What do BAFTA nominations tell us about Oscars?

The BAFTA nominations announced Friday may reveal a lot about next Thursday’s Oscar nominations thanks to a significant overlap of voters — upwards of 500. While both groups canvass all their members for their picks for Best Picture, BAFTA also does the same to determine the nominees for the four acting awards. 

Last year, BAFTA awarded “12 Years a Slave” the top prize (but only one other) while “Gravity” claimed six, including Best Director. At the Oscars, “12 Years” also won Best Picture and two more (Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay) while “Gravity” repeated in Director, Cinematography, Score, Sound (twice) and Visual Effects and also took the Editing Oscar (BAFTA winner “Rush” was snubbed in this race). However, it snubbed “Dallas Buyers Club,” which scored Oscars for leading man Matthew McConaughey and supporting player Jared Leto

And in 2012, BAFTA fotetold the Oscar strength of “Argo,” which won Best Picture from both groups. It also gave a boost to “Django Unchained,” which missed out on SAG nominations and was ineligible for the WGA Awards, but won BAFTAs for Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz) and Original Screenplay (Quentin Tarantino) before repeating in those races at the Oscars.

So who among this year’s Oscar hopefuls was most helped and hurt by the BAFTA nominations?

BAFTA Awards: Complete list of nominations

GOOD NEWS FOR …

The Grand Budapest Hotel
It edged out “Birdman” and “The Theory of Everything” to earn the most nominations at 11 to their 10. This came despite reaping just one acting bid to their three and two respectively. As it has done stateside with the guilds, this Wes Anderson charmer did very well in the below-the-line races with nominations for cinematography, editing, production design, costume design, makeup & hair, music and sound.

Birdman
It has been racking up nominations and wins throughout the awards season, but earning 10 bids at the BAFTAs — including Best Picture and Best Director — signals the broader appeal of this picture. It was the only film to score three acting nominations — lead Michael Keaton and featured Edward Norton and Emma Stone. Previously, “Birdman” helmer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu won the BAFTA for Best Foreign Language Film with “Amore Perres” (2001) and contended in that category for “Biutiful” (2010) and reaped producing and directing bids for “Babel” in 2006. 

The Theory of Everything
A strong showing across the board signals burgeoning support for this biopic about Stephen Hawking. Among its 10 bids is one for editing, a key category at the Oscars (the last film to win Best Picture without at least contending for the cutting prize was “Ordinary People” back in 1980.)

Ralph Fiennes (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”)
BAFTA made room for him in the Best Actor race by bumping Steve Carell down to supporting where he faces off, among others, against his “Foxcatcher” co-star Mark Ruffalo. Fiennes has contended at the Oscars for his featured and leading roles respectively in Best Picture champs “Schindler’s List” (1993) and “The English Patient” (1996). At the BAFTAs, he won for the former, and contended for the latter as well as his star turns in “The End of the Affair” (1999) and “The Constant Gardener” (2005) and for his directing debut (“Coriolanus,” 2011). 

Rene Russo (Nightcrawler“)
She edged out, among others, Jessica Chastain (“A Most Violent Year”) for that fifth Supporting Actress slot. Her husband, Dan Gilroy, reaped a screenplay bid for this film, his first as a director, and his brother contends for cutting it. 

Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash“)
He picked up directing and writing nominations for his debut feature. Among his Best Director competition are the helmers of four of the Best Picture nominees; he bumped out “The Imitation Game” director Morten Tyldum despite that picture reaping nine nominations.

BAFTA nominations:
‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ leads with 11, ‘Birdman’ & ‘Theory of Everthing’ 10 each
Selma,’ ‘Mr. Turner,’  ‘Unbroken’ snubbed

BAD NEWS FOR …

Selma
This Ava DuVernay biopic was shut out across the board; not even British actor David Oyelowo who plays Martin Luther King, Jr. in the picture was nominated. He had contended on the TV side in 2009 for Best Actor for “Small Island” but lost to Kenneth Branagh (“Wallander”) 

Unbroken
Despite being made an honorary Dame by the Queen last year, Angelina Jolie could not win over the British voters. However, the home-grown talent Jack O’Connell, who stars as American WWII hero Louis Zamperini, does contend in the Rising Star race. 

Mr. Turner
While British writer/director Mike Leigh scored his biggest hit domestically with this biopic of revered English painter J.W.W. Turner, the BAFTAs snubbed it above-the-line, with just four creative nods. Not even Timothy Spall, who has reaped BAFTA bids for two other Leigh films (“Topsy Turvy,” “Secrets and Lies”) could break through despite winning Best Actor at Cannes. 

Meryl Streep (“Into the Woods“)
The BAFTAs love her almost as much as the Oscars do; she has won two of her dozen races (“The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” 1981: “The Iron Lady,” 2011). But they didn’t take to her in “Into the Woods,” which reaped just two below-the-line bids (costume design, makeup & hair) even though it was filmed in England.  

5 thoughts on “What do BAFTA nominations tell us about Oscars?

  1. @Cole Jaeger
    Yes, another awards body that couldn’t be bothered to watch all of the films and just mirrored the trendy picks.

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