BAFTA Nominations and the Great British Debuts

The BAFTA nominations were announced yesterday and showed plenty of love for The Artist, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and, in a pleasant surprise, Drive. With all nominations limited to the technical categories, Harry Potter best give up its hopes of finally getting any major awards. Less frivolous than the Golden Globes and a major stop on the way to the Oscars, the BAFTA nominations are exciting if pretty unsurprising.

Amongst this huge list what I want to focus on are the nominations for the award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. In a time when we are looking towards the future of independent British cinema this is an uplifting category to see, especially after the devastation of Felicity Jones not making the shortlist for the Rising Star Award. I still love you Felicity, don’t worry.

Of the five nominees for Outstanding Debut, Attack the Block, Black Pond, Coriolanus, Submarine and Tyrannosaur, I have seen four and three of those made it into my carefully constructed Top 20 Films of 2011. Having five confident debuts from British talent is proof that the UK film industry has a future and that the various funding schemes are working. Looking back at yesterday’s talk of funding for production it’s interesting to see that Film4 helped fund Attack the Block, Submarine and Tyrannosaur, lottery funds went into both Attack the Block and Tyrannosaur, and Black Pond was made for just £25,000.

In my various reviews I’ve described these first-time features as intense, confident, fun, effortless, powerful, brutal and honest. What am I trying to say? Just that I’m incredibly proud of British cinema and continue to be relieved that yesterday’s report didn’t try to mess with a winning formula.

And now for the full list of nominees without comment:

Best Film
The Artist
The Descendants
The Help
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Alexander Korda Award for Outstanding British Film of the Year
My Week with Marilyn
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
We Need to Talk About Kevin

Best Actor
George Clooney for The Descendants
Jean Dujardin for The Artist
Michael Fassbender for Shame
Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt for Moneyball

Best Actress
Bérénice Bejo for The Artist
Viola Davis for The Help
Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton for We Need to Talk About Kevin
Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh for My Week with Marilyn
Jim Broadbent for The Iron Lady
Jonah Hill for Moneyball
Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Ides of March
Christopher Plummer for Beginners

Best Supporting Actress
Jessica Chastain for The Help
Judi Dench for My Week with Marilyn
Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids
Carey Mulligan for Drive
Octavia Spencer for The Help

David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction
Tomas Alfredson for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Lynne Ramsay for We Need to Talk About Kevin
Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive
Martin Scorsese for Hugo

Best Screenplay (Original)
The Artist: Michel Hazanavicius
Bridesmaids: Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig
The Guard: John Michael McDonagh
The Iron Lady: Abi Morgan
Midnight in Paris: Woody Allen

Best Screenplay (Adapted)
The Descendants: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
The Help: Tate Taylor
The Ides of March: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon
Moneyball: Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan

Best Cinematography
The Artist: Guillaume Schiffman
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Jeff Cronenweth
Hugo: Robert Richardson
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Hoyte Van Hoytema
War Horse: Janusz Kaminski

Best Editing
The Artist: Anne-Sophie Bion, Michel Hazanavicius
Drive: Matthew Newman
Hugo: Thelma Schoonmaker
Senna: Gregers Sall, Chris King
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Dino Jonsäter

Best Production Design
The Artist: Laurence Bennett, Robert Gould
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2: Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan
Hugo: Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana Lund
War Horse: Rick Carter, Lee Sandales

Best Costume Design
The Artist: Mark Bridges
Hugo: Sandy Powell
Jane Eyre: Michael O’Connor
My Week with Marilyn: Billy West
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Jacqueline Durran

Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music
The Artist: Ludovic Bource
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
Hugo: Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Alberto Iglesias
War Horse: John Williams

Best Make Up/Hair
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
The Iron Lady
My Week with Marilyn

Best Sound
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse

Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
War Horse

Best Film not in the English Language
A Separation
The Skin I Live In

Best Animated Feature Film
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Arthur Christmas

Best Documentary
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Project Nim

Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award
Adam Deacon
Chris Hemsworth
Tom Hiddleston
Chris O’Dowd
Eddie Redmayne

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
Attack the Block: Joe Cornish
Black Pond: Will Sharpe, Tom Kingsley, Sarah Brocklehurst
Coriolanus: Ralph Fiennes
Submarine: Richard Ayoade
Tyrannosaur: Paddy Considine, Diarmid Scrimshaw

Best Short Animation
Bobby Yeah
A Morning Stroll

Best Short Film
Mwansa the Great
Only Sound Remains
Pitch Black Heist
Two & Two

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