‘The Shape of Water’, ‘Three Billboards’, and ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Lead BAFTA Nominations

     January 9, 2018

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The British Academy of Television Arts has announced the nominations for the EE British Academy Film Awards for 2018, otherwise known as the BAFTAs. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water leads the pack with 12 nominations, including Best Film, Director, Actress, Score, and Original Screenplay, days after taking home Best Score and Director at the Golden Globes. It’s followed by major Best Picture contender Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Darkest Hour, which both received nine nominations, giving a pretty hefty boost to the latter film as Joe Wright’s Winston Churchill drama has fallen by the wayside a bit with regards to momentum.

But the most pleasant surprise is Blade Runner 2049 scoring eight nominations, tying with Dunkirk. Director Denis Villeneuve’s gorgeously realized sci-fi sequel failed to light the box office on fire domestically, but the love was shared far and wide at the BAFTAs as the film not only scored nominations for Score, Production Design, and Cinematography, but also Best Director for Villeneuve.

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Image via Focus Features

The BAFTAs aren’t a 1:1 match with the Oscars, but they are an important precursor because we see how a voting body made up of industry professionals shares the love come awards time. And they do match up somewhat when it comes to nominees, although last year Best Film went to La La Land and the year before it went to The Revenant, so the winners don’t always match up with Oscar.

Aside from the Blade Runner 2049 love it’s also nice to see Kristin Scott Thomas recognized for her swell work in Darkest Hour. Indeed that film gets the biggest boost this morning, as it’s kind of on the outs for a Best Picture or Best Director Oscar nomination at the moment. It lost out on PGA, WGA, and SAG recognition for the top awards, so the BAFTA love certainly raises its profile as Oscar nomination voting comes down to its final days.

Three Billboards continues to look something like a frontrunner, but the lack of huge love for other frontrunners Lady Bird and Get Out here isn’t super surprising as both of those films are distinctly American. Indeed, Three Billboards hails from a British/Irish writer/director and even though it’s about the American South, score a “Best British Film” nomination here given that it was produced and created by Brits.

It’s also great to see the critically acclaimed Paddington 2 nominated not just for Best British Film but also Best Adapted Screenplay, and Baby Driver scores well-deserved nominations for Editing and Sound, which I’m increasingly thinking is likely for Oscar as well.

Check out the full list of BAFTA nominations below. The ceremony will be held on February 18th.

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Image via Fox Searchlight

BEST FILM
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME Emilie Georges, Luca Guadagnino, Marco Morabito, Peter Spears
DARKEST HOUR Tim Bevan, Lisa Bruce, Eric Fellner, Anthony McCarten, Douglas Urbanski
DUNKIRK Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas
THE SHAPE OF WATER Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Martin McDonagh

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
DARKEST HOUR Joe Wright, Tim Bevan, Lisa Bruce, Eric Fellner, Anthony McCarten, Douglas Urbanski
THE DEATH OF STALIN Armando Iannucci, Kevin Loader, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou, Ian Martin, David Schneider
GOD’S OWN COUNTRY Francis Lee, Manon Ardisson, Jack Tarling
LADY MACBETH William Oldroyd, Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly, Alice Birch
PADDINGTON 2 Paul King, David Heyman, Simon Farnaby
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI Martin McDonagh, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
THE GHOUL Gareth Tunley (Writer/Director/Producer), Jack Healy Guttman & Tom Meeten (Producers)
I AM NOT A WITCH Rungano Nyoni (Writer/Director), Emily Morgan (Producer)
JAWBONE Johnny Harris (Writer/Producer), Thomas Napper (Director)
KINGDOM OF US Lucy Cohen (Director)
LADY MACBETH Alice Birch (Writer), William Oldroyd (Director), Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly (Producer)

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Image via Warner Bros.

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
ELLE Paul Verhoeven, Saïd Ben Saïd
FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER Angelina Jolie, Rithy Panh
THE HANDMAIDEN Park Chan-wook, Syd Lim
LOVELESS Andrey Zvyagintsev, Alexander Rodnyansky
THE SALESMAN Asghar Farhadi, Alexandre Mallet-Guy

DOCUMENTARY
CITY OF GHOSTS Matthew Heineman
I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO Raoul Peck
ICARUS Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk
JANE Brett Morgen

ANIMATED FILM
COCO Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
LOVING VINCENT Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Ivan Mactaggart
MY LIFE AS A COURGETTE Claude Barras, Max Karli

DIRECTOR
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

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Image via Fox Searchlight

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
GET OUT Jordan Peele
I, TONYA Steven Rogers
LADY BIRD Greta Gerwig
THE SHAPE OF WATER Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI Martin McDonagh

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME James Ivory
THE DEATH OF STALIN Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, David Schneider
FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL Matt Greenhalgh
MOLLY’S GAME Aaron Sorkin
PADDINGTON 2 Simon Farnaby, Paul King

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