Friday, January 19, 2018

'The Shape of Water' and speculative fiction nominees galore at the BAFTA Awards

Last year, the dominant speculative fiction film at the BAFTA Awards was "Arrival," which was one of six winning speculative fiction movies and actors.  This year, it's "The Shape of Water," the most honored speculative fiction film of 2017.  Watch BAFTA Film Awards nominations 2018 announced by Letitia Wright and Natalie Dormer.

Watch Natalie Dormer and Letitia Wright reveal the nominations for this year's EE British Academy Film Awards.
Notice that every one of the nine categories announced (ten if one counts Rising Star) has at least one speculative fiction film or actor/actress in a speculative fiction film.  The same is true of nearly every category.  Those that don't have thrillers or documentaries about science nominated, so all are still on topic for this blog.

Follow over the jump for BBC's list of nominees along with my opinions about their chances.
Best film
Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
The Shape Of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The speculative fiction nominee is "The Shape of Water," which won the Critics' Choice Award.  If this were an American electorate, I'd say its strongest competition would be "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," which won the Golden Globe.  However, this is a British electorate who might favor "Darkest Hour" or "Dunkirk" even though "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" is considered a British film. (!)  I'm still rooting for the monster romance.
Outstanding British film
Darkest Hour
The Death of Stalin
God's Own Country
Lady Macbeth
Paddington 2
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
I'm still amazed that "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" is considered to be a British film.  If the BAFTA voters accept that, then it has a good chance to win this category.  If they don't, then I still think "Darkest Hour" will win.  As for "Paddington 2," it is the sole speculative fiction film on the list.  It also has three nominations and should have been listed on the most nominated film screen in the video above.
Blade Runner 2049 - Denis Villeneuve
Call Me By Your Name - Luca Guadagnino
Dunkirk - Christopher Nolan
The Shape Of Water - Guillermo Del Toro
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - Martin McDonagh
Two speculative fiction films here, "Blade Runner 2049" and "The Shape of Water."  Del Toro has won two awards for directing already, so I think he'll win this one, too.
Leading actress
Annette Bening - Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool
Frances McDormand - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie - I, Tonya
Sally Hawkins - The Shape Of Water
Saoirse Ronan - Lady Bird
The only reason I think Sally Hawkins has a chance is that she's British.  Otherwise, it's a battle between great comic leading ladies and great dramatic ones.  I'd give the advantage to McDormand over either Margot Robbie, who won the Critics' Choice Award, or Saoirse Ronan, who won the Golden Globe.  Benning is a great actress, but her performance hasn't been nominated elsewhere.
Leading actor
Daniel Day-Lewis - Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya - Get Out
Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour
Jamie Bell - Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool
Timothee Chalamet - Call Me By Your Name
I'm pleased that Kaluuya was nominated for "Get Out," but he's going to lose, most likely to Oldman, although Day-Lewis might pull an upset.
Supporting actress
Allison Janney - I, Tonya
Kristin Scott Thomas - Darkest Hour
Laurie Metcalf - Lady Bird
Lesley Manville - Phantom Thread
Octavia Spencer - The Shape Of Water
Janney has been cleaning up and I expect her to continue doing so.  That doesn't mean that I can't root for Spencer.
Supporting actor
Christopher Plummer - All The Money In The World
Hugh Grant - Paddington 2
Sam Rockwell - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Willem Dafoe - The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Between Rockwell and Harrelson, Rockwell has been winning, so I think he's favored.  That will be despite the voters liking Grant in "Paddington 2."
EE Rising Star Award (voted for by the public)
Daniel Kaluuya
Florence Pugh
Josh O'Connor
Tessa Thompson
Timothee Chalamet
Kaluuya is known for "Get Out," but Tessa Thompson also acts in speculative fiction films like "Thor: Ragnarok" and television series like "Westworld."  That written, I think Chalamet is going to get the award.
Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer
The Ghoul
I am Not A Witch
Kingdom Of Us
Lady Macbeth
"The Ghoul" is a thriller with fantastic elements, but it's not the film I think will win.  That honor goes to "Lady Macbeth."
Film not in the English language
First They Killed My Father
The Handmaiden
The Salesman
The closest thing to a speculative fiction film is "The Handmaiden," which is a thriller that won the 2017 Saturn Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but I think the contest is between "The Salesman," which won an Oscar, and "Elle," which was nominated for one.  The spoiler might be "First They Killed My Father," which I expect will be nominated for an Oscar this year.
City Of Ghosts
I Am Not Your Negro
An Inconvenient Sequel
