We’ve discussed the chaotic nature of the BAFTA nominations this year, but now let’s talk about two specific snubs: Kristen Stewart and Nicole Kidman for Best Actress. They are two of the leading contenders for the Oscars, and have been all awards season, but they were excluded by the BAFTA and their new arcane process. And that’s fine! It’s already pencils down for the Academy, whatever is going to happen with the Oscar nominations next week, has already happened, without the BAFTA influence.
But I think we can safely say that the BAFTA hates Spencer, as it got NO nominations. Is this the influence of the royal family? LOL no, it’s probably the weird and camp tone of Spencer that turned people off. It’s not a conventional portrait of Princess Diana, and Stewart’s work as Diana is even more untraditional than what Natalie Portman did as Jacqueline Kennedy in Jackie. Somehow, I am not surprised that the BAFTA didn’t break for the portrayal of one of their most famous royals that featured her eating imaginary pearls in her soup. I am a little surprised they didn’t go for Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball, because that IS a very conventional biopic performance, though Kidman is not 100% convincing since she doesn’t much approximate Ball’s famous expressions.
But KStew and Kidman remain heavy favorites for Oscar nominations. BAFTA nominees Alana Haim and Renate Reinsve are outside picks, and their fellow BAFTA nominees Tessa Thompson, Joanna Scanlan, and Emilia Jones have vanishingly small odds. It’s a similar tune in Best Actor, where the BAFTA once again chose only one biopic performance: Will Smith in King Richard. The supporting acting categories only nominated one biopic performance, Aunjanue Ellis in King Richard, unless you count the fictionalized characters of Belfast. .
The new BAFTA process seems designed to create these kinds of divergences, though. And that’s fine! The award shows do not need to be in lock step, especially when the BAFTA branched out, nominating so few biopic performances—which are so often little more than impressions—where the Oscars are probably going to be loaded with biopics. I genuinely believe Kristen Stewart gave one of the best performances last year, but I am also glad to see a major awards body moving away from the obvious picks offered by biopics. The Academy could stand to take notes.
Attached - Nicole Kidman out in Sydney with Keith Urban the other day.