Bafta awards race is wide open after it turns its back on Hollywood

Bafta awards race is wide open after it turns its back on Hollywood

02/20/2023

The makers of Avatar: The Way Of Water were left feeling blue after being shut out of every major category in this year’s Bafta nominations – a list that largely turned its back on Hollywood razzle-dazzle.

American A-listers Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg were also ‘snubbed’ as the British Academy showered 14 nominations on All Quiet On The Western Front.

The revisionist German World War I epic from Netflix demonstrated the increasing inclusion of foreign language films into the best film and director categories in recent years, though the shut-out of Indian-Telugu favourite RRR came as a shock to many (perhaps the 182min runtime proved just too daunting?).

Bafta’s determined post-2020 voting shake-up, brought in to redress accusations over diversity bias, means that juries now help steer the acting and directing nominations.

That’s likely resulted in a way more interesting and excitingly diverse list – four of the six best directors have never been nominated before and I genuinely can’t predict who’ll win that one, plus 14 of the 24 acting nominees are also, refreshingly, first-timers.

And whilst you can’t please everyone all the time (much outrage that Brit indie fave Aftersun didn’t get either best film or director recognition), this year’s shortlist came pretty darned close. It’s certainly thrown the race wide open.

This time last week The Fabelmans looked like the one to beat come Oscars night, after scooping Golden Globes for best film and best director. The Baftas have snubbed it with just one nomination.

That leaves its rival, dark Irish comedy The Banshees Of Inisherin, with a clear field. Or does it?

Following the barrage of Bafta love, will All Quiet On The Western Front lead the charge on next week’s Oscars nominations? Watch this space.

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