There are always snubs and surprises at awards shows, but somehow this year’s Baftas are absolutely riddled with them. It might be a good thing, though. Since being criticised for spending too many years merely replicating and anticipating what the Oscars would do, the Baftas have made a big push for homegrown nominations.
For the most part, that’s happened this year, with British nominees such as Stephen Graham and Joanna Scanlan scoring well-deserved nods. Meanwhile, incredibly high-profile actors – some of them even from the UK – were overlooked, with Olivia Colman, Andrew Garfield and Denzel Washington among the many stars missing out.
That said, this is a largely successful line-up, with strong showings for films such as After Love, Ali & Ava and The Worst Person in the World – all of which aren’t likely to receive similar attention from the Academy Awards.
A full list of this year’s nominations can be found here.
Meanwhile, here are our biggest snubs and surprises…
The biggest snubs
Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
The eternally overlooked Kirsten Dunst deserves more. While The Power of the Dog raked in the second highest number of nominations, Dunst’s quietly disarming performance as Rose Gordon has been overlooked. While certainly her co-stars Jesse Plemons and Benedict Cumberbatch have more than earned their own nods, it’s a shame to see Dunst sidelined… yet again.
Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom!
This one is likely to get the most people riled up. Not only has Andrew Garfield failed to pick up a nomination for his role in Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical Tick, Tick… Boom! but he also hasn’t been recognised for The Eyes of Tammy Faye (and neither has his co-star Jessica Chastain, for that matter). Throw into the mix that Spider-Man: No Way Home was recently disqualified from contending in the Baftas altogether and they’ve got a whole lot of disgruntled Garfield fans on their hands.
Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Have we already become so used to fantastic Olivia Colman performances that they no longer seem worthy of praise? That may have been the case here, which is a shame. She is staggeringly great in The Lost Daughter, sourcing humour and humanity in a difficult character, her face reading a thousand different pains at once. It’s a very odd snub.
Kristen Stewart, Spencer
Stewart’s delicate and rousing performance as Princess Diana seemed to be an awards front-runner a few months ago, so it’s confusing that her chances have seemed to shrink recently. Her Bafta snub makes even less sense than Colman’s – Spencer didn’t just seem to be a career-best role for her, but an opportunity for awards bodies to finally acknowledge one of Hollywood’s most consistently surprising actors.
The biggest surprises
Stephen Graham, Boiling Point
The Lancashire-born star always turns in award-winning performances and Boiling Point is no different – but it’s a pleasant shock to see the smaller independent film recognised for its greatness. Maybe it’s a direct result of Bafta’s recent change to its voting process to “level out the playing field”. Or maybe it’s luck. Either way, the more Stephen Graham we get to see this awards season, the better.
Ann Down, Mass
Ann Dowd fans rejoice! The actor is finally up for her first Bafta award thanks to a heartbreaking performance in the high-school shooting drama Mass. While most people will recognise Dowd as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale, the actor has consistently delivered noteworthy performances across a career that’s far too great to be boiled down to a single role. Here’s hoping this Bafta nomination is the beginning of a fruitful awards season for Dowd.
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Mike Faist, West Side Story
Largely overlooked amid the more high-profile awards campaigns for his co-stars, Mike Faist was West Side Story’s secret weapon, so it’s great to see him here. As gang leader Riff, Faist is cocky, measured and beguiling. A star was born.
Woody Norman, C’mon C’mon
So convincing as an American that this 11-year-old Brit warranted awards attention just for that, Norman is also heartwarming and preternaturally composed in his film debut. More surprising, though, is that Norman got a Bafta nod while his co-stars Joaquin Phoenix and the great, unsung Gaby Hoffmann didn’t.
The Baftas, presented by Rebel Wilson, take place on 13 March