Women absent from key BAFTA film awards nominations

"The Shape of Water," Guillermo del Toro's lavish fantasy, leads the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAF...

Posted: Jan 9, 2018 10:44 AM
Updated: Jan 9, 2018 10:44 AM

"The Shape of Water," Guillermo del Toro's lavish fantasy, leads the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) film award nominations, in the running for 12 categories. The crime drama "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," and "Darkest Hour," set in the early days of World War II, received nine nominations each.

What all three films have in common is that they were directed by men.

On the heels of Sunday night's emotional Golden Globe Awards ceremony, where gender inequality and abuse in the industry were passionately addressed, women filmmakers were conspicuously absent from key BAFTA nominations announced Tuesday in London.

All five nominees for best director were men, and all the nominations for best film and outstanding British film were directed by men.

The lead characters in "The Shape of Water" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," however, are women. And two women were also nominated for best screenplay: Greta Gerwig for "Lady Bird" and Vanessa Taylor, alongside del Toro, for "The Shape of Water."

And women were among producers of some of the top-nominated films.

BAFTA chair Jane Lush gave a nod to the Golden Globes, where women actors had draped themselves in black to protest the culture of sexual misconduct and abuse of power in Hollywood, exposed after the Harvey Weinstein revelations.

She said that people such as Oprah Winfrey, who won the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes, used the moment as a "clarion call for change, something we at BAFTA wish to wholeheartedly endorse."

"We too are determined to ensure that the brave revelations -- and make no mistake, they were very brave -- become a watershed moment to become a catalyst for real lasting change across the workplace in film, games and television."

She announced that BAFTA, with other industry bodies, was setting out principles and guidelines with the goal to "reset the tone" of the industry.

"It's not only MeToo, but it's WeToo," she said.

BAFTA also announced "Absolutely Fabulous" star Joanna Lumley as the next host of the awards ceremony. Actor Stephen Fry stepped down last year after 12 years hosting the show.

Who's nominated in top films?

Actors Natalie Dormer and Letitia Wright announced nine of the 25 categories, including best film, best director, leading actor and leading actress. The awards are often seen as a pointer to the Oscars and the nominations were announced after the Golden Globe awards.

"The Shape of Water" is a fantastical feature about a 1960s research facility in which a janitor forms a relationship with an amphibious creature being held captive. Guillermo del Toro was nominated for both best director and original screenplay.

Among the film's other nominations are Sally Hawkins for leading actress and Octavia Spencer for supporting actress. It also picked up a slew of production nominations, including costume design, special visual effects and production design, as well as cinematography.

"Darkest Hour" is set early in World War II, when British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had to make a decision on whether to negotiate with Hitler. The film received nominations for best film and outstanding British film. Gary Oldman was nominated as leading actor and Kristin Scott Thomas as supporting actress, for their roles as Winston and Clementine Churchill.

"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" is a film about a mother, frustrated with a police investigation into her daughter's death, who goes to great length to push authorities to catch the killer. It is nominated for best film and outstanding British film, while Frances McDormand is nominated for leading actress, and Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson are both nominated for supporting actor.

Key nominees

The 71st British Academy Film Awards will take place on Sunday, February 18, at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Here are the nominees for key awards:

Best Film

"Call Me by Your Name"

"Darkest Hour"


"The Shape of Water"

"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Outstanding British film

"Darkest Hour"

"The Death of Stalin"

"God's Own Country"

"Lady Macbeth"

"Paddington 2"

"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Best Director

Denis Villeneuve for "Blade Runner 2049"

Lluca Guadagnino for "Call Me by Your Name"

Christopher Nolan for "Dunkirk"

Guillermo del Toro for "The Shape of Water"

Martin McDonagh for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Original Screenplay

Jordan Peele for "Get out"

Steven Rogers for "I, Tonya"

Greta Gerwig for "Lady Bird"

Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor for "The Shape of Water"

Martin McDonagh for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Leading Actress

Annette Bening in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool"

Frances McDormand in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Margot Robbie in "I, Tonya"

Sally Hawkins in "The Shape of Water"

Saoirse Ronan in "Lady Bird"

Leading Actor

Daniel Day-Lewis in "Phantom Thread"

Daniel Kaluuya in "Get Out"

Gary Oldman in "Darkest Hour"

Jamie Bell in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool"

Timoth-e Chalamet "Call Me by Your Name"

Supporting Actress

Allison Janney in "I, Tonya"

Kristin Scott Thomas in "Darkest Hour"

Laurie Metcalf in "Lady Bird"

Lesley Manville in "Phantom Thread"

Octavia Spencer in "The Shape of Water"

Supporting Actor

Christopher Plummer in "All the Money in the World"

Hugh Grant in "Paddington 2"

Sam Rockwell in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Willem Dafoe in "The Florida Project"

Woody Harrelson in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

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