The Eclectic 2021 BAFTA Nominees

Many have praised the BAFTAs this year for their exceedingly diverse nominees across several categories. Of course, the BAFTAs tend to award largely British films, more often than not. This year was no exception. However, their nominees have vastly differed from that of other awards shows thus far. I will get to exactly who they are, but in addition to their diversity and inclusion this year, they also left out some incredibly deserving actors and filmmakers alike. These nominations, while brave and risky, are almost so courageous and eccentric to the point where they forgot to nominate those who were possibly more deserving of recognition. Now, this is just my humble opinion before you attack me. I am all for diversity and inclusion. I admire, respect, and appreciate the picks by the BAFTAs this year. On the other hand, there were some of my favorites they left out and I can't help but lament them.

Let's dive in, shall we?

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS

  • GREYHOUND
    Pete Bebb, Nathan McGuinness, Sebastian von Overheidt
  • THE MIDNIGHT SKY
    Matt Kasmir, Chris Lawrence, David Watkins
  • MULAN
    Sean Faden, Steve Ingram, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury
  • THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN
    Santiago Colomo Martinez, Nick Davis, Greg Fisher
  • TENET
    Scott Fisher, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley

Yes, I'm fully aware I'm biased here. However, Tenet has been racking up the awards in this category of late and I can't help but think that it will win it here, as well. Especially with Christopher Nolan being British. I'm sure the BAFTAs will want to award he and his film in some way. Not only that, but also Tenet is the most deserving of the award anyway. It's not just because I love the film, it's also because the special effects are remarkable and barely noticeable (which sounds weird, but that's what makes them so effective). For those reasons and other biased ones, I will be predicting Tenet to win. Also, I do feel like I have to point out that The One and Only Ivan being nominated is a joke. It's plain to see even from the trailer that the visual effects are just plain awful. Oh well, I'm glad at least Wonder Woman 1984 didn't make it on this list (talk about awful visuals).

SOUND

  • GREYHOUND
    TBC
  • NEWS OF THE WORLD
    Michael Fentum, William Miller, Mike Prestwood Smith, John Pritchett, Oliver Tarney
  • NOMADLAND
    Sergio Diaz, Zach Seivers, M. Wolf Snyder
  • SOUL
    Coya Elliott, Ren Klyce, David Parker
  • SOUND OF METAL
    Jaime Baksht, Nicolas Becker, Phillip Bladh, Carlos Cortés, Michelle Couttolenc

This is the category I expect Sound of Metal will be sweeping across Awards Season. Without a doubt, Sound of Metal has the best sound design of any film from this year and last, and it's not even close, really. The film's sound design is just on another level and it's clear that they did their research as far as the sounds deaf people hear when they have sound/hearing implants in. The sound design in this film is so unique and unlike anything I've ever heard in any other film. It's not to take away from the sound design of the other films, which are effective and sufficient, but Sound of Metal is just purely next level.

MAKE UP & HAIR

  • THE DIG
    Jenny Shircore
  • HILLBILLY ELEGY
    Patricia Dehaney, Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle
  • MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
    Matiki Anoff, Larry M. Cherry, Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal
  • MANK
    Kimberley Spiteri, Gigi Williams
  • PINOCCHIO
    Mark Coulier

Nominees you would expect are here, a British film, and kind of a shocker, but whatever. I do think it's egregious they would leave out Emma from this category, but again, it's the BAFTAs and they just have to reward either British films or the highest bidder. In any case, I believe of these nominees, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom will continue its reign in this category and beyond. It won Critics Choice and I just also see it winning this since I don't feel it has the competition to really give it a serious run. Personally, I think that Promising Young Woman, Emma, and possibly Birds of Prey could have given it a run for its money. In any case, if Ma Rainey wins here again, it's all but sealed up for that film at the Oscars in this particular category, but it's not done yet.

COSTUME DESIGN

  • AMMONITE
    Michael O’Connor
  • THE DIG
    Alice Babidge
  • EMMA
    Alexandra Byrne
  • MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
    Ann Roth
  • MANK
    Trish Summerville

Once again, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom won the Critics Choice Award for this category as well. And if it wins again, we will see its dominance continue and it will likely sweep the rest of the way. I will say, Emma is the one that can give it some healthy competition. Personally, I feel it should win. However, I mentioned in the Critics Choice article that Ma Rainey has a great campaign strategy as far as the authenticity and historical accuracy to their costumes which I believe gives it their edge.

PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • THE DIG
    Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana Macdonald
  • THE FATHER
    Peter Francis, Cathy Featherstone
  • MANK
    Donald Graham Burt, Jan Pascale
  • NEWS OF THE WORLD
    David Crank, Elizabeth Keenan
  • REBECCA
    Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer

This is another category in which I believe there to be a clear frontrunner and the film will likely sweep awards season as well. That film is Mank. It has been the outright frontrunner from the get-go and it has won several awards already, including Critics Choice. I see it winning from here on out, including the Oscar. The other contender for this category isn't even here, and I feel that would be Tenet, Emma or Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. I don't expect at least three of these to be nominated at the Oscars, just Mank and News of the World.

EDITING

  • THE FATHER
    Yorgos Lamprinos
  • NOMADLAND
    Chloé Zhao
  • PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
    Frédéric Thoraval
  • SOUND OF METAL
    Mikkel E.G. Nielsen
  • THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
    Alan Baumgarten

This is probably the most "normal" grouping of the whole list of nominees. What I mean by that is, as far as award season and predictions go, this aligns most with what experts, critics, and other awards voters have picked so far. One surprise here would be Promising Young Woman, as it hasn't been recognized in this category thus far, until now. I do agree with the pick, as I love the editing in the film. It's very effective and quite impressive towards the end. Now, it certainly won't win, unfortunately. I believe that Nomadland, Sound of Metal, and the Trial of the Chicago 7 will be the winner. And if I had to pick just one, it would be The Trial of the Chicago 7. It's important to note, this is NOT the film I want to win, but it's the film I think they will pick to win this award. There is a big difference. And yes, I'm aware that's the boring pick. But it's the safest one. It's unfortunate that The Father, although being recognized several times over the course of awards season so far, won't win even despite its near unanimous praise for its achievement in film editing. I've yet to see the film, so I'm just going based on what I've heard about it. It's my hope that something like Nomadland or Sound of Metal will win, as it's not realistic that Promising Young Woman would win - though that would be amazing if it did. With the recent tie between Sound of Metal and The Trial of the Chicago 7 at the Critics Choice Awards, the safe bet would be between those two. But, it's the BAFTAs and you just never know what they will pick. I don't imagine they would merely just go with the flow. We could have a surprise here. Or, perhaps we won't. Only time will tell.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
    Sean Bobbitt
  • MANK
    Erik Messerschmidt
  • THE MAURITANIAN
    Alwin H. Küchler
  • NEWS OF THE WORLD
    Dariusz Wolski
  • NOMADLAND
    Joshua James Richards

There will be no surprises here as far as the winner is concerned. The surprises here just come from a couple of the nominees. I was very glad to see Judas and the Black Messiah being recognized here for its achievement in Cinematography. I absolutely loved the cinematography in that film and I hope the recognition for it continues throughout the course of Awards Season. I was also shocked to see more love for The Mauritanian. I've yet to see this film, but it has been gaining some surprising awards momentum of late. Again, I do need to remind you that it really doesn't matter who else is nominated because the award is ultimately just between two films: Mank and Nomadland. Nomadland has been sweeping this award and I believe this trend will continue. It's a shame that cinematography for other films like Sound of Metal, Promising Young Woman, and Never Rarely Sometimes Always aren't getting any awards love, because they all deserve it and more.

CASTING

  • CALM WITH HORSES
    Shaheen Baig
  • JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
    Alexa L. Fogel
  • MINARI
    Julia Kim
  • PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
    Lindsay Graham Ahanonu, Mary Vernieu
  • ROCKS
    Lucy Pardee

This is a category I am largely unfamiliar with, mostly because this seems to be one of the only (if not the only) awards show that even has it. I do believe that casting is important, so hopefully other awards shows will catch on and add this as a category for the future. Now, it's an interesting one to discuss because I haven't seen Calm With Horses or Rocks, speaking of being unfamiliar with something. What I will say is this: Promising Young Woman has great casting. Minari has very fitting casting to the characters. And Judas and the Black Messiah has near-perfect casting, in my eyes. So, with that being said, I am hopeful that Judas and the Black Messiah will win this category. But, it's very possible that it could go to something like Rocks, as it has several nominations at the BAFTAs; so clearly, they loved it.

ORIGINAL SCORE

  • MANK
    Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
  • MINARI
    Emile Mosseri
  • NEWS OF THE WORLD
    James Newton Howard
  • PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
    Anthony Willis
  • SOUL
    Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

It almost seems pointless to talk about this category anymore. No one has beaten Soul as of yet, and frankly I don't see it happening at all. So, I am going to predict it to win here and for the entirety of awards season. I am predicting a sweep across the board on through the Oscars, and anyone in their right mind would.

SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • DANIEL KALUUYA
    Judas and the Black Messiah
  • BARRY KEOGHAN
    Calm With Horses
  • ALAN KIM
    Minari
  • LESLIE ODOM JR.
    One Night in Miami…
  • CLARKE PETERS
    Da 5 Bloods
  • PAUL RACI
    Sound of Metal

This is another category in which I see a sweep happening from here on out. The surprises are Barry Keoghan (again, another Brit) and Clarke Peters who haven't been recognized for their performances throughout the course of awards season to this point. Also, Alan Kim receiving a nom here is shocking, as well. Not that he doesn't deserve it (he does), but he hadn't been nominated in Supporting Actor until now. So, the sweep I alluded to is, of course, Daniel Kaluuya for his portrayal of Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah. He has been winning everything and he will only continue his sheer dominance. And rightfully so, if you ask me.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • NIAMH ALGAR
    Calm With Horses
  • KOSAR ALI
    Rocks
  • MARIA BAKALOVA
    Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  • DOMINIQUE FISHBACK
    Judas and the Black Messiah
  • ASHLEY MADEKWE
    County Lines
  • YUH-JUNG YOUN
    Minari

We have some more surprises here in supporting actress. I still maintain that this race is completely up for grabs, even though Maria Bakalova had been dominating the Critics awards all year and won Critics Choice recently. Basically everyone nominated here, except Bakalova and Yuh-Jung Youn, hadn't been recognized for anything to this point. It is my hope that the BAFTAs will deviate from the pack and choose someone other than Bakalova. I'm happy for her and her success, as her comedic acting was on-point in the film. However, I don't feel it's worthy of all this dominance. I would be happy with Youn winning, as well. Ultimately, I want Dominique Fishback to win for Judas and the Black Messiah and that's who I'm going with. It's sort of an out-there pick, but I feel I have to take a risk in a category that really doesn't have a clear front-runner if you boil it down. Even the so-called experts can't agree. Amanda Seyfried has been losing momentum, and she was my early prediction before Awards Season was really in full swing. Especially since she missed out on a crucial nomination here, and at SAG. If you check Gold Derby, it is between Olivia Colman and Yuh-Jung Youn. And it's shocking Colman was omitted here as well. This only adds to the uncertainty and excitement in this category moving forward.

LEADING ACTOR

  • RIZ AHMED
    Sound of Metal
  • CHADWICK BOSEMAN
    Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • ADARSH GOURAV
    The White Tiger
  • ANTHONY HOPKINS
    The Father
  • MADS MIKKELSEN
    Another Round
  • TAHAR RAHIM
    The Mauritanian

This is another category in which it's futile to even talk about anymore. However, I wanted to point out that one of my favorite performances of the year was nominated: Mads Mikkelsen for Another Round. I was happy to see that he was recognized here when no one else would. Now, what I mean by this being an exercise in futility even talking about this is that Chadwick Boseman's swan song in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is going to win and will sweep Awards Season in its entirety. It is without question and without doubt. Mark my words.

LEADING ACTRESS

  • FRANCES McDORMAND
    Nomadland
  • WUNMI MOSAKU
    His House
  • ALFRE WOODARD
    Clemency
  • BUKKY BAKRAY
    Rocks
  • RADHA BLANK
    The Forty-Year-Old Version
  • VANESSA KIRBY
    Pieces of a Woman

This category is pretty much what I was referencing before. The egregious category in which the best performances of the year were left off. Is it great that they included diverse nominees here? Yes, absolutely. I am happy for them and bravo to the BAFTAs for doing that. However, I just find it egregious that Viola Davis, Carey Mulligan, and Andra Day were left out. I know these would be considered "boring" or typical picks, but I don't care! They're the best performances of the year! Regardless, the nominees are who we have and let's work with them. Vanessa Kirby and Frances McDormand are two of my favorite performances (and performers) of the year. I would guess it would be between them. I have seen Mosaku and Woodard's performances, and both are genuinely great. I cannot speak to Blank or Bakray's performances as I have not seen them. So, it's entirely possible they could win and I would have no idea why. And that's okay. I am gonna go out on a limb here and say that Vanessa Kirby will win for her profoundly emotional performance in Pieces of a Woman. She is a phenomenal British actress and I could see them rewarding her. And it would be deserved, in my eyes. Even with that being said, I could still see them picking Frances McDormand to win for her beautifully understated, nuanced, and poignant performance in Nomadland. But, I will be sticking with my prediction. And I could be horribly wrong. Oh, well.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • THE DIG
    Moira Buffini
  • THE FATHER
    Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller
  • THE MAURITANIAN
    Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani, M.B. Traven
  • NOMADLAND
    Chloé Zhao
  • THE WHITE TIGER
    Ramin Bahrani

