2022 Oscars Discussion, Vol. 4: BAFTA Nominations Reaction

King Richard / Warner Bros.

The BAFTA Awards announced their nominations this past Thursday morning. There were a lot of surprises, both good and bad, which will directly impact how predictions for the 2022 Oscars. Shall we travel across the pond?

BAFTA Nominations

If you love Dune, then you were jumping for joy as Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic led the field with 11 nominations as the film will be the frontrunner to pick up hardware in many technical categories. Oscar favorites The Power of the Dog and Belfast followed behind with eight and six nominations, respectfully. Click here to see all of the categories. Right now, I want to focus on the major categories especially the acting nominations.

Big Wins

  • Don’t Look Up in Best Film and Leonardo DiCaprio in Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Everyone in the Best Directing category besides Paul Thomas Anderson and Jane Campion
  • Will Smith for King Richard in Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Alana Haim for Licorice Pizza and Renate Reinsve for The Worst Person in the World in Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Mike Faist for West Side Story in Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Jessie Buckley for The Lost Daughter and Ann Dowd for Mass in Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Big Losses

  • No West Side Story in Best Film
  • No Steven Spielberg for West Side Story, Denis Villeneuve for Dune, or Kenneth Branagh for Belfast in Best Director
  • No Denzel Washington (!!!) once again or Andrew Garfield for tick, tick… Boom! in Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • No Oliva Colman for The Lost Daughter, Nicole Kidman for Being the Riccardos, or Kristen Stewart for Best Actress in a Leading Role

Keep in mind that Oscar voting ended on Feb. 1 so voters turned in their ballots before these nominations were revealed. However, the BAFTA results can have a direct impact on Oscar winners. Just ask Olivia Colman in 2019 or Anthony Hopkins last year, who both benefited from BAFTA victories in Best Actor and Actress on their way to upset wins at the Oscars in the same categories.

The Top 2 In Acting Categories

If you were on #FilmTwitter today, then the phrase “top 2” was being thrown around left and right. This is in regards to voting for two lead acting and two supporting acting categories. These are the rules straight from the BAFTA website.

The BAFTAs released longlists of 15 actors and actresses in each category back in January. From the pool of 15, the top 2 are nominated. Then, the jury will determine the final four nominations from spots 3-15 with a vote.

In simpler terms, think of this voting process like it’s American Idol during the deliberations. The top vote-getters automatically move on to the live shows. For the remaining spots, the judges would choose the wild cards from the rest of the pool, and they too would also advance to the Finals.

Why is this important? Although the BAFTAs won’t reveal the top 2, correctly guessing these two positions will help predict the Oscars as the top 2 selections will typically receive a nomination in their respective category. By some process of elimination, we can narrow down the answer as to who made the top 2 and make educated guesses.

As Matt Neglia and many other critics pointed out on Twitter, there are a select group of individuals who received nominations by four major guilds: Critics Choice Awards, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and the BAFTAs.

Let’s start with the easy decisions. Troy Kotsur, Kodi Smith-Mcphee, Caitr√≠ona Balfe, and Ariana DeBose have racked up nominations all over so it’s safe to say those four made the top 2 in the supporting categories.

In Best Actor, Benedict Cumberbatch is in all likelihood in the top 2 because of the eight nominations for The Power of the Dog including Best Film. It gets trickier with Will Smith. Smith might be the frontrunner for the Oscar, but he was probably saved by the jury while Leonardo DiCaprio made the top 2. DiCaprio’s biggest nomination to date occurred at the Golden Globes. That’s his only real nomination throughout awards season. If that’s the case, why would the jury save him? It makes more sense for DiCaprio to be in the top 2. Regardless, the voters loved his outburst on The Daily Rip, as did I.

