Yes, it’s once again that joyous day of days – the day they announce the BAFTA Nominations! As always, the Best Film category includes a diverse range of cracking cinema.
The Theory of Everything – Eddie Redmayne stars alongside Felicity Jones in this heart-warming look at the relationship between Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane Hawking.
The Imitation Game – Directed by Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a genius mathematician tasked with cracking the Enigma code during WWII.
The Grand Budapest Hotel – This quirky comedy comes from the unique frontal lobe of director Wes Anderson, and stars Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori (leads the way this year with 11 noms in total).
Boyhood – Richard Linklater’s Boyhood was filmed across 12 years using the same actors; we see protagonist Ellar Coltrane grow from a child to an adult before our very eyes.
Birdman – Michael Keaton stars in this tale of a washed up actor who attmepts to reinvent himself by staging a Broadway play.
This year’s BAFTA winners will be announced on February 8th. In the meantime, peruse our list of ten films we completely forgot were awarded the BAFTA for Best Film.
1. Bicycle Thieves, won in 1950
Directed by Vittorio de Sica, Bicycle Thieves is a bit of heart-breaker. The story follows a down-and-out father searching all over post WWII Rome for his stolen bicycle, without which he will lose the job that is the only support for his children.
2. All About Eve, won in 1951
Even apart from giving some screentime to a very young Marilyn Monroe, All About Eve has plenty of claims to fame, including a stellar female cast spouting some of the most cutting quips around. This is the film in which the inimitable Bette Davis utters the immortal line, ‘Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night’.
3. Dr Strangelove (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb), won in 1965
Peter Sellers pulls off his multiple-role trick with aplomb in Stanley Kubrick’s hilariously biting satirical comedy, which plays on the fear of a nuclear conflict between the US and the USSR during the Cold War. Worth watching just for the famous ‘Bomb scene’.
4. Cabaret, won in 1973
Set in Berlin during the build up to WWII, Liza Minelli and Michael York star as lovers caught up in the dazzling world of underground clubs. Cabaret is based on a musical (which is in turn based on Christopher Isherwood’s The Berlin Stories), and the film certainly doesn’t disappoint with its song and dance routines.
5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, won in 1977
Based on Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel of the same name, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest sees criminal Jack Nicholson transferred to a psychiatric facility where he befriends his fellow patients as they suffer under the regime of the blood-chilling Nurse Ratched, played by Louise Fletcher.
6. Dead Poet’s Society, won in 1990
The film that many of us remember Robin Williams most fondly for. Williams plays an unorthodox teacher at a boy’s school, where he inspires his students to a love of poetry and helps them discover their hidden talents – unfortunately, his unusual teaching style causes trouble for him in the end.
7. Schindler’s List, won in 1994
Steven Spielberg directs the true story of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a Nazi businessman who saved the lives of over a thousand Jews during the Holocaust by keeping them employed in his factories. Apart from the haunting ‘girl in the red coat’ sequence, the film was shot completely in black and white, and is an unflinching portrayal of the effects of genocide.
8. Shakespeare in Love, won in 1999
This heart-warming romance with a bitter-sweet ending stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes alongside much of the cream of British comedy acting. It re-imagines the creation of Shakespeare’s most famous play, Romeo and Juliet, intertwined with the blossoming romance between Shakespeare and his muse, Viola.
9. Gladiator, won in 2001
In 2001, it was the turn of Ridley Scott’s epic Gladiator. Russell Crowe became a household name after starring in this rip-roaring tale of vengeance. He plays Maximus, a General fallen from grace and sold as a gladiator, seeking revenge on the evil emperor Commodus (Joaquin Pheonix), who had his family put to death. Are you not entertained?
10. Brokeback Mountain, won in 2006
Based on a short story by Annie Proulx, this beautifully filmed love story captured the hearts of the BAFTA judges in 2006. Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger play cowboys struggling with their love for each other and their commitments to their families, with the tale spanning two decades from 1963 to 1983.