BAFTA nominations: is Emily Blunt making a late surge at Ruth Negga’s expense?


I was going back and forth about covering the BAFTA nominations, which were released early this morning, and in the end I decided I did want to discuss them because there are some WTFs on this list and some notable conversations we need to have. First of all, all of the BAFTA nominations went to white, male directors. No Barry Jenkins, director of Moonlight (although Moonlight was nominated for Best Picture and Jenkins was nominated as screenwriter). All but one of the screenwriting nominations (adapted and original) went to dudes too, and the one woman who was nominated was a co-writer with a dude. This is a HUGE problem, guys. And it’s not just a problem in Hollywood or in the British film industry. There are issues with the actor nominations too. You can see the full list of BAFTA noms here, and here are the big ones:

Best Film
I, Daniel Blake
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea

Best Director
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals
Ken Loach, I, Daniel Blake
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Best Actor
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Best Actress
Amy Adams, Arrival
Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Dev Patel, Lion
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Hayley Squires, I, Daniel Blake
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

[Via E! News]

While I’m happy to see Dev, Viola, Naomie and Mahershala’s names on here, can you see who’s missing? Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton. At first I thought “maybe Loving was ineligible because of when it was released.” But Ruth was nominated for the Rising Star Award for her performance, so the film was eligible. The BAFTAs just chose to nominate Emily Blunt rather than Ruth Negga. The Screen Actors Guild made the same choice. And I really don’t understand it – The Girl on the Train came and went with little fanfare. Meanwhile, Ruth’s performance (not to mention Joel’s) has been on every “best of” list. So here’s my question: is there a real possibility that Emily Blunt is going to get nominated for an Oscar this year?

Also: no Deadpool, which isn’t surprising. No Denzel Washington for Fences. No Isabelle Huppert for Elle. No Michael Shannon. Why is Aaron Taylor Johnson getting all of this love? It’s so weird!




Photos courtesy of WENN.

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58 Responses to “BAFTA nominations: is Emily Blunt making a late surge at Ruth Negga’s expense?”

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  1. freebunny says:

    Elle was not eligible, so no Isabelle Huppert.

  2. Saks says:

    I consider the biggest miss to be Jessica Chastain, she was fantastic in Miss Sloane (was she elegible?)

  3. JulP says:

    So far, the nominations for the televised awards shows have been all over the place. In prior years, there has at least been some consistency …

    I can’t believe Denzel and Ruth didn’t get nominations, and it’s painful that Barry Jenkins didn’t get a directing nomination for Moonlight. I love Emily Blunt, but I can’t believe she got nominated over Ruth and Annette Benning!! (Apparently Isabelle Huppert wasn’t eligible because Elle won’t be released in the UK until March).

    Also surprised at the love for ATJ in Nocturnal Animals. He was good, but I’m sad that Michael Shannon’s chances for a nom are dwindling. That said, I am pleasantly surprised by Jake’s nomination. He was the best part of Nocturnal Animals and I think he’s one of the best actors of his generation, so it’s nice to finally see his efforts get recognized.

    • Llamas says:

      I love Jake. I think he’s very underrated. He’s such a great actor. Even my BF thinks he’s good, which is saying something considering Jake is my celeb crush. Yum!

  4. Bex says:

    BAFTA used to be known for marching to the beat of their own drum, but they’ve largely fallen in line with the Oscars in recent years so I think a few of these snubs are eyebrow raising (Jenkins? Washington?) Huppert was never eligible for Elle.

    I think Blunt would be a shoo-in if her film was better. She’s not campaigned at all, and I think she’s landed in the dreaded 6th place for a nomination more than once in the past.

  5. Tiffany27 says:

    But……. Emily Blunt was not good in TGOTT.

    • lucy2 says:

      I thought she was good in it, but the film wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it might be.

      • Bex says:

        I agree with you Lucy. I would’ve nominated Negga, but I think Blunt did about as well as anybody could’ve done with the pretty lousy script and direction she had to work with. She was the best thing about it.

  6. Bridget says:

    Don’t the BAFTAs usually randomly have a little extra British representation thrown in there? Not to mention, Loving is such an American story, I can see how it might not hit with the BAFTA crowd?

    • teacakes says:

      but Ruth is British, and TGOTT movie is set in America!

