Can a BAFTA Snub Cast a Shadow on Oscar Chances?
Although the live-tweeted Golden Globes and the Instagram-live’d SAG Award noms received a lot of attention, a lower-profile announcement in the wee hours of Jan. 12, stateside time, may tell us more about Oscar hopefuls’ prospects. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced its BAFTA Awards “longlists,” which are like the shortlists that 10 branches of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences reveal, in that they disclose which contenders have survived a considerable winnowing of the field en route to nominations voting. The main difference, though, is that BAFTA announces a longlist for every category, offering a snapshot of which films are popular with its members and, perhaps more tellingly, which are not.
There is a not inconsiderable amount of overlap between members of the two academies that are based on opposite sides of the pond. All of BAFTA’s roughly 8,000 members — who have not infrequently anticipated Oscar “surprises” like noms for Phantom Thread’ s Lesley Manville and Little Women’ s Florence Pugh, and wins for Bridge of Spies’ Mark Rylance, The Favourite’ s Olivia Colman and The Father’ s Anthony Hopkins — get to weigh in on the best film longlist, so it was certainly notable that, say, The French Dispatch was among the 15 advancing films, but Drive My Car — the Japanese film that was voted best film by the top film critics of New York and Los Angeles, as well as the National Society of Film Critics — was MIA. So, too, were Nightmare Alley , The Hand of God , Cyrano , A Hero , Spencer and C’mon C’mon .
Also missing from the best film longlist was Parallel Mothers , but it had an even worse miss: star Penélope Cruz was shockingly left off the leading actress longlist (which, like the other three acting longlists, is composed of 12 selections made by BAFTA’s acting chapter plus three more chosen by a longlisting jury from the next 10 highest vote-getters, a process intended to ensure diverse contenders).
Other notable longlist omissions: Parallel Mothers ‘ Pedro Almodóvar, C’mon C’mon’ s Mike Mills, Nightmare Alley’ s Guillermo del Toro, Tick, Tick … Boom!’ s Lin-Manuel Miranda, Being the Ricardos ‘ Aaron Sorkin, and House of Gucci and The Last Duel’ s Ridley Scott (director); Nightmare Alley’ s Bradley Cooper and Belfast’ s Jude Hill (leading actor); The Last Duel’ s Jodie Comer (leading actress); The Tender Bar’ s Ben Affleck and Don’t Look Up’ s Jonah Hill (supporting actor); and CODA’ s Marlee Matlin, C’mon C’mon’ s Gaby Hoffmann and Being the Ricardos’ Nina Arianda (supporting actress).
This story first appeared in the Jan. 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.