Five 2021 EE BAFTA Film Awards Nominees to Watch Out ForApril 5, 2021 By Go Back
It’s time again for the EE British Academy Film Awards, and in this unusual BAFTA year you may feel like you have a lot of films to catch up. But, I’m here to ease any worries because the unprecedented year for film has also opened up a wonderful opportunity where the majority of nominees are available for streaming from the comfort and safety of your homes. I’ve chosen 5 films that BAFTA loves and I agree are triumphs that you can watch before our broadcast of the EE British Academy Film Awards on April 11th.
One of the most nominated films this year is also one that may have sailed under the radar of many Canadians. This coming-of-age drama from director Sarah Gavron and writer/playwright Theresa Ikoko follows a teenage girl who struggles to care for her young brother when her mother abruptly leaves them. What could have been a wrought social melodrama, instead flourishes with these artists, who created the screenplay in collaboration with their young stars, and becomes as much a celebration of female friendship as it is a thrilling drama. It is up for seven total awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actress for newcomer Bukky Bakray who also snags herself an EE Rising Star Nomination. Streaming on Netflix.
This adaptation of John Preston’s novel may not be a shocking nominee, a period drama starring acting powerhouses Ralph Fiennes and Carrie Mulligan exploring the archaeological excavation of Sutton Hoo, but without a theatrical release, you’d be forgiven for not knowing this critical darling exists. Up for five nominations including Outstanding British Film, Best Adapted Screenplay, and many craft nominations, it’s one of the big released British films whose pedigrees are giving them a bigger showing at BAFTA than at The Oscars or Golden Globes. You’ll also see high-profile British films The Father and The Mauritanian all over this year’s awards. Streaming on Netflix.
A nice side-effect of BAFTA’s strict diversity and inclusion policies this year has been a diversity of genres as well as artists represented among nominees, including some rare horror nominations for the likes of Saint Maude and this chiller. Remi Weekes’ debut film tells the tale of two Sudanese refugees struggling through Britain’s system of asylum forced to live in what may be a haunted house… or is the haunting something more? BAFTA nominations include Outstanding Debut, Best British Film, and a nod for Lead Actress Wunmi Mosaku, who you may recognize from her recent memorable turn in Lovecraft Country, and an EE Rising Star nomination for her co-star Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù. Streaming on Netflix.
Calm With Horses (a.k.a. The Shadow of Violence)
BAFTA has a long love affair with gangster movies and the likes of The Killing, The Long Good Friday, and Goodfellas have picked up awards nominations along the way. This Irish crime thriller stars Cosmo Jarvis as a small gang’s muscle who’s pushed to do more violent things as he fights for a better life for his special needs child. His co-stars Niamh Algar (who stars alongside him in Raised by Wolves as well) and Barry Keoghan collect nominations along with a Best British Film nomination and a nod to their casting directors, a newer BAFTA category. Streaming on Netflix. Available to rent on YouTube and Google Play.
The Forty-Year-Old Version
If these films sound a little grim, BAFTA thankfully always has a little room for comedy, and alongside awards season favourite Maria Bakalova’s turn in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, BAFTA has nominations for the Australian dramedy Babyteeth and Limbo which is sadly hasn’t hit our shores yet. One lighter performance you can check out before the show is surprise nominee Radha Blank who has lit up the American indie scene as the writer, director, and star of this story of a woman struggling to find her relevance in hip-hop and theatre as she turns 40. She might seem like a long shot but she’s won plenty of critical attention and awards from institutions like Sundance for this film and is also nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award later in the month. Streaming on Netflix.