February 4, 2023

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BAFTA Longlist Predictions 2023: Everything everywhere at once

3 min read

As pundits scrutinize each award group for Oscar’s big picture, all eyes are on BAFTA, which will signal this week which films have the support of the Academy’s European voting bloc. In recent years, large groups of English, French and other continental members have influenced nominations and eventual winners at Oscar ceremonies — see Anthony Hopkins win Best Actor in 2021 over presumed front-runner Chadwick Boseman.

On 6 January, BAFTA announced its longlists for all categories, selected by voters in the Round One period that closed on 30 December. Here are five films whose strong overseas support could land them a BAFTA nod and, as a result, Oscar contention.

Two hundred and twenty feature films were submitted for Best Film which will be whittled down to 10 in the longlist. For the organization’s prestigious Outstanding British Film Award, 57 features were submitted, including Irish romp “The Banshees of Inishreen.”

For management, 16 will be selected from a project pool of 128 men and 63 women.

Pay attention to the longlist of this year’s best films. With BAFTA cutting back to 10 films, there is no jury to fill any spots. So, in theory, it could be read as an Oscar Best Picture nominee.

There are some films that can get a significant boost.

Oliver Harmanas’ “Living,” an impeccably crafted remake of Akira Kurosawa’s “Ikiru” (1952), features a career-best turn from British mainstay Bill Nighy, a BAFTA winner for “Love Actually” (2004). The London-set story, which explores themes of mortality and regret, may strike an emotional chord with older voters.

Anyone living in Europe is witnessing the impact of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Daniel Roh’s documentary “Navalny,” about the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, will hit close to home with voters in the region, which has seen one of the biggest increases in academy ranks in the past few years. The ongoing feud will surely be top of mind as BAFTA members fill out their ballots, just as the outbreak of war last February prompted AMPAS members to bestow best-picture honors on the optimistic-minded “CODA.”

Todd Field’s dissection of “Tár,” “cancel culture” and the volatile nature of the creative process is brilliantly conveyed in this portrait of a fictional composer, brilliantly played by Cate Blanchett. Set mostly in Berlin, the film captures German culture and how different generations interact — topics relevant to both boomers and TikTokers across the continent.

Ruben Ostlund’s classism and power dynamics hit the right notes with “Triangle of Sorrow,” with its sharp writing and ambitious set pieces. What better way to stick it to the 1% than to anoint a film that mocks them, anchoring the story with Dolly de Leon’s breakout turn from toilet manager to tribal leader?

You wouldn’t expect a film featuring strong black women to attract BAFTA voters, given their poor track record for recognizing black talent (eg, Denzel Washington’s zero nods and counting). However, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s epic drama “The Woman King,” which boasts a vibrant ensemble of international stars, played like gangbusters in UK screenings. In contrast, state academy screenings are struggling to fill seats. A BAFTA nom could be the crucial push to land the film in a major Oscar category.

The BAFTA Awards will take place on Sunday 19 February

Read the long list of predictions in the section below. Note: US distributors are listed for each film.

Check out the latest movie predictions in one place, across all 23 categories of diversity Oscar Collective. To see ranked predictions for each category, see of diversity Oscar Hub.

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