernieu (“Promising Young Woman”)
Lucy Pardee (“Rocks”)

Best Production Design

Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana Macdonald (“The Dig”)
Peter Francis, Cathy Featherstone (“The Father”)
Donald Graham Burt, Jan Pascale (“Mank”)
David Crank, Elizabeth Keenan (“News of the World”)
Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer (“Rebecca”)

Best Costume Design

Michael O’Connor (“Ammonite”)
Alice Babidge (“The Dig”)
Alexandra Byrne (“Emma”)
Trish Summerville (“Mank”)
Ann Roth (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)

Best Make Up and Hair

Jenny Shircore (“The Dig”)
Patricia Dehaney, Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle (“Hillbilly Elegy”)
Matiki Anoff, Larry M. Cherry, Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Kimberley Spiteri, Gigi Williams (“Mank”)
Mark Coulier (“Pinocchio”)

Best Editing

Yorgos Lamprinos (“The Father”)
Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”)
Frédéric Thoraval (“Promising Young Woman”)
Mikkel E.G. Nielsen (“Sound of Metal”)
Alan Baumgarten (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)

Best Sound

Nominees TBD (“Greyhound”)
Michael Fentum, William Miller, Mike Prestwood Smith, John Pritchett, Oliver Tarney (“News of the World”) Sergio Diaz, Zach Seivers, M. Wolf Snyder (“Nomadland”)
Coya Elliott, Ren Klyce, David Parker (“Soul”)
Jaime Baksht, Nicolas Becker, Phillip Bladh, Carlos Cortés, Michelle Couttolenc (“Sound of Metal”)

Best Visual Effects

Pete Bebb, Nathan McGuinness, Sebastian von Overheidt (“Greyhound”)
Matt Kasmir, Chris Lawrence, David Watkins (“The Midnight Sky”)
Sean Faden, Steve Ingram, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury (“Mulan”)
Santiago Colomo Martinez, Nick Davis, Greg Fisher (“The One and Only Ivan”)
Scott Fisher, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley (“Tenet”)

Best British Short Animation

Renaldho Pelle, Yanling Wang, Kerry Jade Kolbe (“The Fire Next Time”)
Mole Hill, Laura Duncalf (“The Owl and the Pussycat”)
Daniel Quirke, Jamie MacDonald, Brid Arnstein (“The Song of a Lost Boy”)

Best British Short Film

Jesse Lewis Reece, Ike Newman (“Eyelash”)
Akinola Davies, Rachel Dargavel, Wale Davies (“Lizard”)
John Addis, Rami Sarras Pantoja (“Lucky Break”)
Ghada Eldemellawy (“Miss Curvy”)
Farah Nabulsi (“The Present”)

EE Rising Star Award (public vote)

Bukky Bakray
Kingsley Ben-Adir
Morfydd Clark
Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù
Conrad Khan

Review: ‘The Windermere Children,’ starring Thomas Kretschmann, Romola Garai, Tim McInnerny, Iain Glen, Tomasz Studzinski and Kacper Swietek

April 6, 2020

by Carla Hay

“The Windermere Children,” pictured from left to right: Anna Maciejewska, Tomasz Studzinski, Lukasz Zieba, Kuba Sprenger, Marek Wrobelewski, Jakub Jankiewicz, Pascal Fischer and Kacper Swietek (Photo courtesy of PBS)

“The Windermere Children”

Directed by Michael Samuels 

Culture Representation: Taking place in 1945, shortly near the end of World War II, the drama “The Windermere Children” is based on a true story of how a group of Jewish orphans who survived the Holocaust are brought to a group home in England to start new lives.

Culture Clash: The orphans experience difficult recoveries from their trauma, as well as anti-Semitism from some of the local residents.

Culture Audience: “The Windermere Children” will appeal mostly to people who are interested in stories about orphans or Holocaust survivors.