      • Jaqen says:

        Ruth is not British. She has an Ethiopian father and an Irish mother. She was born in Ethiopia and raised in Ireland. She moved to London in her adulthood. That does not make her British. I know it’s a small thing but I’m so tired of seeing Irish actors proclaimed as British. Ireland and the UK are too separate independent nations.

      • Bridget says:

        Loving is an incredibly American story though. Personally, I would love to see her recognized for her work, but I can kind of see how it might not be a movie that would play as well to the Brits.

  7. Mogul says:

    They’re looking for a handsome white guy to become (replace) the Depp, Clooney and Pitt of this generation. Someone who will sell tickets, who will be a box office hit for single standing movies that aren’t part of a trilogy based on a bestseller book. Who will sell magazines, get people to tune in to watch the award shows. That guy.

    • Kate says:

      They see that in Aaron Taylor-Johnson ?

      • Mogul says:

        Why not? He is handsome, talented and discrete. Or Gosling could also be the one.

      • Kate says:

        I think he lacks charisma.

      • Kori says:

        But they (Gosling and Taylor-Johnson) and others like Jake G, Channing Tatum, Ryan Reynolds and Joseph Gordon Levitt and others have shown a pretty good career trajectory albeit with some bumps (like Prince of Persia with Jake and a series of missteps for Ryan R). They’re pretty smart in how they handle their projects. They do indie films–some that work, others that don’t–where they can work with respected directors and actors; then they do action movies/comic book movies/big romances/popcorn type movies to make some money and get exposure. But rarely do they try to carry a big budget project all on their own–that doesn’t work for too many. Even Hugh Jackman hasn’t had too many hits outside of X-Men/Wolverine but he’s still A list. So even if some of these actors are never the Brad Pitt/Tom Cruise/Will Smith of their generation, they at least set themselves up for some solid careers and longevity can often be much better than Big Star with a Short Shelf Life. With Aaron he’s done Godzilla, an Avengers movie then does something like Albert Nobbs, Nocturnal Animals or Anna Karenina.

  8. Ang says:

    She was good in TGOTT

  9. Sam says:

    I will never understand how Emily Blunt is getting nominations for TGOT. Like I know she’s in awards show debt but let’s not cash it all on in on this film.

    Honestly the lack of diversity makes all of this a joke. Good bye.

  10. minx says:

    Dev Patel looks so elegant! Love him.

    • Down and Out says:

      Me, too. But why supporting actor? I thought he was the lead.

    • Kori says:

      I used to think he was pretty homely but this look he’s got since Lion? Yes please. The longer hair and facial hair is really working for him. Reminds me of Naveen Andrews in Lost.

  11. Kate says:

    Not surprised Denzel wasn’t nominated, his performance was good but not amazing, and it’s his directing that really lets the film down so I’m sure that factors in too.

    The last few years the Baftas haven’t been that highly attended. Blunt is in London for the Mary Poppins sequel, so she’ll almost certainly show up.

    I don’t think Loving is released til February in the UK, so it’s not eligible. The award Ruth is up for is a more general award not specifically tied to any one film. Given she’s not exactly a newcomer it actually seems they went out of their way to acknowledge her.

    Nocturnal Animals is amazing, I’m glad the Bafta’s are showing it some love. Arrival too.

    • Nik says:

      Denzel is amazing in Fences. He most certainly deserved a nomination, probably even the win too.

      No way anyone could convince me that what Washington accomplished in that performance was less impressive than what Andrew, Jake, or Ryan did.

  12. sara says:

    Aaron Taylor Johnson was better than Michael Shannon, I saw Nocturnal Animals and I like Michael Shannon I think he is underrated, but I think Aaron Taylor was really scary in the film.

    • Lightpurple says:

      I didn’t even realize that was Aaron Taylor Johnson until halfway through the film. I kept wondering “who is that guy?”

    • Miss M says:

      Sara, I wrote something similar before I read your comment. Spot on!

    • Mannori says:

      he benefited from a “showy” character and the way you equate being better to being scary pretty much sums it all: people more than often mistake good acting with chew scenery shenanigans. Shannon’s subtle and strong performance is infinite times “better” and harder and more difficult than Aaron’s batshit crazy turn.

      • JulP says:

        Agreed, Subtlety is rarely rewarded, and for that reason I kind of doubt Ruth Negga will end up getting an Oscar nomination. I thought her performance was tremendous, but it was a quiet, understated performance (which, as you noted, are much more difficult to pull off).