Then there’s Lady Gaga, who definitely made the top 2 thanks to her nomination dominance these past few months. Who also made the top 2? Time for the process of elimination. Emilia Jones has received a lot of best new actress or rising star nominations, but rarely cracked the lead actress category so cross her off. Renate Reinsve is the lead in one of the best films of the year, but the film just opened in the U.S. so without big nominations in North America, cross her off. Joanna Scanlan is in a British film and the BAFTAs typically like to reward performances like hers despite little awards recognition so cross her off. Tessa Thompson is a nice surprise in this category, but her co-star, Ruth Negga, has gotten the bulk of the nominations in supporting so cross Tessa off.

This leads us to my best guess for the other member of the top 2, Alana Haim. First of all, fuck yes! I love HAIM, the band, so I almost fainted when I read she would be the lead in a PTA film. Haim is phenomenal in her debut film performance, and the voting body agreed as well. This gives me hope that Haim will sneak her way into Best Actress at the Oscars. You’ll never hear me shut up about it if Haim makes it to the final five.

All of these debates will end when the Oscar nominations are announced on February 8, 2022. Until then, predict away!

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2022 Oscars Discussion, Vol. 2: Licorice Pizza And West Side Story Arrive In Style

Licorice Pizza

In my first column for the 2022 Oscars, I talked about how Belfast and The Power of the Dog were 1 and 1A in the Best Picture race with a lot of unknowns trailing behind. Two of those unknowns arrived this past week and became legit contenders. Buckle up.

Licorice Pizza And West Side Story Have Arrived

Never count out the power of well-respected directors. Coming into the Fall, very little was known about Licorice Pizza and West Side Story besides the two powerhouses behind the camera, Paul Thomas Anderson and Steven Spielberg. Projects from two of the best directors of their respective generations will garner a lot of attention.

In both cases, the hype was real.

Licorice Pizza landed the best debut at the independent box office during the pandemic with $335,000. PTA’s coming-of-age story set in the 1970s San Fernando Valley received overwhelmingly positive reviews, with RogerEbert.com calling it the “best movie of the year.

Fittingly, another organization called it the best film of the year. The National Board of Review named Licorice Pizza the Best Film of 2021. In addition to the top prize, PTA won Best Director, and Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman won breakthrough performance.

The win at the NBR foreshadows an Oscar nomination. Since 2010, only two films* that won Best Film did not go on to receive a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars. With a Best Picture nomination all but guaranteed, PTA should receive at least one more nomination for screenplay or direction with the former being his best chance to win.

*2014’s A Most Violent Year and 2020’s Da 5 Bloods

While PTA searches for his first Oscar, Spielberg is trying to win his fourth Oscar with West Side Story. When Spielberg first announced he would remake one of the greatest musicals of all time, many questioned why take on this legendary work of art.

Not this guy!

We should know better than to question a 17-time Oscar nominee.

According to the first reactions, West Side Story is a “true Spielberg classic.”

West Side Story quickly inserted itself into the Best Picture race with its inclusion on NBR’s 10 Best Films of the Year. The film is a lock for nominations in Best Picture and Best Director. Expect newcomer Rachel Zegler (Best Actress), who won Best Actress at NBR, Ariana DeBose (Supporting), and Rita Moreno (Supporting) to be major players in their respective races.

Gotham Awards And National Board of Review Results

This past week, the Gotham Awards gave out some hardware. The biggest winner was Netflix’s The Lost Daughter, which won four awards: Best Feature, Breakthrough Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress. Will it translate to Oscar nominations? It will be difficult for Maggie Gyllenhaal to crack the directing category, but she’s a shoo-in for an Adapted Screenplay nomination. Olivia Colman is a guarantee for a Best Actress nomination while the film still has some work to do for Best Picture.

As for the rest of the NBR winners, Will Smith began his “I’m going to win every award in site” campaign with a victory for King Richard.

Until next time, my friends.

After strong premieres, Licorice Pizza and West Side Story are now contenders in the race for Best Picture at the 2022 Oscars.

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Tweet me, @danny_giro, with your best Oscar predictions!