Thomas Kretschmann (standing) in “The Windermere Children” (Photo courtesy of PBS)

Most stories about Holocaust survivors tend to be about what their lives are like years after World War II ended. But the dramatic film “The Windermere Children” (which is inspired by true events) tells the story of what happened in August 1945, shortly near the official end of World War II, when a group of about 300 Jewish orphans were brought from continental Europe (many were from Poland) to an estate in England as refugees. Because almost all of the children did not have relatives to claim them, the orphans had to start new lives in England.

Almost all of the children survived concentration camps and are going through severe trauma. They arrive by bus to Calgarth Estate, which is located by Lake Windermere. The estate has been turned into a group home for the children, whose transition and rehabilitation will be aided by a group of counselors and volunteers. Leading this group is German psychologist Oscar Friedmann (played by Thomas Kretschmann), whose specialty is child psychology.

Other people who are part of the team are athletic coach Jock Lawrence (played by Ian Glen); art therapist Marie Paneth (Romola Garai); philanthropist Leonard Montefiore (Tim McInnerny); and married couple Georg Lauer (played by Philipp Christopher) and Edith Lauer (Anna Schumacher). Friedmann used to run an institution for troubled boys in Germany, but nothing quite prepares him for what he will experience with these orphans.

“The Windemere Children” (Michael Samuels and written by Simon Block) shows the somewhat chaotic and anxiety-filled arrival of the children by bus (one boy vomits on Mr. Montefiore as soon as he’s greeted by Montefiore), but then the teenagers who will be the main orphan characters in the story start to come into focus. (The ones who get the most screen time and backstories are the boys.)

Arek Hershlikovicz (played by Tomasz Studzinski) is a lanky, pimple-faced rebel. He shows an early romantic interest in Sala (played by Anna Maciejewska), who becomes his girlfriend. Icek “Ike” Alterman (played by Kuba Sprenger) is a bit of a charming flirt, and he finds out soon upon arriving that he’s attracted to an English girl. Schmuel “Sam” Laskier (played by Marek Wrobelewski) is a sorrowful loner. Ben Helfgott (played by Pascal Fischer) is a superb athlete, who quickly becomes a favorite of Coach Lawrence.

Chaim Olmer (played by Kacper Swietek) had assumed the identity of a boy named Ephraim Minsburg in order to survive, and the alias has stuck, but Chaim now wants to be known by his real name so that his sister can find him. Salek Falinower (played by Jakub Jankiewicz) is another loner, and he’s more likely than Sam to separate himself from the rest of the group. (He has to be gently coaxed by Friedmann to get out of the bus.) Salek is convinced that he will be reunited with his missing brother Chiel someday, even though everyone keeps telling him that there’s almost no chance that Chiel has survived.

Because most of the children have been through the trauma of concentration camps, their healing and rehabilitation are emotionally tough on them. The younger children who lived out on the streets are inseparable. During a walk in the woods, they are terrified by the presence of a small dog being walked by a local woman. The children run off and hide and have to be searched for by a counselor.

Another scene in the movie shows how something as simple as putting bread on the tables in the dining hall can spark a feeding frenzy, as the children grab the bread and run to their rooms to either eat the bread quickly or hide it from others. Eventually, the children learn that food at the orphanage is plentiful and they don’t have to act like paranoid scavengers and hoarders in order to get a meal.

Medical exams are also filled with anxiety and sometimes bad news. Many of the children are malnourished and recovering from physical abuse, such as beatings, whippings and burns. It’s not uncommon for them to have missing or decaying teeth. And the children also have to be de-loused. The clothes they arrived in are also burned, which is symbolic of them leaving their previous lives behind.

It’s while the children are being de-loused outdoors that they have an unpleasant encounter with some of the local residents. A group of boys who are in the same age group watch from afar and try to taunt them. Arek sees that the local boys’ reactions are out of fear and ignorance, so he approaches them, covered in de-lousing powder and extends his hand as if to give a handshake. One of the taunting boys tentatively takes Arek’s hand, but instead of shaking the hand, Arek pulls the terrified boy into the de-lousing shed. The other local boys run off and leave their bicycles behind, which some of the orphans gleefully steal.