    • Kori says:

      Yes, the critics have a different opinion than what seems going on here. I haven’t seen NA so I can’t say but just because this sight (and critics, don’t get me wrong) love Michael Shannon doesn’t mean the critics don’t like AJ in this even more.

  13. Lightpurple says:

    Was Fences eligible this year under BAFTA rules? Has it been released in the U.K. yet?

    ETA Never mind, I see the nomination for Viola.

  14. Miss M says:

    ATJ had a terrific performance in Nocturnal animals. I don’t know why people are so surprised… Yes, I think his performance was better than Michael Shannon’s…

    • sunshine gold says:

      I thought the exact opposite – Aaron Taylor-Johnson was just a hot minor character to me and Michael Shannon was great. I guess that’s why it’s all very subjective.

  15. MellyMel says:

    I adore ATJ, but I haven’t seen Nocturnal Animals yet so I don’t know if the nominations and GG win are deserved. But I love that he’s getting more attention.

  16. Joni says:

    Ugh, she was awful. I will be so annoyed if she gets the oscar nom.

  17. Sixer says:

    I think the lists are a bit odd-looking to you Yanks because they’ve carefully made plenty of room for I, Daniel Blake. Which, personally, I’m very happy about.

    Also very glad to see The Hard Stop get a nom for best documentary. I actually bought that on DVD. And Notes On Blindness, which is quite beautiful.

    These are BRITISH film awards. They’re already too focused on Hollywood. Not everything should be seen through the lens of what the American industry should or shouldn’t do. No offence.

    If anything’s missing in representation terms, it’s Steven Brandon in My Feral Heart.

    • teacakes says:

      I, Daniel Blake NEEDS to be seen and its subject deserves attention – I’m happy with its inclusion too.

      But as I pointed out above, Ruth’s snub can’t be about the British thing alone – isn’t she a Brit herself? And TGOTT is set in the US.

      • Sixer says:

        I think they just had other priorities, like Blake, that they very much wanted to put in and then fitted in what was left around it. The multiple nominations for La La Land cheese me off a little bit but they always pick a film like that and over-reward it, you know? I think Ruth just got the Rising Star and that was it for her. I certainly think Hayley Squires deserves the place.

        I just think diversity is important but diversity is important within a British context, not just an American one for actors, films and issues that Americans know about. The Hard Stop is a very challenging documentary with big questions for racial policing and police policy in the UK. It’s also beautifully intimate and very well made. Quite honestly, I’d rather see that in there then them make room for Barry Jenkins – because it’s important in BRITAIN, you know?

        So I’ll carry on complaining that Steven Brandon should have been in there because he turned in a startling performance and his inclusion would have mattered for diversity in a BRITISH context.

      • Bex says:

        Ruth Negga is Irish and grew up in Limerick in the Republic- don’t know about her, but if she’s anything like my family she’d be most put out at being called a Brit :p Though last year at some function they renamed a category to best British/Irish film just to reward Brooklyn. She deserves everything for her performance in Loving. I agree with Sixer just above about diversity in a different context.

      • Sixer says:

        I’ve just realised The Hard Stop nomination is for the writer. Never pay attention to what your excited mate types in an email! Still happy!

    • Lightpurplei says:

      What is I, Daniel Blake?

      • Sixer says:

        It’s a film by Ken Loach about the UK welfare system and the effects of the recent austerity regime on people who fall on hard times. It features a single mother and a guy recovering from a serious heart attack so unable to work. A difficult watch. When I went to see it, the showing was delayed because the people from the earlier showing took ages to stop crying before they left.

        Vis a vis diversity in a British context, a nomination for Hayley Squire IS diversity, you know? A working class actor in an environment held in an ever-increasing stranglehold by the public school mafia.

        Every time American nominations come out and all the British entries are for yet another Eton alumnus or a film/show about empire nostalgia, it makes me want to scream STOP IT. Cos it does have a massive impact on what can get made and financed here. But y’know. I have to put up with it because that’s the output of ours that you guys like. I wish it weren’t, but it is. Christopher Ecclestone calls it the Downturd Abbey effect.

  18. Matador says:

    “The BAFTAs just chose to nominate Emily Blunt rather than Ruth Negga.”

