‘La La Land’ Tops An Unusual Batch of BAFTA Nominees

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced its nominations for this year’s film awards – or, as they’re more commonly known, the BAFTAs – producing a list that’s heavy on the anointed awards-season favorites, though with a few surprises and omissions.

La La Land is, of course, the title to beat with eleven nominations, though Arrival and Nocturnal Animals – which have been hit-and-miss this season – made surprisingly strong showings with nine nominations each. Manchester By the Sea netted six nominations, no surprise there; more surprising were the five nods each for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Hacksaw Ridge, Lion, and I, Daniel Blake, particularly since perpetual awards season fave Moonlight only nabbed four (equaling, um, Florence Foster Jenkins).

The most conspicuous absence in the acting categories was Denzel Washington, passed over for Best Actor for Fences in favor of such, shall we say, less favored performers as Jake Gyllenhaal in Nocturnal Animals and Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge. In fact, as Variety’s Guy Lodge points out, Washington has never been nominated for a BAFTA – a fact nearly as puzzling, in this year of astonishing nonfiction films, as the Best Documentary nomination for Ron Howard’s been-there fluff-fest The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years. I mean, I know Brits are proud of their Fab Four, but c’mon.

Anyway, here are their nominations in the major categories:

BEST FILM
La La Land
Arrival
I, Daniel Blake
Manchester By the Sea
Moonlight

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
American Honey
Denial
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them I, Daniel Blake
Notes on Blindness
Under the Shadow

BEST ACTRESS
Amy Adams – Arrival
Emily Blunt – The Girl on the Train
Emma Stone – La La Land
Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins
Natalie Portman – Jackie

BEST ACTOR
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nocturnal Animals
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Hayley Squires – I, Daniel Blake
Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea
Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Nicole Kidman – Lion
Viola Davis – Fences

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Nocturnal Animals
Dev Patel – Lion
Hugh Grant – Florence Foster Jenkins
Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

BEST DIRECTOR
Denis Villeneuve – Arrival
Ken Loach – I, Daniel Blake
Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By The Sea
Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Taylor Sheridan – Hell or High Water
Paul Laverty – I, Daniel Blake
Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Eric Heisserer – Arrival
Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight – Hacksaw Ridge
Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder – Hidden Figures
Luke Davies – Lion
Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals

BEST FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Dheepan
Julieta
Mustang
Son of Saul
Toni Erdmann

BEST DOCUMENTARY
13th
The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years
The Eagle Huntress
Notes on Blindness
Weiner

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Finding Dory
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
Zootopia