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2020 BAFTA Nominations: All-White Actors Line-Up, Exclusion of Women Directors, So Much 'Joker'

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | January 7, 2020 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | January 7, 2020 |


BAFTA awards Getty.jpg

I’ve complained before that I find the BAFTAs to be something of a waste of potential these days. Previously the bastion of British cinema and centered on celebrating it, their annual movie awards have now become mostly invested in acting as Oscars predicators and slobbering over Hollywood. Nowhere was that more obvious than with this year’s nominations. Joker has the most nominations of any film this year, bagging ELEVEN, while The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood have ten each. Once again, there are no women directors nominated for Best Director, the seventh year in a row this has happened, and the four acting categories are entirely white. This isn’t a massive shock but it is still a staggering disappointment.

Here are the 2020 BAFTA nominees:

Best film
1917
The Irishman
Joker
One Upon a Time… In Hollywood
Parasite

Outstanding British film
1917
Bait
For Sama
Rocketman
Sorry We Missed You
The Two Popes

Leading actress
Jessie Buckley - Wild Rose
Scarlett Johansson - Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan - Little Women
Charlize Theron - Bombshell
Renée Zellweger - Judy

Leading actor
Leonardo DiCaprio - Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood
Adam Driver - Marriage Story
Taron Egerton - Rocketman
Joaquin Phoenix - Joker
Jonathan Pryce - The Two Popes

Supporting actress
Laura Dern - Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson - Jojo Rabbit
Florence Pugh - Little Women
Margot Robbie - Bombshell
Margot Robbie - Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood

Supporting actor
Tom Hanks - A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins - The Two Popes
Al Pacino - The Irishman
Joe Pesci - The Irishman
Brad Pitt - Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood

Director
Sam Mendes - 1917
Martin Scorsese - The Irishman
Todd Phillips - Joker
Quentin Tarantino - Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood
Bong Joon-Ho - Parasite

EE Rising Star Award (voted for by the public)
Awkwafina
Jack Lowden
Kaitlyn Dever
Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Micheal Ward

Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer
Bait
For Sama
Maiden
Only You
Retablo

Film not in the English language
The Farewell
For Sama
Pain and Glory
Parasite
Portrait of a Lady On Fire

Documentary
American Factory
Apollo 11
Diego Maradona
For Sama
The Great Hack

Animated film
Frozen 2
Klaus
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Toy Story 4

Original screenplay
Booksmart
Knives Out
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood
Parasite

Adapted screenplay
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
The Two Popes

Original music
1917
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Cinematography
1917
The Irishman
Joker
Le Mans ‘66
The Lighthouse

Costume design
The Irishman
JoJo Rabbit
Judy
Little Women
Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood

Editing
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Le Mans ‘66
Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood

Production design
1917
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Once upon a Time… In Hollywood

Make-up and hair
1917
Bombshell
Joker
Judy
Rocketman

Sound
1917
Joker
Le Mans ‘66
Rocketman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Special visual effects
1917
Avengers: Endgame
The Irishman
The Lion King
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Best casting
Joker
Marriage Story
Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood
The Personal History of David Copperfield
The Two Popes

British short film
Anna
Azaar
Goldfish
Kamali
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)
Madame
The Nightcrawlers
November 1st
The Trap
We Are Dancers

British short animation
4:3
Creepy Pasta Salad
Grandad Was A Romantic
In Her Boots
The Magic Boat
My Dad’s Name Was Huw. He Was An Alcoholic Poet

Okay, let’s try to be positive for a moment. I’m hearted to see the introduction of a Best Casting category, something that’s been a long time coming and it remains a scandal that the Oscars refuses to adopt one. Jessie Buckley’s Best Actress nomination is a delightful surprise and a well-earned one. I actually like Johansson’s performance in Jojo Rabbit better than her more acclaimed one in Marriage Story so that’s a cool nomination.

But jeez, let’s not beat around the bush here: This is a pretty depressing and devastatingly dull line-up. The BAFTAs weren’t short of opportunities to jazz things up either. What about Lupita Nyong’o for Us? Or Joanna Hogg’s work on The Souvenir? Maybe Gurinder Chadha and Blinded By the Light or the amazing Scottish drama Beats? But nope, this is all about following the pack so that the BAFTAs can pretend it’s a crucial part of the Oscar race, as if that’s more important than, you know, celebrating British cinema. It’s a crime that no women directors got nominated FOR THE SEVENTH YEAR IN A ROW! BAFTA boss Amanda Berry said she was ‘very disappointed’ by the lack of diversity, but that’s not good enough. Do better.

The British film industry is smothered by its institutional racism, sexism, and classism. BAFTA merely represents one aspect of that poison, but seriously, if this is the message of prestige it wants to send to the world, you can’t help but wonder why any marginalized voice in the business would want to bother participating.

The BAFTA ceremony will take place on 2nd February at the Royal Albert Hall in London, hosted by Graham Norton.


Kayleigh is a features writer for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.


Header Image Source: Getty Images.


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