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Out With the Old, In With the New!

By: Isaac P. Ale
February 03, 2022

We're back! Some of you may be wondering why am I so fixated on writing articles about the BAFTA's when they've had so many issues and are mired in problems.

Well, to that I will say 1) at least they're not the Golden Globes; and 2) the nominations they released today are some of the most fascinating, diverse, and straight up awesome nominations of an awards circuit yet!!!

Let's not dilly dally and jump right into some of the craziest lineups, notable omissions, and everything in between!

happening Happening [2021]

Best Director

By far this is one of the most exciting lineups I've seen for director. It not only includes some esteemed vets but also includes multiple directors of non-English language films. The noms are as follows:

  • Aleem Khan (After Love)
  • Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car)
  • Audrey Diwan (Happening)
  • Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)
  • Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog)
  • Julia Ducournau (Titane)

Wow. Look at that!!

First off, I am beyond thrilled for Julia Ducournau to be here. I loved what she did with Titane, and it was one of the most unique movie experiences I've ever had. Not to mention, the nods to the absolute Queen Jane Campion and PTA are always appreciated and more than welcome.

What's really great here is the addition of Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Aleem Khan, and Audrey Diwan. Diwan and Ducournau combine for 2 directors of French films which is exciting to see, and Hamaguchi cements what should be a shoo-in for Best Director at the Oscars. Drive My Car has seen nothing but critical praise and reception since it premiered, but it hasn't received much across the awards circuit outside of the Foreign Film categories (although it has done exceptionally well in the critics groups, as it became the first non-English film to win Best Picture in the big 3 film critics groups (LAFC, NYFCC, and NSFC) making it the first film in general since The Social Network to take all 3). All this is really to say that Hamaguchi should be at the top of the shortlist for the Oscars Best Director, and a top 2 between him and Campion is just good for business (and the world).

Notable omissions?? Well to see Dune bag 11 nominations and walk away without Villeneuve in Best Director is certainly an interesting decision. The same goes for missing West Side Story's Steven Spielberg and Belfast's Kenneth Branagh. All 3 are storied directors who certainly deserve to be nominated. However what we're seeing here is not only the application of the BAFTA's wide reaching changes from last year but also the signaling of a new era of representation and awarding systems where the people garnering these accolades and their works are as diverse as the world that consumes them. It is beautiful to see and very exciting for the world of film making and its future!

licoricepizza Licorice Pizza [2021]

Best Film

Now that I've just gushed about Hamaguchi's Drive My Car, by the way side-note; you apparently have to sell your soul to watch it as the general public which is quite irritating. So basically all of my praise is sort of conjecture based on what I read about it and the reviews from critics, I have yet to see it myself (I know right, there goes my credibility). Anyway, now that I've gushed about Drive My Car, it's time to notice its absence in Best Film (I know there's a "Best Film not in the English Language" category and I'll get there). The nominations are:

  • Belfast
  • Don’t Look Up
  • Dune
  • Licorice Pizza
  • The Power of the Dog

Couple of thoughts here. Don't Look Up in my opinion is extremely overpraised. I get the idea of an Adam McKay movie being an awards contender every time, but this one is just not that great, even if the cast is absurd. Other than that I like the rest of the nominations.

Now, Drive My Car, The Worst Person in the World, Flee, are all non-English films that get tossed into subcategories that seem rather... tiered? You've got the big umbrella of an award "Best Film" which literally means of all the films this one is the BEST. Then you have the subcategories of "ok this one isn't in English and it's the best", "this one is animated and it's the best". But shouldn't the best of these subcategories make them in contention for the best film of the year?? Maybe I'm digging too much into it and being too pedantic but nonetheless, the Best Film category is a little boring (a little).

twpitw The Worst Person in the World [2021]

Best Actress

Reminiscent of Carrie Mulligan one year ago for Promising Young Woman, Kristen Stewart's darling Oscar hopes across the film community have been dashed. The passionate flame of support and love for her performance in Spencer, which mind you is dynamite, has effectively been snuffed. Missing out on a nomination here AND in the SAG awards is borderline criminal. Meanwhile, Lady Gaga has really raked in the benefits of that snubbing and her press tour of discussing her "methods" in House of Gucci appears to be working as she's probably the leading woman for the Best Actress Oscar at this point. For the sake of having a complete argument here, here are the nominations:

  • Lady Gaga (House of Gucci)
  • Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza)
  • Emilia Jones (Coda)
  • Renate Reinsve (The Worst Person in the World)
  • Joanna Scanlan (After Love)
  • Tessa Thompson (Passing)

Real quick, absolutely LOVE the nominations for Renate Reinsve and Tessa Thompson! The Worst Person in the World and Passing deserve so so so so SO much more attention and love this year, and these 2 leading women are fantastic as well.

It'll be exciting to see how these nominations shake out and who comes away with what award and how that factors into the Academy's voters' decision making as well. Overall, this is a solid nomination run that includes a lot of great performances and works across the board and is an excellent indicator of what is to come in the future of film awards!

More Articles to Satiate the Soul:

In Retrospect: The French Dispatch

In Retrospect: The French Dispatch

Director Kenneth Branagh Returns for the Crown

Director Kenneth Branagh Returns for the Crown

Director Kenneth Branagh Returns for the Crown

Don't Look Up How Long This Movie Is

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