Stealing becomes a habit for some of the orphans, and they are lectured not to do it by their elders at the orphanage. Meanwhile, the orphans are taught English and are encouraged by Ms. Paneth to paint their inner thoughts, without instruction rules or judgment on technique. It’s welcome therapy for many of the children, but one disturbing portrait by a child brings the art teacher to tears. And, as the movie shows, the children have constant nightmares and can be heard screaming and sobbing throughout the night.

During a trip to a local ice-cream parlor, the kids experience more anti-Semitism when the same group of boys who previously tried to taunt them show up at near the shop and give a Nazi salute, Friedmann than shames the boys by telling them that these children’s families were slaughtered. The boys sheepishly walk away, but the Jewish orphans see that anti-Semitism is everywhere, even in a country that fought against the Nazis in World War II.

Meanwhile, Coach Lawrence, a Scotsman who oversees the boys’ soccer playing, tries to toughen them up by telling them that people in the “real world” won’t care about them being Jewish refugees and they can’t use it as an excuse to get special treatment. Privately, Lawrence tells Friedmann that it might be time to start placing the kids into foster homes, in order to improve the strained relations between the locals and the refugees. Some of the locals are very open about their resentment that the estate land and taxpayer money are helping fund the refugees at the group home.

The most devastating part of the movie is when the Red Cross arrives to bring news about the orphans’ families. Most of the children had been holding out glimmers of hope that someone in their family would still be alive. But the news is as bad as expected. Arek is so emotionally wounded to find out that his entire family has been murdered the he verbally lashes out at Donna, and it puts an enormous strain on their relationship. There is a bright spot toward the end of the movie, which won’t be revealed in this review, but it’s enough to say that this happy moment is a testament to the power of hope.

The epilogue of the film takes a similar approach to what “Schindler’s List” did at the end: It shows some of the real-life  survivors returning to the place depicted in the movie, along with flashbacks to the actors who portrayed them in the movie. The real-life Windermere children who give comments at the end of the film are Arek Hersh (who changed his last name from Hershlikovicz), Chaim “Harry” Olmer, Ben Helfgott and Schmuel “Sam” Laskier and Icek “Ike” Alterman.

“The Windermere Children” is an emotionally powerful film (although by no means as harrowing and masterfully made as “Schindler’s List”) that tells an important part of the Holocaust refugee story. The film’s cast members give solid performances, but the movie is heavily slanted toward the male perspective of these children’s experiences, while the female perspective isn’t given as much importance. There’s a one-hour documentary called “The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words,” which is worth watching for a more balanced gender representation and for more testimonials from the survivors. The documentary is a great complement to this dramatic film’s version of their story.

PBS had the U.S. TV premiere of “The Windermere Children” on April 5, 2020. BBC Two had movie’s U.K. TV premiere on January 27, 2020.

2020 BAFTA Film Awards: ‘Joker’ is the top nominee

January 7, 2020

by Carla Hay

Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker” (Photo by Niko Tavernise)

With 11 nominations, the supervillain origin story “Joker” is the leading contender for the 73rd annual British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards, which will be presented at Royal Albert Hall in London on February 2, 2020. Graham Norton will host the show, which will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD in the United Kingdom and in other major territories around the world. BBC America will have the U.S. telecast of the show.

Other films to receive several nominations include “The Irishman” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which garnered 10 nods each. “1917” has nine nods, and “Jojo Rabbit” received six nominations. “Little Women,” “Marriage Story” and “The Two Popes” got five nods each. “For Sama,” “Parasite” and “Rocketman” received four nominations each. Three nominations each went to “Bombshell,” “Judy,” “Le Mans ’66” (which is known as “Ford v Ferrari” in the U.S. and other countries) and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Eligible movies were those released in the United Kingdom in 2019. (Some movies that have been getting awards buzz, such as “Uncut Gems” and “Just Mercy,” were released in the U.S. in 2019, and will have a U.K. release in 2020.)

The nominees for the EE Rising Star Award were previously announced as Awkwafina, Jack Lowden, Kaitlyn Dever, Kelvin Harrison Jr, and Micheal Ward. According to a BAFTA press release: “The award is voted for by the British public and presented to an actress or actor who has demonstrated exceptional talent and has begun to capture the imagination of the U.K. public. Voting is now open at ee.co.uk/baftas.”

