|B is for Hot Dog. BAFTA nominations 2013 announced|
|Written by Ivan Radford|
|Wednesday, 09 January 2013 07:47|
B is for British. Can someone tell BAFTA that? 2012, a year that saw Bond hit 50, London host the Olympics, the Queen celebrate her Jubes and Hitchcock's first film hit 90, was surely set to make the 2013 BAFTA nominations a home run for the British film industry, an overdue pat on the back after a long tradition of giving all its biggest awards to America's brightest Oscar contenders.
Which is why it's great to see Skyfall, Joe Wright's Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, Seven Psychopaths and even The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel leading the charge for Best Film.
No, wait. That's Best British Film. Sorry. Best Film's another matter entirely. Out of the above list, only Les Mis makes the cut, joining Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty in the title race.
Lincoln, in fact, has 10 nominations, the most of any film - a move that sees Uncle Sam towering over the whole ceremony. Tom Hooper's musical has enough nods to join Life of Pi in second place (both on nine) and Skyfall scores a solid third-highest nominations with eight, but Argo and Zero Dark Thirty share the rest of the attention. (Argo has eight nods in total - but as the only Best Film/Best Director combo [Django misses the former, Les Mis the latter] to also have lead and supporting actor chances, it's now surely the biggest awards player in the field.)
That's not to say that these films don't deserve praise (Tarantino's Best Director nod is a nice trend-setting example), but 2013 marks another year in which we seem to intentionally ignore homegrown talent. I'm sorry for sounding like a grumpus. I do enjoy awards season - the bitching, the speeches, the dresses, the amiable vacuousness of it all - but away from the silliness, there's a semi-serious point here: a nomination can lead to a win, and one of those can do big things for a film's box office.
In 2012, Olivia Colman was the Tyrannosaur in the room, missing out on Best Actress while Paddy Considine's drama was awarded the prize of Best British Film - a decision that drove me to suggest we remove that patronising prefix altogether. Like Spain's Goya awards, why not just have a Best Film for British productions and a Best of the Rest for overseas projects, leaving Lincoln to battle it out with Amour, The Hunt, Headhunters and the others?
Of course, with the number of international movies these days, perhaps that's not a very practical move. Brits are making a splash all over the place (hello to Christopher Nolan), something the Outstanding British Debut category, which nominates documentaries (The Imposter/McCullin), warm-hearted homegrown talent (Dexter Fletcher's deserving Wild Bill), and even The Muppets (James Bobin), does really well to recognise.
But why forget that when it comes to some of the other major award categories? Wild Bill and The Imposter both deserve to be up for Best British Film at least, while Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio, ridiculously, isn't even up for Best Sound, let alone anything else. How about a nod for Toby Jones?
It's perhaps fitting that this year should see Olivia Colman overlooked again for Hyde Park on Hudson in a supporting role as the Queen Mother, the same Queen Mother who earned Helena Bonham Carter awards last time round. In the film, the Royals go to visit President Roosevelt, who requests that they join him in a sausage-themed picnic - leaving the Brits running around an American home saying "hot dog" over and over again. Amazingly, the panicked Colman steals the whole film away from the Yanks around her.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could do the same thing with our country's flagship cinema awards? What's the point in positioning the BAFTAs as the big lead-up to the Academy Awards, only to repeatedly produce a similar list of contenders? Sure, they're just voters' opinions, but it's also a wider ideological stance that goes back to that Outstanding British Film category - an excellent gesture, but one that could be extended to something even more effective.
The British Indepedent Film Awards manage it, without feeling the need to imitate America's Spirit Awards. This year, some may complain about the ubiquity of internationally-produced Skyfall, but BAFTA are right to be blowing Bond's trumpet like a mad crowd cheering on Team GB. If only we could have our hot dogs and eat them too.
The BAFTA awards will be announced on Sunday 10th February. Read on for the very solid, if slightly disappointing, full list of nominees.
ARGO Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney
LES MISÉRABLES Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh
LIFE OF PI Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womark
LINCOLN Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy
ZERO DARK THIRTY Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Megan Ellison
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
ANNA KARENINA Joe Wright, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster, Tom Stoppard
THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL John Madden, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Ol Parker
LES MISÉRABLES Tom Hooper, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh, William Nicholson, Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS Martin McDonagh, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin
SKYFALL Sam Mendes, Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
BART LAYTON (Director), DIMITRI DOGANIS (Producer) The Imposter
DAVID MORRIS (Director), JACQUI MORRIS (Director/Producer) McCullin
DEXTER FLETCHER (Director/Writer), DANNY KING (Writer) Wild Bill
JAMES BOBIN (Director) The Muppets
TINA GHARAVI (Director/Writer) I Am Nasrine
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE