‘La La Land’ Tops An Unusual Batch of BAFTA Nominees

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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced its nominations for this year’s film awards – or, as they’re more commonly known, the BAFTAs – producing a list that’s heavy on the anointed awards-season favorites, though with a few surprises and omissions.

La La Land is, of course, the title to beat with eleven nominations, though Arrival and Nocturnal Animals – which have been hit-and-miss this season – made surprisingly strong showings with nine nominations each. Manchester By the Sea netted six nominations, no surprise there; more surprising were the five nods each for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Hacksaw Ridge, Lion, and I, Daniel Blake, particularly since perpetual awards season fave Moonlight only nabbed four (equaling, um, Florence Foster Jenkins).

The most conspicuous absence in the acting categories was Denzel Washington, passed over for Best Actor for Fences in favor of such, shall we say, less favored performers as Jake Gyllenhaal in Nocturnal Animals and Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge. In fact, as Variety’s Guy Lodge points out, Washington has never been nominated for a BAFTA – a fact nearly as puzzling, in this year of astonishing nonfiction films, as the Best Documentary nomination for Ron Howard’s been-there fluff-fest The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years. I mean, I know Brits are proud of their Fab Four, but c’mon.

Anyway, here are their nominations in the major categories:

BEST FILM La La Land Arrival I, Daniel Blake Manchester By the Sea Moonlight

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM American Honey Denial Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them I, Daniel Blake Notes on Blindness Under the Shadow

BEST ACTRESS Amy Adams – Arrival Emily Blunt – The Girl on the Train Emma Stone – La La Land Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins Natalie Portman – Jackie

BEST ACTOR Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea Jake Gyllenhaal – Nocturnal Animals Ryan Gosling – La La Land Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Hayley Squires – I, Daniel Blake Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea Naomie Harris – Moonlight Nicole Kidman – Lion Viola Davis – Fences

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Nocturnal Animals Dev Patel – Lion Hugh Grant – Florence Foster Jenkins Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

BEST DIRECTOR Denis Villeneuve – Arrival Ken Loach – I, Daniel Blake Damien Chazelle – La La Land Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By The Sea Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Taylor Sheridan – Hell or High Water Paul Laverty – I, Daniel Blake Damien Chazelle – La La Land Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Eric Heisserer – Arrival Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight – Hacksaw Ridge Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder – Hidden Figures Luke Davies – Lion Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals

BEST FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE Dheepan Julieta Mustang Son of Saul Toni Erdmann

BEST DOCUMENTARY 13th The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years The Eagle Huntress Notes on Blindness Weiner

BEST ANIMATED FILM Finding Dory Kubo and the Two Strings Moana Zootopia