Pleasant Surprises and Shocking Snubs: The 2015 BAFTA Nominations

Unless you’ve only just woken up (it is Friday, you’d be forgiven) your Twitter feed has probably been filled with #BAFTA tweets since the early hours of the morning. We were especially excited to see so many familiar nominees and winners from the 2014 Moet British Independent Film Awards in the mix when we cast our eyes upon the full list of nominations earlier today.

Alumni of the December 2014 MBIFAs includes films like Pride, ’71, The Imitation Game, Boyhood and Lilting, and we’re over the moon to hear that they’re all up for awards at this year’s BAFTAs!


But the daddy of the 2015 BAFTA nominees is undoubtedly Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel which takes the lead with 11 nominations. Released way back in March, the film was a slow burner throughout 2014 as it continued to build upon its initial cult following. Eccentric, whimsical, weird and wonderful, The Grand Budapest Hotel offers a refined and polished version of the traits we’ve come to expect and love from a Wes Anderson film. The fact that it was released so early in the year meant that it was perhaps a little forgotten when people began to make their awards season predictions a few months back, but its extensive list of nominations this morning are a very welcome surprise indeed.

Hot on its heels are Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything with 10 nominations each. A bizarre insight into the backstage antics of a fading star’s attempt to write, direct and star in a Broadway play, Birdman offers quite the contrast to the latter’s emotional biopic of famous physicist Steven Hawking. Both join The Grand Budapest Hotel with nominations in the Best Film, Best Actor and Best Director categories among others.

Damian Chazelle also received nominations for Best Director and Original Screenplay with his debut feature film Whiplash, which gets its UK release next Friday 16th January. It’s been receiving top notch reviews since it won the 2014 Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and we can’t wait to watch it and see what all the hype is about.

Whilst the full list of nominees offers a lot of variety, the absence of certain films in some of the more prominent categories hasn’t gone unnoticed. Ava DuVernay’s chronical of Martin Luther King’s campaign for equal rights, Selma, is up for Best Motion Picture and Best Director at the Golden Globes but received a surprising 0 BAFTA nominations. Furthermore, Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar are nowhere to be seen outside of the technical category nominations.


Despite being surrounded  by a huge buzz and boasting an all-star cast, Nolan’s big-budget feature Interstellar seemed to fall a little flat after its box office release and hasn’t done too well with award nominations thus far (it received 1 Golden Globe Nomination for Best Original Score). What perhaps comes as more of a shock, however, is the biopic of celebrated British painter Mr Turner’s apparent snub in the Outstanding British Film category. The film was applauded by critics and cinema-goers after its release, with Timothy Spall’s highly praised performance thought to make him a sure bet for a Best Actor nomination.

Awards seasons is now fully underway, and it’ll be interesting to see how the next Thursday’s announcement of Oscar nominations line up with today’s BAFTAs. Will we see some more MBIFA nominees and winners on the list? Will The Grand Budapest Hotel continue to dominate? And will films like Mr Turner get more of a look-in?

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