Baftas 2021: Three Irish nominees in an impressively diverse line-up

Nomadland and Rocks lead the running; four women in competition for best-director prize

Calm with Horses: the Irish actors Barry Keoghan (left, with Cosmo Jarvis) and Niamh Algar have been nominated for Baftas for their roles in the film

Calm with Horses: the Irish actors Barry Keoghan (left, with Cosmo Jarvis) and Niamh Algar have been nominated for Baftas for their roles in the film

 

Nick Rowland’s Calm with Horses, a crime drama set in rural Ireland, has scored four Bafta film-award nominations in an impressively diverse, creatively imagined line-up.

Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart’s Wolfwalkers, produced by Kilkenny’s Cartoon Saloon, continues its triumphant march through awards season with a nomination for best animated feature.

Niamh Algar and Barry Keoghan were mentioned in the supporting-actress and supporting-actor categories for Calm with Horses. That film, a British and Irish coproduction, was also up for best casting and outstanding British film.

It is some measure of the independent thinking at work that, with seven nods, Sarah Gavron’s Rocks, a gritty London coming-of-age drama, shared the most nominations with Chloe Zhao’s Oscar-tipped Nomadland

Saoirse Ronan, an early tip for her turn opposite Kate Winslet in the lesbian romance Ammonite, was not mentioned and seems (for once) set to be left out of this year’s awards conversation.

Aisling Bea, the Irish comedian and writer, and Susan Wokoma, the British actor and writer, announced the nominations from a deserted Royal Albert Hall, in London. It is some measure of the independent thinking at work that, with seven nods, Sarah Gavron’s Rocks, a gritty London coming-of-age drama, shared the most nominations with Chloe Zhao’s Oscar-tipped Nomadland. Zhao’s American odyssey competes for best film opposite The Father, The Mauritanian, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman and The Trial of the Chicago 7.

It is only 12 months since the Bafta awards were criticised for their whiteness and their maleness, but this year the British Academy of Film and Television Arts looks to be setting an example for the film world. Four of the six nominees for best director are women: Zhao, Gavron, Shannon Murphy, for Babyteeth, and Jasmila Zbanic for Quo Vadis, Aida? Three of those nominations were for films in a language other than English: Quo Vadis, Aida?, Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari and Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round.

Many actors of colour who missed out elsewhere are honoured here. The great Alfre Woodard, snubbed by the Oscars a year ago, gets a leading-actress nomination for her role in Clemency, a 2020 release in the UK and Ireland. Radha Blank, wonderful in the monochrome comedy The 40-Year-Old Version, is, though barely in the conversation for Oscars or Golden Globes, mentioned in the same category. Adarsh Gouvrav is nominated as leading actor for the well-received Netflix release The White Tiger.

Two decades ago, when its ceremony took place after the Oscars, Bafta often diverged from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It seems that the British body has found its own voice again

Inevitably, some hotly tipped performers have been excluded. Few would have predicted that Carey Mulligan, a favourite to win best actress for her turn in the revenge drama Promising Young Woman, would not be among the six nominees in that race. 

“These are the results of allowing films to be seen on a level playing field,” Pippa Harris, the deputy chair of Bafta, says of the eclectic nominations. “And allowing films that sometimes get overlooked in a normal awards season to be seen by the membership and to be recognised and celebrated.”

It is traditional to point out that, as the American and British academies share several hundred members, the Bafta shortlists offer reliable pointers to Oscar nominations. This year, however, in what turned out to be a successful lunge towards diversity, Bafta has, for high-profile categories, instituted a new system that invites a select jury to pick the nominees from a prereleased longlist. The winner will then be voted on by all members. The decision to name six rather than just five nominees in some competitions puts further distance between the two bodies.

Two decades ago, when its ceremony took place after the Oscars, Bafta often diverged from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It seems that the British body has found its own voice again.

Bafta 2021 film awards: the nominations

Best film
The Father
The Mauritanian
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Animated film
Onward
Soul
Wolfwalkers

Director
Another Round – Thomas Vinterberg
Babyteeth – Shannon Murphy
Minari – Lee Isaac Chung
Nomadland – Chloe Zhao
Quo Vadis, Aida? – Jasmila Zbanic
Rocks – Sarah Gavron

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

Adapted screenplay
The Dig – Moira Buffini
The Father – Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller
The Mauritanian – Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani, MB Traven
Nomadland – Chloe Zhao
The White Tiger – Ramin Bahrani

Leading actress
Bukky Bakray – Rocks
Radha Blank – The Forty-year-old Version
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Wunmi Mosaku – His House
Alfre Woodard – Clemency

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

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

Supporting actor
Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah
Barry Keoghan – Calm with Horses
Alan Kim – Minari
Leslie Odom jnr – One Night in Miami...
Clarke Peters – Da 5 Bloods
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Outstanding British film
Calm with Horses
The Dig
The Father
His House
Limbo
The Mauritanian
Mogul Mowgli
Promising Young Woman
Rocks
Saint Maud

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]

Film not in the English language
Another Round
Dear Comrades!
Les Miserables
Minari
Quo Vadis, Aida?

Documentary
Collective
David Attenborough: A Life on our Planet
The Dissident
My Octopus Teacher
The Social Dilemma

British short animation
The Fire Next Time
The Owl and the Pussycat
The Song of a Lost Boy

British short film
Eyelash
Lizard
Lucky Break
Miss Curvy
The Present

EE Rising Star
Bukky Bakray
Kingsley Ben-Adir
Morfydd Clark
Sope Dirisu
Conrad Khan

Original score
Mank
Minari
News of the World
Promising Young Woman
Soul

Casting
Calm with Horses
Judas and the Black Messiah
Minari
Promising Young Woman
Rocks

Cinematography
Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
The Mauritanian
News of the World
Nomadland

Editing
The Father
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Production design
The Dig
The Father
Mank
News of the World
Rebecca

Costume design
Ammonite
The Dig
Emma
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank

Make-up and hair
The Dig
Hillbilly Elegy
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank
Pinocchio

Sound
Greyhound
News of the World
Nomadland
Soul
Sound of Metal

Special visual effects
Greyhound
The Midnight Sky
Mulan
The One and Only Ivan Santiago
Tenet

The 2021 Bafta film awards will be presented virtually, on April 10th and April 11th, from the Royal Albert Hall

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