While the Academy Awards tease us with lists of pre-nomination semifinalists in only certain categories — such as foreign film and some of the technical ones — the BAFTAs release such rosters in almost all categories (see full longlist here) with 15 films in the running in most of the races. The final five nominees in each will be announced Jan. 17 (one week before nominations for the Oscars are unveiled) with the awards fest on Feb. 12 (two weeks before the Academy Awards ceremony).
The 6,000 plus members of BAFTA culled these longlists from 285 eligible films. Two British features — “My Week with Marilyn” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” — merited a leading 16 mentions, including five for performances, while another — “The Iron Lady” — earned 14, including four for the cast.
“The Artist,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Midnight in Paris” and “War Horse” all reaped 13 listings. Scoring an even dozen are “Hugo” and “The Help” while “Drive,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” and “The Ides of March” netted 11 apiece. “We Need to Talk About Kevin” earned 10, “Moneyball” scored 8 and “The Descendants” managed 7.
All of the above, with the exception of “Harry Potter,” figure in the 15 films contending for Best Picture along with the documentary “Senna.”
“The Tree of Life” was shut out but for a mention for cinematography while “A Dangerous Method” only landed a costume listing. While “Coriolanus” earned six mentions including one for lead actor Ralph Fiennes (who also directed), Vanessa Redgrave was snubbed for her supporting performance.
Unlike the Oscars, where the nominations in each category are determined by the members of that particular branch while the winners are voted on by the entire membership, the BAFTA longlists and nominations come from the membership at large while the winners are chosen by chapters (akin to the academy’s branches) except for picture, performance, documentary and foreign language film which are decided by everyone.
BAFTA does indicate on the longlists the top five from the respective chapters so all voters can see what the experts prefer. “The Artist” leads with 10 of its 12 chapter mentions making the top five while “Hugo” has nine and “Tinker Tailor” eight in this top tier.
For the acting branch, the top picks for the performance prizes were:
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Kenneth Branagh (“My Week with Marilyn”)
Jonah Hill (“Moneyball”)
Phillip Seymour Hoffman (“The Ides of March”)
Eddie Marsan (“Tyrannosaur”)
Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jessica Chastain (“The Help”)
Judi Dench (“My Week with Marilyn”)
Bryce Dallas Howard (“The Help”)
Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids”)
Ocatvia Spencer (“The Help”)
Zoe Wanamaker (“My Week with Marilyn”)
Among the other Best Actor hopefuls on the long list are several more Oscar frontrunners including Leonardo DiCaprio (“J.Edgar”) and Ryan Gosling who merited mention for both “Drive” and “The Ides of March.”
The Best Actress slate also includes Rooney Mara (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) and Charlize Theron (“Young Adult”). As with Bejo, Carey Mulligan was bumped up to lead for “Shame,” However, BAFTA kept Mulligan in supporting for “Drive.”
The Best Supporting Actor line-up extends to two more of the leading Oscar contenders — Albert Brooks (“Drive”) and Ben Kingsley (“Hugo”).
Other Best Supporting Actress possibilities beyond the top six include Evan Rachel Wood (“the Ides of March”) and Shailene Woodley (“The Descendants”).