Thursday, January 15, 2009

The BAFTAs - Catagory Fraud Made Right

I thought Dev Patel did a great job in his role in Slumdog Millionaire. And as Slumdog Millionaire picked up more steam, people started thinking about how Slumdog could fit into the acting categories. The most logical choice was Dev Patel who plays the oldest of three actors who play the part of Jamal Malick.

While Dev Patel is the lead, Dev's name isn't quite as big as the other "standard" names we're used to seeing at the Oscars...film veterans and regulars who make magazine covers. Oscar is very protective of it's lead actor categories and so this years Acting front runners Sean Penn, Frank Langella, Brad Pitt, Mickey Rourke, Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio, Richard Jenkins, and so forth.

So we see category fraud in the inclusion of Dev Patel as a supporting actor contender in this years film award competitions.

(Side note: In reality, Heath Ledger is probably also the lead actor in the Dark Knight, but again, the high praise he has received might not be so high in the lead category, so how about a little catagory fraud there as well. Surly Ledger's role is in many ways far more of a lead then Christian Bales...I would say Ledger, Bale, and Aaron Eckhart are all co-leads in Batman.)

Another huge area of category fraud this year is with Kate Winslet. An actor cannot receive a nomination at the Oscars for two films. For the Oscars, in these races you are voting on the person not the role. For example, Leonardo DiCaprio was lead in both the Departed and the Blood Diamond a couple years back and he could only get nominated for one film.

This distinction is unique to the acting races. In other categories you are voting on the film, not the person, and so in recent years Steven Soderbergh has received double nominations in the directing category, for example, or Roger Deakins in the cinematography category.

As a result of these rules, Kate Winslet's lead role in The Reader has been pushed as a supporting role...this eliminates the campaigns of The Reader and Revolutionary Road clashing, and instead they can both have their cake, and at least when it comes to the globes...they can eat there cake too.

I was very pleased today to see the nominations for the BAFTAs (British Academy of Film and Television Arts), because the British Academy, which does allow for multiple nominations of actors in the same catagory, corrected some catagory fraud issues.

If you peruse the list you will see Kate Winslet receiving two Best Lead Actress nominations (does that make her the double best!) with nominations for The Reader and Revolutionary Road.

Dev Patel is also listed, for the first time this award season in the lead catagory, and of course...moving people around like this makes the list a little different looking with new room made for new actors and actresses...which is fun...I was excited to see Freida Pinto get a nod for her work in Slumdog Millionaire.

Here's a list of the main catagories...you will also notice a double nod for Brad Pitt, but in different catagories.

In all catagories, Slumdog Millionaire and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button picked up 11 nods, and The Dark Knight picked up 9 (but no best film nod).

BEST FILM
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
Hunger
In Bruges
Mamma Mia!
Man on Wire
Slumdog Millionaire

DIRECTOR
Changeling – Clint Eastwood
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – David Fincher
Frost/Nixon – Ron Howard
The Reader – Stephen Daldry
Slumdog Millionaire – Danny Boyle

LEADING ACTOR
Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon
Dev Patel – Slumdog Millionaire
Sean Penn – Milk
Brad Pitt – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

LEADING ACTRESS
Angelina Jolie – Changeling
Kristin Scott Thomas – I’ve Loved You So Long
Meryl Streep – Doubt
Kate Winslet – The Reader
Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road Road

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Robert Downey Jr. – Tropic Thunder
Bredan Gleeson – In Bruges
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
Brad Pitt – Burn After Reading

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams – Doubt
Pen̩lope Cruz РVicky Cristina Barcelona
Freida Pinto – Slumdog Millionaire
Tilda Swinton – Burn After Reading
Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler

Image above of Dev Patel and Freida Pinto at Tribeca in Nov 2008 was taken from daylife.

3 comments:

Ray said...

Yeah, I agree with you ... Patel did very well in SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. Not sure it's award-worthy, but it was very good.

Anonymous said...

The problem here is that you seem to have a bizzarely warped view of the categories. Heath Ledger lead? Are you mad? In what way is he the lead? He has barely any through line, no development, and hardly any screentime.

Same with Winslet in The Reader. What through-line she does have is told through the eyes of the young boy she boned. The film is about his difficulty in dealing with her war guilt, not hers.

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