Screen’s group of anonymous Bafta and Ampas voters give their hot takes.
Director, female, Bafta and Ampas voter
What are your thoughts on the Bafta longlists? The titles on the director longlist are for me the most exciting films of the year, along with those on the list for film not in the English language. I would love to see more of them on the best film list, which feels like it is exclusively made up of the titles that had big publicity machines behind them — some good and some less good. The changes that Bafta has made to some categories are helping good work come through, but not in the best film list where it’s voted on in the same way it always has been.
Did you pay any attention to the Golden Globes winners? I welcome the fact the Globes are at last rethinking and changing. They will have to continue to make significant change to gain any credibility. I did look at the winners this year and was delighted to see Jane Campion win best director.
Festival executive, male, Bafta voter
What are your thoughts on the Bafta longlists? The Bafta longlists are truly disappointing. Clearly, after last year, the limited options and absence of studio films made people look around, but now it’s back to normal. The best film list is predictable, with the films with the biggest ad campaigns and stars being the movies watched by voters. No, I didn’t watch all the films recommended in my group either, so the following complaints could seem hypocritical. I understand it — at a time when cinema needs support, the voters are going for films that have traditionally got audiences into theatres — but it’s not a very imaginative list. Coda is the only surprise, but that’s been championed hard since Sundance.
I have still not seen Being The Ricardos or No Time To Die. I don’t know if I have three hours to watch that on a television screen. I did go to the cinema for Spider Man: No Way Home. That film was great and should have been on the longlist. How wrong is Bafta to condemn a film for being cinema only? I didn’t know VoD was how we are supposed to watch movies now.
Did you pay any attention to the Globes? Any awards decided by a clique of self-important journalists who live in Los Angeles because no-one wants them in their office was always destined to blow up one day. [Announcing] the awards on Twitter was ironic because they were working on a platform where kids in their bedrooms have more influence and integrity than them.
Producer 1, female, Bafta voter
What are your thoughts on the Bafta longlists? They are pretty much as I expected, in both good and bad ways. Very happy to see Licorice Pizza and The Power Of The Dog get the mentions they did. I would love to have seen films such as Ali & Ava, Passing and Boiling Point make it to the best film category and, generally, I wish Clio Barnard’s Ali & Ava had received more recognition.
In best actor, I’m very surprised not to see George MacKay on the list for Munich — The Edge Of War and stunned that Adam Driver was included for House Of Gucci rather than The Last Duel, which is frankly a much better film. I’m also surprised not to see Timothée Chalamet on the list for Dune; I’m not a devotee but thought he was excellent in the film.
Would you like to see the Golden Globes return next year? They can only make a comeback if they entirely reinvent themselves and find a niche that actually serves a purpose.
Casting director, female, Bafta voter
What are your thoughts on the Bafta longlists? Encouraging, as there is a varied mix in all categories. It’s great to see an independent film like After Love acknowledged not just in outstanding British film and debut but also longlisted for director, original screenplay, actress and casting.
Did you pay any attention to the Globes? I did look up the winners but I didn’t miss having a televised event. It’s always felt like they’re an awards ceremony that celebrates Hollywood and celebrities. The awards season is crowded enough so I’m happy for the Globes not to come back.
Producer, male, Bafta voters
What are your thoughts on the Bafta longlists? I felt it was not a vintage year for English-language cinema. You can see the US critics’ groups going for films like Drive My Car, The Worst Person In The World and Flee in major categories because the US and UK films are a bit underwhelming. I love West Side Story and Licorice Pizza so I’m happy they have Bafta love, but some titles like The Lost Daughter, The Power Of The Dog and The Tragedy Of Macbeth were insanely overrated by critics.
I am sad Penelope Cruz was omitted, she gave an incredible performance in Parallel Mothers. And The Souvenir: Part II is not on the outstanding British film list while The King’s Man and Operation Mincemeat are. On the British side, it feels like a very conservative selection.
