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Oscars Countdown: The Artist and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Score the Most BAFTA Nominations

Posted on the 17 January 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
Oscars countdown: The Artist and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy score the most BAFTA nominations

The Artist

Silent black-and-white film The Artist and British spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy lead the field for BAFTA nominations, with 12 and 11 nods, respectively. The nominations were announced in London early Tuesday morning. The BAFTA race is observed closely on both sides of the Atlantic as the British awards are considered a bellwether to the Oscars.

Next best with BAFTA was Martin Scorsese’s 3D family film Hugo, which received nine nominations. Other films to fare well were My Week With Marilyn (six nominations), The Help and War Horse (each got five).

Duking it out for the BAFTA best film prize are The Artist, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Descendants, The Help and, to some surprise, Drive. Brad Pitt (Moneyball), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor), George Clooney (The Descendants), Jean Dujardin (The Artist) and Michael Fassbender (Shame) compete in the best actor category, while Berenice Bejo (The Artist), Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn), Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin) and Viola Davis (The Help) are the best actress nominees.

Film reviewers and bloggers have reacted mostly warmly to the nominations and begun to consider what they might indicate with regards to the Academy Awards. 

BAFTA remain a law unto themselves. Guy Lodge at HitFix said the nominations are a mixed bag: “As ever with their nominations announcement, BAFTA giveth, and BAFTA taketh away. Excited to see ‘Drive’ up for Best Film and Best Director? Sure, but in return we have to accept Jim Broadbent nominated, ahead of Albert Brooks, for a career-worst performance in ‘The Iron Lady’, which also somehow copped a Best Original Screenplay nod. Glad to see a strong showing at last for ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?’ Yes, but the flipside of that is zero nominations for ‘The Tree of Life’ –  no, not even a cinematography nod for Emmanuel Lubezki.” Looking at what light the nominations cast on the upcoming Oscars, Lodge said that “when trying to anticipate the Oscar race, BAFTA remain a law unto themselves – which can be as exasperating as it is occasionally rewarding.” Lodge suggested that inclusion of The Help in the BAFTA best film category – ahead of Hugo – suggests that the “Yank-flavoured” film is “picking up momentum” in the Best Picture (Oscars) race. Lodge’s other observation was that “the Brits clearly aren’t buying this year’s Americans in Paris quite as wholesale as voters across the pond – in addition to ‘Hugo’ missing out in the top race, ‘Midnight in Paris’ scored a solitary Original Screenplay nod. And they’re only half-sold on ‘The Descendants’: the Golden Globe winner had enough residual heat for three nods, including Best Film, but is missing from the Best Director and Best Supporting Actress categories.”

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy set for (deserved) moment in the spotlight. At The Daily Telegraph, Robbie Collin said that the BAFTA nominations only enhance The Artist’s status as the film to beat: “Sitting comfortably at the top of the Bafta pile with 12 nominations, including one for Best Film, is Michel Hazanavicius’s silent film The Artist, which now looks increasingly unbeatable after its multiple successes at the Golden Globes on Sunday night.” Collin also flagged up the massive home turf support for British spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: “Well, if no-one else is going to give it any prizes, we sure as hell will. After being roundly ignored by various American film award ceremonies and shut out by the Golden Globes entirely, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has received 11 Bafta nominations, including Best Film, Outstanding British Film and a Best Actor nod for its star Gary Oldman.” Collin regretted that “the prospect of a significant Tinker Tailor … showing on the Oscar shortlist now looks unlikely to non-existent, so it’s nice to see it getting a moment in the spotlight.”

The awards will be dished out at London’s Royal Opera House on February 12 at a ceremony hosted by Stephen Fry.

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