I was also quite frustrated by this category. Nomadland is likely to win as it's been crushing the competition at every turn. I just wanted to point out: amazing adapted screenplays like First Cow, One Night in Miami, and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom being left out just grinds my gears. In any case, they would just as easily lose out to Chloe Zhao's brilliant adaptation, anyway. So, in the grand scheme of things, it largely doesn't matter. It's still the principle of the matter: I would like to see truly great works rewarded, or at the very least, recognized by just being there. It's an honor just to be nominated, right?

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • ANOTHER ROUND
    Tobias Lindholm, Thomas Vinterberg
  • MANK
    Jack Fincher
  • PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
    Emerald Fennell
  • ROCKS
    Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson
  • THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
    Aaron Sorkin

These have been the prototypical nominees, save for two of them. Again, I've not seen Rocks, so I can't speak to its quality at all. Another Round is another one that hadn't been recognized for its achievement in original writing - and I'm overjoyed that it was! However, Mank, Promising Young Woman, and The Trial of the Chicago 7 have all practically been locks or shoo-ins for this category throughout the course of the awards circuit. Again, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is the safe and easy pick here merely because Aaron Sorkin could write a screenplay about a man sleeping or paint drying and he would undoubtedly win. I need to clarify: I DON'T WANT HIM TO WIN FOR THIS MEDIOCRE SCREENPLAY. But, it's likely that he will and that is who I will ultimately predict. It is my hope that Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman wins, as it's the most deserving. I would also be happy with Mank or Another Round. I had predicted earlier on that Mank would be the winner of this category at the Oscars, but so far it's looking like I'll be wrong.

DIRECTOR

  • ANOTHER ROUND
    Thomas Vinterberg
  • BABYTEETH
    Shannon Murphy
  • MINARI
    Lee Isaac Chung
  • NOMADLAND
    Chloé Zhao
  • QUO VADIS, AIDA?
    Jasmila Žbanić
  • ROCKS
    Sarah Gavron

This category is equally refreshing as it is frustrating. Again, we left out Emerald Fennell who had one of the best directed films of the year in Promising Young Woman, along with Regina King for One Night in Miami. I am happy to see Thomas Vinterberg here for Another Round, of course. Babyteeth was a solid film but I feel this is an....interesting choice. I haven't seen Rocks or Quo Vadis, Aida? and therefore cannot confidently comment on them. So, that leaves us with Minari and Nomadland, probably the best directed films of the bunch, along with Another Round. Since Chloe Zhao has been sweeping this category so far, I can only see her keeping up her win streak. So far that, and many other reasons, I will predict Chloe Zhao to win for her beautifully subtle direction in Nomadland.

ANIMATED FILM

  • ONWARD
    Dan Scanlon, Kori Rae
  • SOUL
    Pete Docter, Dana Murray
  • WOLFWALKERS
    Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young

I won't spend too much time on this category as it's pretty obvious which film will win. However, a film to look out for here is Wolfwalkers, as it won very nearly every Critic Award leading up to this point, save for Critics Choice. Regardless of that fact, we all know that Soul is going to win. But, watch out for the wolves circling that upset...

DOCUMENTARY

  • COLLECTIVE
    Alexander Nanau
  • DAVID ATTENBOROUGH: A LIFE ON OUR PLANET
    Alastair Fothergill, Jonnie Hughes, Keith Scholey
  • THE DISSIDENT
    Bryan Fogel, Thor Halvorssen
  • MY OCTOPUS TEACHER
    Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed, Craig Foster
  • THE SOCIAL DILEMMA
    Jeff Orlowski, Larissa Rhodes

Something pretty astonishing happened here. I'm, simply put, just confounded by the fact that the primary frontrunners are absent from this category. Those frontrunners are Time, Boys State, Dick Johnson is Dead, and Welcome to Chechnya. That being said, I think it's pretty much up for grabs. But, if I had to say, it would be Collective as I've heard rave reviews for it and it appears to be the dark horse favorite in moving forward. Personally, I don't see the others competing, but I've been wrong before and I'll be wrong again.