Snubs and Surprises

Eddie Murphy in “Dolemite Is My Name” (Photo by François Duhamel)

The most noticeable snubs were for non-white actors in the major acting categories: All of the BAFTA nominees in these categories this year are white: Leading Actor, Leading Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress. That means no acting nominations for anyone in the casts of the critically acclaimed, award-winning films “Parasite,” “Dolemite Is My Name” and “Pain and Glory.” The good news is that there is racial diversity in the actors nominated in the EE Rising Star Award. The nominees in that category include Kelvin Harrison Jr. (“Luce,” “Waves”) and Micheal Ward (“Blue Story”) are black, while Awkwafina (“The Farewell”) is Chinese American. Meanwhile, once again, there were no female directors nominated in the category of Best Director.

A big surprise was Margot Robbie scoring two BAFTA supporting actress nominations this year. Although she was widely expected to get a nod for “Bombshell” in this category, she was not widely expected to get nominated for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” considering that the movie received a lot of criticism for Robbie’s Sharon Tate character not having enough meaningful dialogue and screen time. Another notable surprise is Jessie Buckley’s lead actress nomination for “Wild Rose,” since her performance in the movie has been largely ignored for nominations for major movie awards.

Here is the complete list of nominations for the 2020 BAFTA Awards:

Best Film

“The Irishman”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Outstanding British Film

“For Sama”
“Sorry We Missed You”
“The Two Popes”

Best Director

Sam Mendes (“1917”)
Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”)
Todd Phillips (“Joker”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”)

Leading Actress

Jessie Buckley (“Wild Rose”)
Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”)
Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”)
Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”)
Renée Zellweger (“Judy”)

Leading Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”)
Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”)
Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”)
Taron Egerton (“Rocketman”)
Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”)

Supporting Actor

Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood”)
Anthony Hopkins (“The Two Popes”)
Al Pacino (“The Irishman”)
Joe Pesci (“The Irishman”)
Brad Pitt (“Once Upon A Time in Hollywood”)

Supporting Actress

Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”)
Scarlett Johansson (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Florence Pugh (“Little Women”)
Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”)
Margot Robbie (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Adapted Screenplay

Steven Zaillian (“The Irishman”)
Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Todd Phillips, Scott Silver (“Joker”)
Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”)
Anthony McCarten (“The Two Popes”)

Original Screenplay

Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Katie Silberman (“Booksmart”)
Rian Johnson (“Knives Out”)
Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Han Jin Won, Bong Joon-ho (“Parasite”)

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

Mark Jenkin, Kate Byers, Linn Waite (“Bait”)
Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts (“For Sama”)
Alex Holmes (“Maiden”)
Harry Wootliff (“Only You”)
Álvaro Delgado-Aparicio (“Retablo”)

Original Score

Thomas Newman (“1917”)
Michael Giacchino (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Hildur Guđnadóttir (“Joker”)
Alexandre Desplat (“Little Women”)
John Williams (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”)


Roger Deakins (“1917”)
Rodrigo Prieto (“The Irishman”)
Lawrence Sher (“Joker”)
Phedon Papamichael (“Le Mans ’66”)
Jarin Blaschke (“The Lighthouse”)

EE Rising Star Award (public vote)

Kaitlyn Dever
Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Jack Lowden
Micheal Ward

Film Not in the English Language

Lulu Wang, Daniele Melia (“The Farewell”)
Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts (“For Sama”)
Pedro Almodóvar, Agustín Almodóvar (“Pain and Glory”)
Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”)
Céline Sciamma, Bénédicte Couvreur (“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”)


Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert (“American Factory”)
Todd Douglas Miller (“Apollo 11”)
Asif Kapadia (“Diego Maradona”)
Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts (“For Sama”)
Karim Amer, Jehane Noujaim (“The Great Hack”)

Animated Film

Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho (“Frozen 2”)
Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh (“Klaus”)
Will Becher, Richard Phelan, Paul Kewley (“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”)
Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen (“Toy Story 4”)


