And you thought the Gothams were a horrible indicator of what Oscar will embrace. Try your hand at 'The British Independent Film Awards'. While AMPAS has, over the past few years, begun to embrace American Independent cinema, a quick glance at the history of the BIFAs will show that Oscar rarely embraces their nominees and winners, even when they are big names like Carey Mulligan and Vanessa Redgrave.
Still, these are always fun to look at and discuss, so let's take a look at these nominees and see which ones could play into the Oscar game.
BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM
The Selfish Giant
Honestly, the only film that is going to resonate with Oscar here is 'Philomena'. It's strong showing here bodes well for the film, to be honest. This is not your typical embrace for BIFA, and so the fact that they shower it with attention means something. The film is stronger than many think.
Jon S Baird / Filth
Clio Barnard / The Selfish Giant
Sean Ellis / Metro Manila
Jonathan Glazer / Under the Skin
David Mackenzie / Starred Up
Apparently, 'Under the Skin' is being pushed to next year despite the buzz coming out of Venice, so it won't factor (it wasn't going to regardless) and 'Filth' looks to be WAY too taboo for Oscar, but it's fun to see them pop up here.
THE DOUGLAS HICKOX AWARD [BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR]
Charlie Cattrall / Titus
Tina Gharavi / I Am Nasrine
Jeremy Lovering / In Fear
Omid Nooshin / Last Passenger
Paul Wright / For Those in Peril
Jonathan Asser / Starred Up
Clio Barnard / The Selfish Giant
Steven Knight / Locke
Hanif Kureishi / Le Week-end
Jeff Pope, Steve Coogan / Philomena
I really think that 'Philomena' is going to rack in quite a few Oscar nominations, and the fact that Steve Coogan is going to wind up 'possibly' double nominated is going to excite varying degrees of love and hatred. He'll be the only carryover from this list, and I think he and Pope are pretty much locked up at this point.
Judi Dench / Philomena
Lindsay Duncan / Le Week-end
Scarlett Johansson / Under the Skin
Felicity Jones / The Invisible Woman
Saoirse Ronan / How I Live Now
BIFA loves Ronan. They also love Mulligan, so I'm kind of shocked she didn't get a nomination for 'The Great Gatsby', despite the ratings the film got. Still, this lineup is pretty cool and Dench is inching herself closer and closer to that Oscar. I wonder if Jones could actually play into the race this year. We need a newbie, and the pool is light, and she's earned herself much praise before (just two years ago) so maybe she'll factor in here.
I just want Scarlett to win.
Jim Broadbent / Le Week-end
Steve Coogan / Philomena
Tom Hardy / Locke
Jack O'Connell / Starred Up
James McAvoy / Filth
None of these actors will transfer to Oscar's ballot...at least not in this category. Coogan will be campaigned in Supporting and stands a great chance of actually snagging a nomination. I wonder if he can pull off a win here, but I have a feeling that it'll go to either the British vet, Broadbent, or O'Connell, who stars in their most nominated film.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Siobhan Finneran / The Selfish Giant
Shirley Henderson / Filth
Imogen Poots / The Look Of Love
Kristin Scott Thomas / The Invisible Woman
Mia Wasikowska / The Double
Wasikowska is bound to be an Oscar nominee eventually, but it won't happen this year for this film. However, if 'The Invisible Woman' becomes a thing, I could see something igniting for Kristen Scott Thomas. She deserves another nomination, and her performance in 'Only God Forgives' won't do it, so maybe this could.
I doubt it.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
John Arcilla / Metro Manila
Rupert Friend / Starred Up
Jeff Goldblum / Le Week-end
Eddie Marsan / Filth
Ben Mendelsohn / Starred Up
MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER
Harley Bird / How I Live Now
Conner Chapman / Shaun Thomas / The Selfish Giant
Caity Lotz / The Machine
Jake Macapagal / Metro Manila
Chloe Pirrie / Shell
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION
A Field in England
The Selfish Giant
BEST TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT
Shaheen Baig – Casting / Starred Up
Johnnie Burn – Sound Design / Under the Skin
Amy Hubbard – Casting / The Selfish Giant
Mica Levi – Music / Under the Skin
Justine Wright – Editing / Locke
Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer
The Great Hip Hop Hoax
The Moo Man
The Spirit of '45
The Stone Roses: Made of Stone
The only doc eligible for Oscar here is 'Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer', and I'm not sure I see Oscar biting, but it's worth noting that the other four are not in contention.
BEST BRITISH SHORT
BEST INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM
Blue is the Warmest Colour
The Great Beauty
The love for 'Blue Jasmine' and 'Blue is the Warmest Colour' trickles down to BIFA, which could be telling for BAFTA. Will them embrace these films in multiple categories, most notably Lead Actress? They are not shy about nominating foreign actors, so could Seydoux and Exarchopoulos factor in? 'Wadjda' could make a break for the Foreign Film Oscar.
THE RAINDANCE AWARD
Everyone’s Going to Die
So, there you have it. Not many of these will become Oscar contenders, but the love for 'Philomena' is on the rise, and the acknowledgement of some other films is promising. Mostly though, these awards open the eyes to more films that we should see this year! My only hope is that BAFTA stops trying to predict the Oscars and starts going with their heart more often. Then maybe we could see Scarlett Johansson nominated for the BAFTA again!