    Can we please not act like this is a group conspiracy? For the record, the BAFTA system for the five major categories (Best Film, Actor/Actress, Supporting Actor/Actress) works exactly the opposite from AMPAS, in that the nominations are voted on by the whole membership and the winners voted on only by those in that chapter/branch. [With the Oscars, individual branches select the nominees and in almost all the categories, the full membership votes for the winners.] So for whatever reason, Blunt was popular enough among the entire membership to score a nomination, whereas had it just been her peers voting, they may have gone for Negga. Either way, though, it’s a secret ballot – no one is getting together to “choose” to nominate one actor ahead of another. It’s the sum of the secret votes.

    • Kori says:

      Yes, just because an actress some people like doesn’t get a nomination while an actress who other people like does, doesn’t make it a conspiracy. I think Ruth Negga should definitely be in the awards contention but, for some reason, Loving has lost some of its earlier buzz. We’re seeing it with Joel Edgerton too and he got great reviews. I think he should be in there over some other male nominees. But I’m not going to bash Blunt (or Streep) for ‘stealing’ some nomination. It’s their peers (in most awards cases) who nominate and award. There are always a list as long as the actual nomination list of people who ‘should’ve’ made the cut. I think that’s especially true this year. I could probably come up with 3-5 names in each category I wish were on there. Others have mentioned Jessica Chastain and Annette Benning as being excluded from the final cut too. They all had buzz earlier as well. Sometimes the stars don’t align the way we’d like (or maybe they do).

  19. Lisa says:

    To be fair Bafta have stated they won’t nominate films that don’t honour diversity starting in 2019

    • Sixer says:

      I like the thought they’ve put into it too – for consideration, films must meet at least two of the four BAFTA diversity targets, so the effort is going to have to go in front AND behind camera.

    • Kori says:

      How will this work? Say there’s another Jane Austen adaptation. If all of the characters are portrayed by white actors, is it then that the writer or director must be a female or a person of color? If they aren’t and it’s the absolute best Austen ever done, it won’t get a nom? I get what they’re striving for but it also seems potentially very problematic. Is there more of an explanation because I hadn’t heard anything about it.

  20. Kori says:

    Looking through Aaron Johnson’s filmography, I came across this nom. Maybe these are the kinds of awards we should cover more? For Anna Karenina–Nominated — Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Depiction of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction.

    Seriously though, The Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) is a non-profit founded in 2006 dedicated to supporting work by and about women in the film industry and is composed of 76 professional female movie critics, journalist, and feature writers working in print, broadcast and online media. Beginning in 2007, the group annually gives awards (the EDAs) to the best (and worst) in film, as voted on by its members.

    In addition to awards for achievement granted regardless of gender (Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Screenplay Adapted, Best Documentary, Best Animated Film, Best Ensemble Cast, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Film Music or Score, and Best Non-English-Language Film), there are also “EDA Female Focus Awards” (Best Woman Director, Best Woman Screenwriter, Kick Ass Award For Best Female Action Star, Best Animated Female, Best Breakthrough Performance, Best Newcomer, Women’s Image Award, Hanging in There Award for Persistence, Actress Defying Age and Agism, Lifetime Achievement Award, Award for Humanitarian Activism, Female Icon Award, and This Year’s Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Film Industry) and “EDA Special Mention Awards” (Hall of Shame Award, Actress Most in Need of a New Agent, Movie You Wanted to Love But Just Couldn’t, Unforgettable Moment Award, Best Depiction of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction, Most Egregious Age Difference Between Leading Man and Love Interest, Bravest Performance Award, Best Leap from Actress to Director Award, Cultural Crossover Award, Sequel or Remake That Shouldn’t Have Been Made Award, and Best of the Fests).

    Some of these sound MUCH more interesting than some of the awards dreck we sit through each year.

  21. Margo S. says:

    Yeah these bafta nods look strange.

  22. Anna says:

    Love Mahershala, love Dev Patel,M. Shannon, and Taylor-Johnson was great as the super-psycho but sorry Shannon missed a nom cuz he was better :-P Love Viola Davis and Nat Portman, not sure why Amy Adams is so hot other than having two big parts this season and she was, IMO, dull dul dull. Guess she campaigned hard. Haven’t seen LA LA yet and I’m sure I will like it but my choices for best pic are Lion and Moonlight