Shayna Markowitz (“Joker”)
Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler (“Marriage Story”)
Victoria Thomas (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Sarah Crowe (“The Personal History of David Copperfield”)
Nina Gold (“The Two Popes”)


Thelma Schoonmaker (“The Irishman”)
Tom Eagles (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Jeff Groth (“Joker”)
Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker (“Le Mans ’66”)
Fred Raskin (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Production Design

Dennis Gassner, Lee Sandales (“1917”)
Bob Shaw, Regina Graves (“The Irishman”)
Ra Vincent, Nora Sopková (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Mark Friedberg, Kris Moran (“Joker”)
Barbara Ling, Nancy Haigh (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Costume Design

Christopher Peterson, Sandy Powell (“The Irishman”)
Mayes C. Rubeo (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Jany Temime (“Judy”)
Jacqueline Durran (“Little Women”)
Arianne Phillips (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Makeup and Hair

Naomi Donne (“1917”)
Vivian Baker, Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan (“Bombshell”)
Kay Georgiou, Nicki Ledermann (“Joker”)
Jeremy Woodhead (“Judy”)
Lizzie Yianni Georgiou (“Rocketman”)


Scott Millan, Oliver Tarney, Rachael Tate, Mark Taylor, Stuart Wilson (“1917”)
Tod Maitland, Alan Robert Murray, Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic (“Joker”)
David Giammarco, Paul Massey, Steven A. Morrow, Donald Sylvester (“Le Mans ’66”)
Matthew Collinge, John Hayes, Mike Prestwood Smith, Danny Sheehan (“Rocketman”)
David Acord, Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, Stuart Wilson, Matthew Wood (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”)

Special Visual Effects

Greg Butler, Guillaume Rocheron, Dominic Tuohy (“1917”)
Dan Deleeuw, Dan Sudick (“Avengers: Endgame”)
Leandro Estebecorena, Stephane Grabli, Pablo Helman (“The Irishman”)
Andrew R. Jones, Robert Legato, Elliot Newman, Adam Valdez (“The Lion King”)
Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, Neal Scanlan, Dominic Tuohy (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”)

British Short Animation

Maryam Mohajer (“Grandad Was a Romantic”)
Kathrin Steinbacher (“In Her Boots”)
Naaman Azhari, Lilia Laurel (“The Magic Boat”)

British Short Film

Myriam Raja, Nathanael Baring (“Azaar”)
Hector Dockrill, Harri Kamalanathan, Benedict Turnbull, Laura Dockrill (“Goldfish”)
Sasha Rainbow, Rosalind Croad (“Kamali”)
Carol Dysinger, Elena Andreicheva (“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl”)
Lena Headey, Anthony Fitzgerald (“The Trap”)

2019 BAFTA Awards: ‘Roma,’ ‘The Favourite’ are the top winners

February 10, 2019

by Carla Hay

Alfonso Cuarón and Yalitza Aparicio on the set of “Roma” (Photo by Carlos Somonte/Netflix)

Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman in “The Favourite” (Photo by Yorgos Lanthimos)

With four prizes, including Best Film, “Roma” was one of the top winners at the 72nd annual British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards, which were presented at Royal Albert Hall in London on February 10, 2019. BBC America had the U.S. telecast of the show. Joanna Lumley hosted the show for the second consecutive year. Meanwhile, “The Favourite,” which went into the ceremony with the most nominations (12) emerged with the most prizes (six), including Outstanding British Film. Eligible movies were those released in the United Kingdom in 2018.

The Spanish-language “Roma,” which had garnered seven nods, won BAFTAs for Best Film, Best Director (for Alfonso Cuarón), Best Cinematography and Best Film Not in the English Language. Netflix’s “Roma,” which is inspired by Cuarón’s Mexico City childhood from the perspective of his family’s housekeeper/nanny, made BAFTA history for being the first non-English-language film and the first movie from a streaming service to win the BAFTA prize for Best Film.