Did you pay any attention to the Globes? I glanced at the winners. They’re a good barometer of where things are heading. I would love to see them make a comeback so we can have some fun and glamour back in our increasingly self-righteous industry, which has forgotten its primary purpose is to deliver razzle-dazzle and entertainment.
Producer 2, female, Bafta voter
What are your thoughts on the Bafta longlists? I was delighted to see After Love, Ali & Ava, Boiling Point and Benediction listed but not across enough categories. Jack Lowden deserved a nod for Benediction. The biggest disappointment is so few UK films making the outstanding British film category and best director. And best British film seems very predictable.
What’s clear is the dominance of streamers and the lack of range of truly independent films. I didn’t see the overall voting tastes change. Perhaps the more independent British films didn’t earn their place this year.
Did you pay any attention to the Globes? No, and if it hadn’t been for mainstream mentions, I wouldn’t have known they were on. The coverage only reminded me of their fall from grace.
Production executive, female, Bafta voter
What are your thoughts on the Bafta longlists? Overall, I think the Bafta longlists have captured the majority of the strongest films and contributions across the board. There are some eyebrow-
raising omissions as there always are — The Souvenir: Part II not being included in the outstanding British film category was the most striking one.
I personally find this intermediate step very useful as it broadens everybody’s horizons and watching all the films at this stage feels completely achievable. However, these longlists also illustrate recurring issues with the awards themselves, and more broadly within our industry. Even with the new processes put in place, underrepresented segments of the population are still underrepresented at the longlist stage: only three female directors were behind the 15 films nominated for best film. The director list achieves gender parity thanks to Bafta’s new rules, but the discrepancy between the two lists is glaring.
To be fair to Bafta members, this is an industry-wide problem. There has undoubtedly been progress on these issues over the last decade but change is painfully slow and Bafta cannot resolve everything on its own. There are still too few women, people of colour and regional talent across key categories, and the pace of change needs to accelerate in a much more radical way.
Did you pay any attention to the Globes? I looked at the list of winners out of curiosity but I don’t care if the Globes come back or not. I’m much more interested in what critics or professional industry organisations have to say.
Awards whispers: North America
US-based Ampas voters weigh in on the SAG nominations and the Golden Globes
Producer, female, Ampas voter
What did you think of the SAG nominations in the film categories? The noms feel like they went for the more famous names over the better performances. I mean, you’re really going to go with Bradley Cooper’s nothing-special cameo in Licorice Pizza over great performances from Jeffrey Wright (The French Dispatch), Mark Rylance (Don’t Look Up) and Mike Faist (West Side Story)? I was shocked that they snubbed Kristen Stewart’s great turn in Spencer.
Did you pay any attention to the Globes ceremony or winners? Would you like to see it make a comeback? I did a quick scan of the Globe winners and found some amusement in the Twitter chatter making fun of their tweets.
Regarding whether the Globes should make a comeback, that’s a tough one. On the one hand, I know the organisation has given many millions to worthy charities over the years, some of which rely on their financial support. On the other hand, a lot of HFPA members are old-school in their taste and thinking, and I doubt any amount of diversity training will change that. I do feel, however, that there’s been a lot of hypocrisy in the criticism of the Globes.
Producer, male, Ampas voter
What do you think of the SAG nominations in the film categories? No subtlety in major choices. Will Smith, of course. Lady Gaga, along with everyone else, doing wretched Italian accents in House Of Gucci — an otherwise total misfire of a film. And why not West Side Story for ensemble which had, sans Ansel Elgort, good performances all over it, in a great film with Spielberg taking on real challenges cinematically? How can it be so snubbed with only Ariana DeBose’s nomination?
Did you pay any attention to the Globes ceremony or winners? Would you like to see it make a comeback? While I am fully aware of the long history of the Globes voters and their issues regarding larceny and favouritism, non-inclusion of members of colour, etc, I do miss the fun of their ceremony. It gets together all the sanctimonious Hollywood types in a setting where they just eat and get drunk in a ballroom and crazy stuff happens — even with the presenters!