‘Nomadland,’ ‘Rocks’ Lead Heavily Indie BAFTA Nominations

Carey Mulligan, Viola Davis, Gary Oldman and Sacha Baron Cohen are among the top Oscar contenders bypassed after a 2020 overhaul of BAFTA voting procedures that was designed to make the selections more diverse

Last Updated: March 9, 2021 @ 9:49 AM

AWARDS BEAT

“Nomadland,” “The Father,” “The Mauritanian,” “Promising Young Woman” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7” were nominated as the best films of 2020 at the EE British Academy Film Awards, which were announced on Tuesday in London.

The nominations were heavily weighted toward indie films and homegrown British productions, and will likely bear only a passing resemblance to next week’s Academy Award nominations. They clearly showed the impact of last fall’s overhaul of the BAFTA voting process, a move that was designed to increase the diversity of its selections.

Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland” and Sarah Gavron’s “Rocks” led all films with seven nominations, with “Nomadland” the only film to be nominated in the Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and acting categories. Zhao was one of four female directing nominees alongside Shannon Murphy for “Babyteeth,” Jasmila Zbanic for “Quo Vadis, Aida?” and Sarah Gavron for “Rocks.” Those three became the first women nominated in the category since Kathryn Bigelow in 2012, after only seven had received nominations in BAFTA’s 73-year history.

Other directing nominees were Thomas Vinterberg for “Another Round” and Lee Isaac Chung for “Minari,” both of whose films were nominated in the Best Film Not in the English Language category. The directing slate left out a number of formidable contenders, including David Fincher for “Mank,” Aaron Sorkin for “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Paul Greengrass for “News of the World,” Regina King for “One Night in Miami” and Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman.”

The acting categories were also notable for who wasn’t nominated. In Best Actress, the nominees included Bukky Bakray for “Rocks,” Radha Blank for “The Forty-Year-Old Version,” Wunmi Mosaku for “His House” and Alfre Woodard for “Clemency,” but did not include two of the Oscar front runners, Carey Mulligan for “Promising Young Woman” or Viola Davis for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

Best Actor included Adarsh Gourav for “The White Tiger,” Mads Mikkelsen for “Another Round” and Tahar Rahim for “The Mauritanian,” but not Gary Oldman for “Mank.” And notable contenders in the supporting categories who were bypassed included Ellen Burstyn for “Pieces of a Woman,” Olivia Colman for “The Father,” Amanda Seyfried for “Mank” and Sacha Baron Cohen for “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

Among the acting favorites who did make the cut with BAFTA were Vanessa Kirby for “Pieces of a Woman,” Frances McDormand for “Nomadland,” Riz Ahmed for “Sound of Metal,” Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Anthony Hopkins for “The Father,” Maria Bakalova for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah” and Leslie Odom Jr. for “One Night in Miami.”

First-time nominees account for 21 of the 24 acting nominees and four of the six directing nominees.

“The Father,” “Mank,” “Minari” and “Promising Young Woman” finished just behind “Nomadland” and “Rocks” with six nominations each, while “The Dig” and “The Mauritanian” received five. “Another Round,” “Calm With Horses,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “News of the World” and “Sound of Metal” each received four.

In most categories, voters from specific BAFTA chapters selected the nominees from a shortlist of 10-20 films with the help of juries. In some categories, including Best Director and the acting categories, a jury also selected the nominees. Voters were required to see all the films on the longlist before voting in a category, with the number of nominees expanded from five to six in the acting and directing categories and from five to 10 in the Outstanding British Film category.

The use of juries in some categories but not others led to some curious disconnects in the nominations. Shannon Murphy, for instance, landed a surprise Best Director nomination for her indie “Babyteeth,” but that film did not receive a single nomination in any other category. And while “Promising Young Woman” tied for third in total nominations, its Best Film nom came without a directing nod for Emerald Fennell or an acting one for Carey Mulligan. “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” another Best Film nominee, was similarly shut out of the directing and acting categories.

The juries and the expanded categories made this year’s nominations a deliberate salute to independent film and British film, and an attempt to correct years of nominations that included people of color far too infrequently. But the decision use the awards to that end makes this year’s BAFTA a far less reliable Oscar predictor than usual.

In the past, the two groups overlapped to a significant degree: Last year, for instance, in 16 categories common to both shows, 70 of the 80 BAFTA nominees went on to receive Oscar nominations, with four or five BAFTA nominees in each category repeating their success with Oscar voters. (This does not include the animated feature, documentary and Best Film Not in the English Language categories, which draw from different slates of qualifying films.) Five categories, including Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay, were exact matches between the two shows.

The EE British Academy Film Awards will be presented at two virtual shows from the Royal Albert Hall in London, the first taking place on Saturday, April 10 and the second on Sunday, April 11. The April 10 show will be devoted to the craft categories.

The nominees:

BEST FILM
The Father
The Mauritanian
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
The Trial of the Chicago 7

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
Calm With Horses
The Dig
The Father
His House
Limbo
The Mauritanian
Misbehaviour
Mogul Mowgli
Promising Young Woman
Rocks
Saint Maud

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH ACTOR, DIRECTOR OR WRITER
His House, Remi Weekes
Limbo, Ben Sharrock and Irune Gurtabi
Moffie, Jack Sidey
Rocks, Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson
Saint Maud, Rose Glass

FILM NOT IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Another Round
Dear Comrades!
Les Misérables
The Life Ahead
Minari
Quo Vadis, Aida?

DOCUMENTARY
Collective
David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet
Dick Johnson is Dead
The Dissident
My Octopus Teacher
The Social Dilemma

ANIMATED FILM
Onward
Soul
Wolfwalkers

DIRECTOR
Another Round, Thomas Vinterberg
Babyteeth, Shannon Murphy
Minari, Lee Isaac Chung
Nomadland, Chloe Zhao
Quo Vadis, Aida?, Jasmila Zbanic
Rocks, Sarah Gavron

LEADING ACTRESS
Bukky Bakray, Rocks
Radha Blank, The Forty-Year-Old Version
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Wunmi Mosaku, His House
Alfre Woodard, Clemency

LEADING ACTOR
Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Adarsh Gourav, The White Tiger
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Mads Mikkelsen, Another Round
Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Niamh Algar, Calm With Horses
Kosar Ali, Rocks
Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Dominique Fishback, Judas and the Black Messiah
Ashley Madekwe, County Lines
Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
Barry Keoghan, Calm With Horses
Alan Kim, Minari
Leslie Odom Jr., One Night In Miami…
Clarke Peters, Da 5 Bloods
Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Another Round
Mank
Promising Young Woman
Rocks
The Trial of the Chicago 7

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Dig
The Father
The Mauritanian
Nomadland
The White Tiger

CASTING
Calm With Horses
Judas and the Black Messiah
Minari
Promising Young Woman
Rocks

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
The Mauritanian
News of the World
Nomadland

COSTUME DESIGN
Ammonite
The Dig
Emma.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank

EDITING
The Father
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

MAKE UP & HAIR
The Dig
Hillbilly Elegy
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank
Pinocchio

ORIGINAL SCORE
Mank
Minari
News of the World
Promising Young Woman
Soul

PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Dig
The Father
Mank
News of the World
Rebecca

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
Greyhound
The Midnight Sky
Mulan
The One and Only Ivan
Tenet

SOUND
Greyhound
News of the World
Nomadland
Soul
Sound of Metal

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION
The Fire Next Time
The Owl and the Pussycat
The Song of A Lost Boy

BRITISH SHORT FILM
Eyelash
Lizard
Lucky Break
Miss Curvy
The Present