Ten 2020 BAFTA Nominees to Watch Out For
Awards season is heating up and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts have released the nominations for their 2020 BAFTA Film Awards. There isn’t a ton of time to catch up before our broadcast on February 2nd at 4pm ET but thankfully many nominees are available to stream at home so you can catch up on the best of UK film and beyond before the big day.
- Joker. Todd Phillips’ crime caper scored the most BAFTA nominations with 11 all told so it seems like England may reward the clown prince of crime...or at least Jaoquin Phoenix for portraying him. It’s important to remember Joker won the Best Film Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival earlier this summer so Europe has shown its interest in this artistic interpretation of the Batman villain.
- Two Popes. You’ll be forgiven if you missed this look at this fictionalized look at the recent transition between Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis at it went directly to streaming services in North America. Not surprisingly though the meeting of two British acting powerhouses, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor nominees Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins, as well as prior BAFTA nominated director Fernando Meirelles and previous Best Screenplay winner Anthony McCarten got a lot of attention this year with five nominations including one in the newly minted Casting category.
- For Sama. For Sama made a big splash in 2019 at the SXSW Film Festival and picks up 4 BAFTA nominations for director/producer Waad al-Kateab who has made England her home after becoming a refugee in the current Syrian conflict. Her film tells a personal story of choosing to stay in Syria, have a child and help her people in spite of the danger and wows across categories ranging from Best British Film to Best Film Not In The English Language.
- Wild Rose. Jessie Buckley was nominated for the EE BAFTA Rising Star award just one year ago and she did indeed rise with roles in hits like Chernobyl and this surprise international hit following a Glaswegian ex-con who tries to fulfill her dream of becoming a country singer in Nashville. Buckley has already won the Best Actress from BAFTA Scotland but for the big show she’ll have to beat out her Judy co-star Renée Zellweger.
- Diego Maradona. Not surprisingly this documentary exploring the life and career of ‘80s Argentinian soccer and specifically his time in Naples. You may have missed this doc’s premiere through HBO Sports in North America but Asif Kapadia is going to be a huge contender in the Best Documentary category having taken home the award twice before for his documentaries exploring the lives of Amy Winehouse and Ayrton Senna.
- Only You. The Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer category is always a great place to catch up on some of the smaller hits the UK has to offer and this year is no different. This romantic drama pairs two former EE BAFTA RIsing Star nominees, Josh O’ Connor and Laila Costa, exploring the passionate relationship between a young couple considering where their relationship will go next.
- The Great Hack. This documentary explores the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal and the whistleblowers involved in exposing the massive invasion of privacy involved. Coming from team Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer gives it some pedigree as well as their 2013 film The Square was nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar.
- Klaus. Netflix has quietly collected some of the biggest names in traditional hand-drawn techniques for their newly minted Animation branch and Klaus represents their first foray into the feature animation game. This take on the Santa Claus myth is visually stunning and a favourite among animators but will have to bring its a-game to win the Best Animated Film BAFTA against British favs Aardman Animation’s A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.
- Rocketman. It’s a little bit funny...that this Elton John musical biopic was released so far from awards season but Sir Elton and BAFTA lead actor nominee Taron Egerton have been working overtime on the awards circuit trying to remind people just how charming the film was. It not surprisingly also received nods in Makeup & Hair, Sound and will battle it out alongside the likes of 1917 and The Two Popes for Best British Film.
- The Irishman. The Irishman may seem like a very American film but an interesting fact about Martin Scorsese is his films have actually earned more BAFTA Awards than Oscars with a total of 23 since 1974. This film is up for 10 awards including a race between Al Pacino and Joe Pesci for the Best Supporting Actor prize.