Time to update my ranking of the top political documentaries of 2017 since the WGA film nominees.  With these nominations, both "City of Ghosts" and "Jane" now have 12 points, tying them with "Strong Island" for the most nominated documentaries of last year.  In addition, both "An Inconvenient Sequel" and "Icarus" have eight points, which puts them even with "Quest," which will not be nominated for an Oscar.  Finally, "I Am Not Your Negro" was one of last year's Oscar nominees.  I'll pick "Jane" as the favorite.
Animated film
Loving Vincent
My Life As A Courgette
"My Life As A Courgette" is really "My Life As A Zucchini," one of last year's Oscar nominees.  I don't think it will beat "Coco."
Original screenplay
Get Out
I, Tonya
Lady Bird
The Shape Of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
This will be a fight between "Get Out" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."  I'm rooting for "Get Out" but I'm not optimistic.
Adapted screenplay
Call Me By Your Name
The Death Of Stalin
Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool
Molly's Game
Paddington 2
"Call Me By Your Name" is my pick to win this, as it won the Critics' Choice Awardds.  The next best bet would be "Molly's Game."  Sorry, "Paddington 2," the only speculative fiction nominee, just be happy to be nominated for three awards.
Original music
Blade Runner 2049 - Benjamin Wallfisch, Hans Zimmer
Darkest Hour - Dario Marianelli
Dunkirk - Hans Zimmer
Phantom Thread - Jonny Greenwood
The Shape Of Water - Alexandre Desplat
I'm still rooting for Desplat and "The Shape of Water."  I've listened to the soundtrack and it really is beautiful.
Blade Runner 2049 - Roger Deakins
Darkest Hour - Bruno Delbonnel
Dunkirk - Hoyte van Hoytema
The Shape of Water - Dan Laustsen
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - Ben Davis
"Blade Runner 2049" won this category at the Critics' Choice Awards and it's a science fiction film, so I'm rooting for it here.  Just the same, I'd be happy if "The Shape of Water" won instead.
Baby Driver - Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss
Blade Runner 2049 - Joe Walker
Dunkirk - Lee Smith
The Shape Of Water - Sidney Wolinsky
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - Jon Gregory
While both "Blade Runner 2049" and "The Shape of Water" were nominated, "Baby Driver" won at the Critics' Choice Awards, so I expect it will win here, too.
Production and design
Beauty And The Beast - Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
Blade Runner 2049 - Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
Darkest Hour - Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
Dunkirk - Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
The Shape Of Water - Paul Austerberry, Jeff Melvin, Shane Vieau
I'm rooting for "The Shape of Water."
Costume design
Beauty And The Beast - Jacqueline Durran
Darkest Hour - Jacqueline Durran
I, Tonya - Jennifer Johnson
Phantom Thread - Mark Bridges
The Shape Of Water - Luis Sequeira
Between "Beauty And The Beast" and "The Shape of Water," I'm rooting for "Beauty And The Beast."  Hey, look, two monster romances!  That written, I think this will go to "Phantom Thread."
Make-up and hair
Blade Runner 2049 - Donald Mowat, Kerry Warn
Darkest Hour - David Malinowski, Ivana Primorac, Lucy Sibbick, Kazuhiro Tsuji
I, Tonya - Deborah La Mia Denaver, Adruitha Lee
Victoria & Abdul - Daniel Phillips
Wonder - Naomi Bakstad, Robert A Pandini, Arjen Tuiten
Let's see if turning Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill is enough to win this category at these awards, too.
Baby Driver - Tim Cavagin, Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater
Blade Runner 2049 - Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Mark Mangini, Mac Ruth
Dunkirk - Richard King, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo, Mark Weingarten
The Shape Of Water - Christian Cooke, Glen Gauthier, Nathan Robitaille, Brad Zoern
Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick, Stuart Wilson, Matthew Wood
Three speculative fiction films earned nominations in this category, including the first of two for "The Last Jedi" to go with its first nomination at the Art Directors Guild Awards.  It hope it wins, but I really have no idea.  Who knows, "Dunkirk" might pull this off.
Special visual effects
Blade Runner 2049 - Gerd Nefzer, John Nelson
Dunkirk - Scott Fisher, Andrew Jackson
The Shape Of Water - Dennis Berardi, Trey Harrell, Kevin Scott
Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Nominees TBC
War For The Planet Of The Apes - Nominees TBC
"War For The Planet Of The Apes" won this at the Critics' Choice Awards, but it did not have "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" as competition.  Again, I'm hoping for "The Last Jedi" to win.
British short animation
Have Heart
Poles Apart
This is the first I've heard of any of these, but the default assumption about animation is that it is speculative fiction, so I don't have to worry about these films qualifying.
British short film
Cowboy Dave
A Drowning Man
Wren Boys
Other than foreign language films, this is probably the weakest category for speculative fiction, with a couple of thrillers being the closest one gets.  Two of them, "Aamir" and "A Drowning Man," look interesting.  However, I suspect "Cowboy Dave" has a better shot.

That takes care of the BAFTA nominees.  I'm thinking about posting an entry listed the speculative fiction nominees at the Costume Designers Guild Awards tomorrow followed by the speculative fiction winners at the PGA Awards. Stay tuned.

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