 

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

  • ANOTHER ROUND
    Thomas Vinterberg, Sisse Graum Jørgensen
  • DEAR COMRADES!
    Andrei Konchalovsky, Alisher Usmanov
  • LES MISÉRABLES
    Ladj Ly
  • MINARI
    Lee Isaac Chung, Christina Oh
  • QUO VADIS, AIDA?
    Jasmila Žbanić, Damir Ibrahimovich

So, this is another glaringly obvious winner in this category. Minari has been winning this pretty much across the board. I would predict it to win in a landslide. However, the BAFTAs nominated Another Round a lot in several other categories, as well. So, based on that, I would not be surprised to see an upset here. If any film could do it, it would be Another Round.

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER

  • HIS HOUSE
    Remi Weekes (Writer/Director)
  • LIMBO
    Ben Sharrock (Writer/Director), Irune Gurtubai (Producer) [also produced by Angus Lamont]
  • MOFFIE
    Jack Sidey (Writer/Producer) [also written by Oliver Hermanus and produced by Eric Abraham]
  • ROCKS
    Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson (Writers)
  • SAINT MAUD
    Rose Glass (Writer/Director), Oliver Kassman (Producer) [also produced by Andrea Cornwell]

So, I have only seen two of these. His House and Saint Maud. I couldn't guess the other three if I tried. That being said, and given my love for Saint Maud, I am going to go with Rose Glass' psychological horror Saint Maud. You can check out my review and see why I feel this film can and should win.

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM

  • CALM WITH HORSES
    Nick Rowland, Daniel Emmerson, Joe Murtagh
  • THE DIG
    Simon Stone, Gabrielle Tana, Moira Buffini
  • THE FATHER
    Florian Zeller, Philippe Carcassone, Jean-Louis Livi, David Parfitt, Christopher Hampton
  • HIS HOUSE
    Remi Weekes, Martin Gentles, Edward Kings, Roy Lee
  • LIMBO
    Ben Sharrock, Irune Gurtubai, Angus Lamont
  • THE MAURITANIAN
    Kevin Macdonald, Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani, M.B. Traven
  • MOGUL MOWGLI
    Bassam Tariq, Riz Ahmed, Thomas Benski, Bennett McGhee
  • PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
    Emerald Fennell, Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Josey McNamara
  • ROCKS
    Sarah Gavron, Ameenah Ayub Allen, Faye Ward, Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson
  • SAINT MAUD
    Rose Glass, Andrea Cornwell, Oliver Kassman

So many great choices here! It's gonna be tough to pick just one, but I'll do my level best. To me, given the near unanimous praise, The Father seems to be one of the films ahead of the pack. The Mauritanian, as I alluded to earlier, has been gaining some steam of late. Promising Young Woman is another leading awards contender. And Saint Maud, to me, is a dark horse candidate. When we boil it down, I feel that The Father and Promising Young Woman are the two I would watch out for here and in general. Between the two, I would guess Promising Young Woman. But it could just as easily be The Father. Look out for those being winners! And if not, feel free to come back and comment saying I was wrong.

BEST FILM

  • THE FATHER
    Philippe Carcassonne, Jean-Louis Livi, David Parfitt
  • THE MAURITANIAN
    TBC
  • NOMADLAND
    Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Chloé Zhao
  • PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
    Ben Browning, Emerald Fennell, Ashley Fox, Josey McNamara
  • THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
    Stuart Besser, Marc Platt

Again, mostly good nominees here. Ultimately, they're all nominated only to be losers to Nomadland. I believe that Chloe Zhao's patient and gorgeous drama will continue its historic run in sweeping all the Best overall film/drama awards across the board. I'm not entirely certain anything else can really compete, as if Trial could, it would've been at the Globes. Since it didn't, I don't see it winning over it anywhere else. The one place I could see it doing so would be Best Ensemble at SAG, which would be a huge (and needed) victory in preparation for the Oscars.

 

What do you guys think? Am I close? Am I completely off?

 

Let me know in the comments below!

By Rob McNeil

My name is Rob McNeil. I was born and raised in Normal, Illinois and I am a 28 year-old award winning screenwriter. I am very passionate about film, so much that I watch far too many films on a daily basis. I have written fifteen feature screenplays, a spec pilot thriller series, and several short scripts. I aim to make filmmaking a career, but for now, I will write about it.

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