×
Back to IndieWire

What the BAFTA Nominations Mean for the Oscars: Watch Out for Lady Gaga

Here's why the leading lady of "House of Gucci" beat out Nicole Kidman, Olivia Colman, and Kristen Stewart.

"House of Gucci" Costume Design Craft Consideration

“House of Gucci”

United Artists Releasing

In the push for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to use juries to open up their nominations slots to a more diverse slate of talent (often homegrown), many BAFTA 2022 nominees are irrelevant to the Oscar race. Here’s what we can glean from these often bizarre (Joanna Scanlan took a slot that could have gone to Nicole Kidman!) choices.

First of all, Oscar nominations voting is closed, so whatever (minimal) impact this has on the race, it’s on the final phase of Oscar campaigning, which begins after Oscar nominations are announced February 8. The BAFTA awards will be held March 13 in London; Oscar voting closes March 22. Most Academy voters don’t watch the BAFTAs on the BBC and BBC America, but they see who wins and winning momentum always matters.

Who comes out ahead? The main takeaway, which could have been predicted in advance, is that craft-friendly nominees “Dune” (with 11 nominations) and “The Power of the Dog” (with eight) lead the Best Film contenders, followed by snubbed local director Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast” (with six), “Licorice Pizza” (with five), and “Don’t Look Up” (with four).

Left out were Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” (with five, missing Director as well as Cinematography), which is expected to vie for a Best Picture Oscar, and landing in the Best British Film category was UK production “No Time to Die” (with five), which is a long shot for Best Picture.

The Best Film and craft categories do overlap with some Oscar voters. BAFTA members make up about half (around 325) of the UK Academy contingent (around 650). When considering the impact of the rising number of international voters on the Oscar race, remember that the UK bloc is the largest, followed by various European and Scandinavian countries, with far smaller numbers in Asia, Africa, Australia/New Zealand, and Latin America.

Power of the Dog_Benedict Cumberbatch_Jesse Plemons

Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons in “The Power of the Dog”

Kirsty Griffin/Netflix

Always, the BAFTA voters favor their own. The Best Film and crafts BAFTA nods come from actual BAFTA voters (they total 7,000), while the acting, casting, and directing categories are impacted by juries throwing out weaker entries and substituting others. That meant American Lady Gaga (“House of Gucci”) got more votes than the missing Kidman (Australia), Olivia Colman (UK), and Kristen Stewart (U.S.), potential Oscar contenders all.

If Gaga wins the BAFTA, she gets a video clip of her speech making the rounds. Gaga, who has earned some blowback for her unabashed campaigning, is the only Best Actress contender to score the four key Oscar precursors: Golden Globe, Critics Choice, Screen Actors Guild, and BAFTA. That does not mean she’s a lock for the Oscar win; let’s just say she has the wind in her favor.

Last year, BAFTA Best Film, Actress, and Director winner “Nomadland” went on to win the same Oscar trifecta. Netflix would like to think this means Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” could repeat, while subbing SAG-nominated Brit Benedict Cumberbatch in Best Actor.

Check out all the nominations for the 2022 EE British Academy Film Awards here.

“Spencer”

NEON

One would hope that the Brits would include James Bond film “No Time to Die,” “Belfast,” and actress-turned-director Rebecca Hall’s “Passing” in their Best British Film category. What’s omitted across the board at the BAFTAs is Pablo Larrain’s veddy British nightmare before Christmas “Spencer” (Neon), written by the UK’s own Steven Knight and starring critics’ darling Stewart, whose chances at an Oscar nomination are still better than this omission would indicate: The movie’s just not getting support from the Brits. (There are countless examples of actors in various categories landing Oscar nods without any precursors at all, from “Roma” actress Marina de Tavira to Amanda Seyfried for “Mank.”)

BAFTA Screenplay categories could repeat at Oscar time, as WGA nominees Aaron Sorkin (“Being the Ricardos”), Adam McKay (“Don’t Look Up”), Zach Baylin (“King Richard”) and Paul Thomas Anderson (“Licorice Pizza”) are favored to land Original nominations along with WGA-ineligible Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”). On the Adapted side, WGA nominees Sian Heder (“CODA”) and Denis Villeneuve and Jon Spaihts (“Dune”) are favored along with WGA-ineligible Jane Campion (“The Power of the Dog”). BAFTA nominees Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Lost Daughter”) and Ryusuke Hamaguchi (“Drive My Car”) will vie with WGA nominee Tony Kushner (“West Side Story”) for the fourth and fifth Oscar slots.

In the most confounding race, Gaga competes for the Best Actress BAFTA against Oscar longshots, all non-SAG nominees: Alana Haim (“Licorice Pizza”), locals Emilia Jones (“CODA”) and Joanna Scanlan (“After Love”), Cannes Actress-winner Renate Reinsve (Norway Oscar entry “Worst Person in the World”), and American Tessa Thompson (“Passing”).

Ruth Negga in "Passing" Netflix

Ruth Negga in “Passing”

Netflix

In the Supporting Actress race, BAFTA favored Irish SAG nominees Caitríona Balfe (“Belfast”) and Ruth Negga (“Passing”) and American Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”), and added another Irish woman, Jessie Buckley (“The Lost Daughter”) and SAG-snubbed Americans Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”) and Ann Dowd (“Mass”). Left out were SAG’s Cate Blanchett (“Nightmare Alley”) and Kirsten Dunst (“The Power of the Dog”), who are still factors in the Oscar race.

On the other hand, “The Power of the Dog” Oscar-frontrunner and SAG nominee Kodi Smit-McPhee landed in Supporting Actor, along with his costar Jesse Plemons. “West Side Story” gained non-SAG nominee Mike Faist and “Belfast” scored Irishman Ciaran Hinds (“Belfast”) over Jamie Dornan (they knocked each other out at SAG), which could repeat at Oscar time, along with SAG nominee Troy Kotsur (“CODA”). Brit Woody Norman for “C’mon C’mon” is an Oscar longshot.

DON'T LOOK UP, LEONARDO DICAPRIO as DR. RANDALL MINDY. Cr. NIKO TAVERNISE/NETFLIX © 2021

Leonardo DiCaprio in “Don’t Look Up”

NIKO TAVERNISE/NETFLIX

Leonardo DiCaprio finally made an awards appearance for “Don’t Look Up,” while the Brits saw fit to ignore SAG nominee Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”). SAG nominees Cumberbatch and Will Smith (“King Richard”) continue to be frontrunners in the Oscar race. Does “Swan Song” BAFTA nominee Mahershala Ali have a fighting chance? Never count him out: In five years he’s won two Oscars, one BAFTA, one Emmy, and two SAG individual awards. Still in the Oscar scrum are SAG nominees Javier Bardem (“Being the Ricardos”) and Brit Andrew Garfield (“Tick, Tick … Boom!”).

Also selected by a jury, the BAFTA directing race also boosts non-DGA nominee Hamaguchi, which could repeat at the Oscars, along with DGA nominees Anderson and Campion, who is favored to win. Oddly, the two women who vied for the French Oscar submission, Audrey Diwan (“Happening”) and Julia Ducournau (“Titane,” which did not make the Oscar shortlist) are included in this category, along with Aleem Khan (“After Love”). Thus we must not make much of omitted DGA nominees Branagh, Villeneuve, and Spielberg.

Onward to the Oscar reveals on February 8.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Awards and tagged , , ,


Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox