The next big awards show to announce their nominees are the British Academy of Film, and it’s always a little tricky to try and predict all their nominees. Their tastes sometimes overlap heavily with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the other awards bodies, but not always. Anyways, we’ll tackle the top categories, and Best British Film as well.
Best Adapted Screenplay
The Two Popes
These five feel pretty safe to me, but A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood could overcome Joker or The Two Popes, depending on how well those films do with the other categories. I’ll also throw in Judy and Downton Abbey as possible contenders here.
Best Original Screenplay
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Pain and Glory
Remembering that Parasite is not opening in time for awards consideration this year in the UK, that leaves an open spot in this category and a few others. Even though war movies have a tough time making the list at the Oscars, since 1917 is told from a British filmmaker about WWI, I think it will go over big at BAFTA. Knives Out and Pain and Glory I also feel will have some love, in addition to the expected nominees of Marriage Story and Hollywood.
A few other contenders are The Farewell, Bombshell, Us, and Uncut Gems.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Laura Dern – Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit
Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers
Florence Pugh – Little Women
Margot Robbie – Bombshell
This could be the five to make the Oscars as well, though Pugh has disappointed so far in the season only landing a nomination at Critics Choice. Annette Bening (The Report), Zhao Shuzhen (The Farewell), Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell) and Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey) are a few other actresses to keep an eye on.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
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
Hanks, Pitt, Pesci, and Pacino are all safe bets at this point. It’s just determining that final nominee, and Welsh legend Anthony Hopkins feels like the obvious choice here. The Two Popes also feels more like a BAFTA film to me, so I’d say anyone else would be a small surprise.
Willem Dafoe for The Lighthouse, Jamie Foxx for Just Mercy, Alan Alda for Marriage Story, and Taika Waititi for Jojo Rabbit are about the only other names I’m considering.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story
Lupita Nyong’o – Us
Saoirse Ronan – Little Women
Charlize Theron – Bombshell
Renee Zellweger – Judy
I have Johansson nominated twice this year, like she was at SAG, but it was a close call between Cynthia Erivo in Harriet or Lupita Nyong’o for Us, and I went Lupita. The other three shouldn’t have a problem being nominated.
A couple other names to throw out are Awkwafina for The Farewell, Helen Mirren for The Good Liar, and Isabelle Huppert for Frankie.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory
Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Adam Driver – Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix – Joker
Jonathan Pryce – The Two Popes
Once again I’m relying on the strength of The Two Popes, and the fact that Pryce is Welsh, for him to make the list over Robert De Niro, who may end up losing all steam in the Oscar race if he misses again. Another Welsh actor who’s stuck around in the race is Christian Bale for Ford v Ferrari, so watch out for him to steal a slot, too.
Otherwise, Taron Egerton is a big threat playing Elton John in Rocketman, George McKay could land his first big nomination of the year for 1917, and we could also see Robert Pattinson be a surprise nominee if The Lighthouse takes off at BAFTA, but Willem Dafoe would have to be nominated, too, I would think, for that to happen.
Pedro Almodovar – Pain and Glory
Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story
Sam Mendes – 1917
Martin Scorsese – The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
With Bong Joon-Ho out of contention, that leaves a spot open, and BAFTA is known for picking the foreign language directors, some of whom end up on the Oscar list as well. Look at Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War), Michael Haneke (Amour), and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others), all nominated at BAFTA, so I’ll go with Almodovar over some other contenders.
A few other directors to include on the list are Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Todd Phillips (Joker), Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit), Fernando Meirelles (The Two Popes), and Terrence Malick (A Hidden Life).
Best British Film
The Two Popes
This is always a tough category to pick, but I feel like the academy will go more toward the films that aren’t as big a threat in the Best Film category (with one exception). Remembering that the film has to have a British writer, director, or producer to qualify, I see these six films as the most obvious options.
Keep in mind that both Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Marriage Story are produced by David Heyman, a British legend, so one or both of them could crash the party big time, but again I think the academy will want to spread a little love. In addition, a few other British Independent Film Award nominees could pop up here, like The Souvenir, The Personal History of David Copperfield, and For Sama.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
The Two Popes
With only five nominees, this category sometimes becomes hard to predict. With Marriage Story, Hollywood, and Irishman being very safe bets everywhere else, and 1917 being catnip for the BAFTAs, that leaves one spot open, and I feel The Two Popes will overcome the other contenders. The other big contender I’m leaving off the list (just barely) is Joker, which was a phenomenal hit at the UK box office, and may surprise with a Director nomination.
Little Women, Jojo Rabbit, Ford v Ferrari, Bombshell, Pain and Glory, and Rocketman are also contenders.
Nominations are announced Tuesday, January 7th and the winners will be announced on Sunday, February 2nd.
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