Last year, “An Education” led the BAFTA long lists with 17 mentions including best picture and for seven performances while “Inglourious Basterds” merited 14 mentions including best picture and four performances. “Avatar” was short-listed in all races in which it was eligible except acting earning 11 mentions, as did “The Hurt Locker” (including picture and three acting bids) and “The Lovely Bones” (four acting bids but no picture mention).
In the second round, “Avatar,” “An Education” and “The Hurt Locker” led with eight nominations each, including best picture nods. Another two of the top Oscar contenders — “Up in the Air” and “Precious” — fared less well, though they counted best picture nods among their six and four BAFTA bids, respectively. “Inglorious Basterds” also earned six nominations, including directing and screenplay nods for Quentin Tarantino, but was bumped from the best picture race which remained at five contenders. Among the other Oscar hopefuls, “District 9” landed seven nominations, including directing and screenplay bids while “Star Trek” reaped just two tech nods. “Up” contended in four categories, including animated film and original screenplay. That latter category is also where “The Hangover” and “A Serious Man” each earned their only BAFTA bids. “Nine” was nominated only for hair and makeup while “Invictus” was shut out.
On the night, “The Hurt Locker” won six of its eight races, including the top prize of best picture while “Avatar” prevailed in two of its eight bids — production design and visual effects — and “An Education” took just one of its eight nominations with a best actress win for Carey Mulligan. Up in the Air” went one for six winning adapted screenplay while “Precious” came out on top in one of its four categories, supporting actress (Mo’Nique). The lone win for “Inglorious Basterds” was for supporting actor Christoph Waltz.
Two years ago, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Frost/Nixon” led the long lists with 14 mentions each, followed by “Changeling,” “The Dark Knight,” “The Reader,” “Revolutionary Road” and “Slumdog Millionaire” with 13 apiece. In the second round, “Benjamin Button” and “Slumdog Millionaire” both landed 11 nominations while “The Dark Knight” earned eight (but not a best picture bid). “Changeling” had seven nods, “Frost/Nixon” six and “The Reader” five. In the end, it was eventual Oscar champ “Slumdog Millionaire” that won the BAFTA best picture prize. Three of the four acting winners — Kate Winslet (“The Reader”), Heath Ledger (“The Dark Knight”) and Penelope Cruz (“Vicky Christina Barcelona”) — went on to prevail at the Oscars. The fourth — Mickey Rourke (“The Wrestler”) — lost the Oscar to Sean Penn (“Milk”).
In 2007, “Atonement” led the BAFTA long list with 17 mentions, followed by 13 for “American Gangster,” “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood.” “Atonement” — the only British film among the final five best-picture nominees — won that race as well as production design. All four acting winners — Daniel Day-Lewis (“There Will Be Blood”), Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men”) and Tilda Swinton (“Michael Clayton”) — went on to repeat at the Oscars. In 2006, one of the two pix that tied for the most long-list bids, “The Queen,” won the BAFTA for best picture, but five years ago the long-list leader, “Memoirs of a Geisha,” didn’t even get a nomination in the top race.