For Your Consideration

3 minute read Published:

The Orange British Academy Film Awards take place tonight. For the record, here’s the complete list of screeners dispatched to BAFTA members this year. Considering we were all sent Cinea players even before last year’s awards – and how quickly unencrypted movies started appearing on the web this year – it’s curious that only about 20% of DVDs were encrypted (using Cinea’s S-VIEW Award Consideration Screener Program). Mind you, from the point of view of the studios, encryption can obviously backfire, as those co-ordinating Munich’s BAFTA campaign discovered when 5000 totally unplayable discs were shipped out, a story that even made the front page of The Guardian. Munich is the only movie Oscar-nominated for best picture not also on the BAFTA shortlist.

Best of the bunch for me was Fernando Meirelles’ The Constant Gardener, (conversely the only BAFTA-nominated movie not also up for best picture in the US) a near-perfect exercise in direction, performance and cinematography and hyperlink movies Syriana (good) and Crash (better). Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon were both outstanding in Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, as was Felicity Huffman’s extraordinary woman-plays-man-becoming-woman performance in Transamerica (but sadly overlooked by BAFTA) and you can’t fail to enjoy Piers Brosnan’s trashing of his Bond history in The Matador.

Shame not to see Cronenberg’s A History of Violence in the running for more than adapted screenplay (although William Hurt is Oscar-nominated for his supporting role) or the hilarious A Cock & Bull Story, the endlessly prolific Michael Winterbottom’s attempt to film Tristam Shandy and a role call of current British comedy stars. Deservedly ignored in the UK though was Woody Allen’s Match Point (see Lloyd Shepherd’s post on why we Brits think this movie is ‘lamentable’).