A closer look at the nominees for Best Film and Outstanding British Film at the 2016 BAFTAs including reactions, reviews, and in-depth features.

Best Film nominees

The Big Short

Director: Adam McKay
Cast: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Brad Pit, Ryan Gosling

Synopsis: Based on the 2010 Michael Lewis nonfiction book, this film chronicles the few individuals who predicted the 2008 US housing market crash- and decided to make a profit off it.

Screen Review: “There are very few heroes in this film, and even the ostensibly good guys are deeply complicated” [Full Review]

BAFTA nominations: 5
Categories: Film, director, adapted screenplay, supporting actor (Christian Bale), editing

Bridge of Spies

Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance

Synopsis: During the Cold War, a US lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet-captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

Screen Review: “Unusually for a Spielberg movie, Bridge of Spies is tonally uncertain, to the  extent that its box-office may suffer” [Full Review]

BAFTA nominations: 9
Categories: Film, director, original screenplay, supporting actor (Mark Rylance), music, cinematography, editing, production design, sound

Screen Feature: INTERVIEW: Steven Spielberg, director


Director: Todd Haynes
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara

Synopsis: Carol is a housewife in 1950s New York City faced with a crossroads when romance blossoms with a younger, more impressionable woman.

Screen Review: “This is among Blanchett’s most muted work, and she deftly and slowly teases out the cracks in this proud woman’s gorgeous exterior.” [Full Review]

Reaction: “We are thrilled for Todd Haynes Phyllis Nagy and the entire Carol team and of course the magnificent Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara on the eve of the Golden Globe awards in Los Angeles that BAFTA has chosen to honour the film in such an incredible way with nine nominations! Its fitting that with such strong UK connections at the initial development stage and especially with the incredible support of Film 4 throughout the entire process that the film has gained such an overwhelming endorsement from BAFTA.” Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley, Number 9 Films

BAFTA nominations: 9
Categories: Film, director, actress (Cate Blanchett), supporting actress (Rooney Mara), adapted screenplay, cinematography, production design, costume design, make up & hair

Screen Features:

The Revenant

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson

Synopsis: A frontiersman named Hugh Glass on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s goes on a quest for survival and revenge after being brutally mauled by a bear.

Screen Review: “Awe-inspiring visuals are offset by the frequent barbarism of The Revenant’s characters.” [Full Review]

Reaction: “I am thrilled our film has been recognized by BAFTA and I want to thank them for this honor. I am so happy for Leo, Tom and our entire cast and crew whose passion and hard work on this film was unparalleled.” Alejandro G. Iñárritu

BAFTA nominations: 8
Categories: Film, director, actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), music, cinematography, editing, make up & hair, sound

Screen Features:


Director: Tom McCarthy
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber

Synopsis: The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese.

Screen Review: “A polished, engrossing procedural, Spotlight offers plenty of old-fashioned pleasures — chiefly, the sight of smart, scrappy muckraking journalists stopping at nothing to uncover systematic corruption.” [Full Review]

BAFTA nominations: Film, supporting actor (Mark Ruffalo), original screenplay

Categories: 3
Screen Features:

Outstanding British Film nominees

45 Years

Director: Andrew Haigh
Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay

Synopsis: In the week leading up to their 45th wedding anniversary, a couple receive an unexpected letter which contains potentially life changing news.

Screen Review: “Shot with an easy grace with production design perfectly reflecting the lives of this ordinary English couple, the film scores well in all production aspects.” [Full Review]

BAFTA nominations: 1
Categories: British film

Screen Feature: INTERVIEW: Andrew Haigh, director


Director: Asif Kapadia

Synopsis: This documentary tells the tragic story of jazz singer Amy Winehouse, who died aged 27 from alcohol poisoning after a long and public battle with drug addiction, devoured by the media and her own demons.

Screen Review: “Amy is clearly a true film-making partnership between Kapadia, his editor editor Chris King and producer James Gay-Rees - it seems as if they all fell a little in love with Amy along the way, and encourage the viewer to do the same” [Full Review]

BAFTA nominations: 2
Categories: British film, documentary

Screen Feature: The Making of Amy


Director: John Crowley
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Julie Walters

Synopsis: Eilis Lacey is a young Irish woman who aims for a better life by moving to New York in 1952 and finding a job as a department-store assistant. When she’s called back to Ireland following a death in the family, she has to choose between her new life in America, including a blossoming romance, and a chance to stay in Ireland and imagine a future with the dependable boy back home.

Screen Review: “Brooklyn is refreshing in one respect: So few migrant tales focus on a female experience.” [Full Review]

Reactions: “What a wonderful surprise, thrilled to be nominated. And proud to be included alongside these great women and their powerful performances.” Julie Walters (Mrs Kehoe) 

“I am so delighted for everyone on Brooklyn. It was such a collaborative project.” Odile Dicks-Mireaux, Costume Designer

BAFTA nominations: 6
Categories: British film, adapted screenplay, actress (Saoirse Ronan), supporting actress (Julie Walters), costume design, make up & hair

Screen Feature: INTERVIEW: John Crowley, director, and Saoirse Ronan, actress

The Danish Girl

Director: Tom Hooper
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander

Synopsis: A drama based on the experiences of painter Einar Wegener, later known as Lili Elbe, who underwent a pioneering gender reassignment operation in the 1930s.

Screen Review: “The film’s most obvious appeal is as a love story, with the interplay between Redmaybe and Vikander centrally effective. Unfortunately they don’t always seem to be acting together, or in the same film.“ [Full Review]

BAFTA nominations: 5
Categories: British film, actor (Eddie Redmayne), actress (Alicia Vikander), costume design, make up & hair

Screen Features:

Ex Machina

Director: Alex Garland
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson

Synopsis:  In the not so distance future, brilliant coder Caleb is hired by a mysterious CEO and asked to perform experiments on a beautiful, state-of-the-art robot.

Screen Review:Ex Machina is an absorbing, thrilling and impressively performed film.” [Full Review]

Reaction: “On behalf of everyone who worked on Ex Machina, we¹re honoured and delighted that it has been recognised by BAFTA today.” DNA, Alex Garland, Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich

BAFTA nominations: 5
Categories: British film, debut film, original screenplay, supporting actress (Alicia Vikander), visual effects

Screen Features:

The Lobster

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Cast: Colin Farell, John C. Reilly, Rachel Weisz

Synopsis:  In a world in which single people are changed into an animal of their choice if they fail to find a partner within 45 days, unattached hopefuls visit a resort to find their match.

Screen Review: “This is a world, perhaps a distorted mirror of our own increasingly superficial click-culture, in which people are known by their main traits” [Full Review]

BAFTA nominations: 1
Categories: British film

Screen Feature: INTERVIEW: Yorgos Lanthimos, director