“The Favourite,” which tells the story of Great Britain’s mercurial Queen Anne and two women who compete for her affections, won the following BAFTAs: Outstanding British Film, Best Actress (for Olivia Colman), Best Supporting Actress (for Rachel Weisz), Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design and Best Makeup and Hair.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” and “A Star Is Born,” the two biggest music-oriented films of 2018, went into the ceremony with seven nominations each. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the official biopic of rock band Queen, emerged with two BAFTAs: Best Actor (for Rami Malek) and Best Sound, while “A Star Is Born” won only one BAFTA: Best Original Music. Meanwhile, “First Man” (which had seven nods) and “Cold War” (which had four nods) didn’t win any BAFTAs. Three-time BAFTA nominees “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” “Mary Poppins Returns,” “Mary Queen of Scots” and “Stan & Ollie” also failed to get any of the prizes.

“BlacKkKlansman,” which had five nods, ended up with one award: Best Adapted Screenplay. It was the first BAFTA won by Spike Lee, who co-wrote the screenplay. Although this was Lee’s first BAFTA prize in a competitive category, he was given a special, non-competitive BAFTA Award in 2002. Four-time BAFTA nominee “Green Book” also won one award: Best Supporting Actor, for Mahershala Ali. “Vice,” which received six nominations, ended up with one BAFTA: Best Editing.


Here is the complete list of winners and nominations for the BAFTA Awards:


Best Film

“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“A Star Is Born”

Outstanding British Film

“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”*
“Stan & Ollie”
“You Were Never Really Here”

Best Leading Actor

Bradley Cooper – “A Star Is Born”
Christian Bale – “Vice”
Rami Malek – “Bohemian Rhapsody”*
Steve Coogan – “Stan & Ollie”
Viggo Mortensen – “Green Book”

Best Leading Actress

Glenn Close – “The Wife”
Lady Gaga – “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy – “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Olivia Colman – “The Favourite”*
Viola Davis – “Widows”

Best Supporting Actor

Adam Driver – “BlacKkKlansman”
Mahershala Ali – “Green Book”*
Richard E Grant – “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell – “Vice”
Timothée Chalamet – “Beautiful Boy”

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams – “Vice”
Claire Foy – “First Man”
Emma Stone – “The Favourite”
Margot Robbie – “Mary Queen of Scots”
Rachel Weisz – “The Favourite”*

EE Rising Star Award (public vote)

Jessie Buckley
Cynthia Erivo
Barry Keoghan
Lakeith Stanfield
Letitia Wright*

Best Director

Spike Lee – “BlacKkKlansman”
Paweł Pawlikowski – “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos – “The Favourite”
Alfonso Cuarón – “Roma”*
Bradley Cooper – “A Star Is Born”

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

“Apostasy” – Daniel Kokotajlo (writer/director)
“Beast” – Michael Pearce (writer/director), Lauren Dark (producer)*
“A Cambodian Spring” – Chris Kelly (writer/director/producer)
“Pili” – Leanne Welham (writer/director), Sophie Harman (producer)
“Ray & Liz” – Richard Billingham (writer/director), Jacqui Davies (producer)

Best Film Not in the English Language

“Cold War”

Best Documentary

“Free Solo”*
“They Shall Not Grow Old”
“Three Identical Strangers”

Best Animated Film

“Incredibles 2”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse”*

Best Original Screenplay

“Cold War”
“The Favourite”*
“Green Book”

Best Adapted Screenplay

“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
“First Man”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“A Star Is Born”

Best Original Music

“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“A Star Is Born”*

Best Cinematography

“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“Cold War”
“The Favourite”
“First Man”

Best Costume Design

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”*
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Mary Queen of Scots”

Best Editing

“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“First Man”

Best Production Design

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”
“The Favourite”*
“First Man”
“Mary Poppins Returns”

Best Makeup and Hair

“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”*
“Mary Queen of Scots”
“Stan & Ollie”

Best Sound

“Bohemian Rhapsody”*
“First Man”
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout”
“A Quiet Place”
“A Star Is Born”

Best Special Visual Effects

“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Black Panther”*
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”
“First Man”
“Ready Player One”

British Short Film

“73 Cows”*
“The Blue Door”
“The Field”

British Short Animation

“I’m OK”

Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema

Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen (Number 9 Films)

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