BAFTA nominations' casualties: 'A Very Long Engagement' & 'Million Dollar Baby' among awards season entries shortchanged by new British Academy rules
Jean-Pierre Jeunet's World War I drama A Very Long Engagement / Un long dimanche de fiançailles, starring potential Best Actress Oscar contender Audrey Tautou; Clint Eastwood's sentimental father-daughter/boxing drama Million Dollar Baby, starring another potential Best Actress contender, Hilary Swank; Bill Condon's Alfred Kinsey biopic Kinsey, starring potential Best Actor contender Liam Neeson; and Alexander Payne's road movie Sideways, featuring critics' faves Paul Giamatti, Virginia Madsen, and Thomas Haden Church, have been shortchanged by new rules at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).
These four awards season favorites were officially eligible for the 2005 BAFTA Awards; yet A Very Long Engagement received one single nod in the Best Foreign Language Film category, Sideways managed to land one nomination for its screenplay, and Million Dollar Baby and Kinsey were completely shut out.
BAFTA 'farce': Oscar-friendly & member-unfriendly new rules
The problem is that several potential BAFTA contenders either have just been released or are yet to be released in the United Kingdom.
Now that the BAFTAs have become one more awards season precursor to the Oscars – that's the British Academy's way of garnering more worldwide publicity for its trophies – new rules state that movies released in the U.K. as late as March are eligible for the previous year's awards. Since the BAFTA ceremony takes place quite a bit before Oscar night, votes for the nominees must be in by early January. As a result, there is little time for British Academy members to catch up with the latest (or upcoming) releases.
A dearth of both special screenings and screeners of a number of important films have resulted in fewer votes for movies that otherwise might have been top BAFTA contenders. Indeed, according to journalist Brian Pendreigh in The Scotsman, BAFTA voters received a mere 25 DVDs.
Pendreigh adds that “even as the BAFTA ceremony reaches new heights of glamour and prestige, the failure to make sure that voters at least get a chance to see the best films is turning the awards into a farce.”
SAG Awards: Hilary Swank beats Annette Bening
Feb. 6 update: There were few surprises at the 2005 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, held at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 5.
BAFTA snubee Hilary Swank was chosen Best Actress for her determined and steadfastly loyal boxer in Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby, beating out Annette Bening's larger-than-life stage actress in István Szabó's Being Julia and Imelda Staunton's sweet abortionist in Mike Leigh's Vera Drake.
Alexander Payne's wine-imbibing road movie Sideways, toplining Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, and Sandra Oh – a favorite among U.S. critics – won the Best Cast award.
Morgan Freeman surprise & 'godawful' Clint Eastwood + veteran James Garner
The only surprise of the evening was the choice of Morgan Freeman as Best Supporting Actor for Million Dollar Baby. Thus far, Thomas Haden Church has won most awards in that category for his performance as Sideways' dim-witted, sex-starved, egocentric actor.
Considering Hilary Swank's and Morgan Freeman's individual wins alongside Sideways' Best Cast victory, it kinda looks like some key SAG Award voters apparently felt that Clint Eastwood, bypassed in the Best Actor category, was so godawful as Swank's Million Dollar Baby trainer/surrogate father that, like a thespian black hole, he sucked in the starlight of his two fellow players.
And finally, film and television star James Garner (Murphy's Romance, The Rockford Files), also shortlisted in the Best Supporting Actor (Film) category for Nick Cassavetes' The Notebook, was the Screen Actors Guild's 2005 Life Achievement Award recipient.
See below the list of this year's SAG Award winners and nominees, in addition to the Producers Guild of America and Online Film Critics Society winners and nominees, and the Vancouver Film Critics Circle winners.
See also: “Goya Awards: Euthanasia Drama Is Big Winner + Gianni Amelio Father-Son Tale Tops Italian Critics Awards” & “Sundance Winners: Forty Shades of Blue & Anti-War Documentary + Amy Adams & Lou Taylor Pucci.”
SAG Awards: Winners & nominations
Female Actor in a Leading Role
Annette Bening, Being Julia.
Catalina Sandino Moreno, Maria Full of Grace.
Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake.
* Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby.
Kate Winslet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Thomas Haden Church, Sideways.
Jamie Foxx, Collateral.
* Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby.
James Garner, The Notebook.
Freddie Highmore, Finding Neverland.
Million Dollar Baby.
Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries
Jamie Foxx, Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story.
William H. Macy, The Wool Cap.
Barry Pepper, 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story.
* Geoffrey Rush, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.
Jon Voight, Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven.
Female Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries
* Glenn Close, The Lion in Winter.
Patricia Heaton, Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl.
Keke Palmer, The Wool Cap.
Hilary Swank, Iron Jawed Angels.
Charlize Theron, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.
Male Actor in a Drama Series
Hank Azaria, Huff.
James Gandolfini, The Sopranos.
Anthony LaPaglia, Without a Trace.
* Jerry Orbach, Law & Order.
Kiefer Sutherland, 24.
Female Actor in a Drama Series
Drea De Matteo, The Sopranos.
Edie Falco, The Sopranos.
* Jennifer Garner, Alias.
Allison Janney, The West Wing.
Christine Lahti, Jack & Bobby.
Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development.
Sean Hayes, Will & Grace.
Ray Romano, Everybody Loves Raymond.
* Tony Shalhoub, Monk.
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men.
Female Actor in a Comedy Series
* Teri Hatcher, Desperate Housewives.
Patricia Heaton, Everybody Loves Raymond.
Megan Mullally, Will & Grace.
Sarah Jessica Parker, Sex and the City.
Doris Roberts, Everybody Loves Raymond.
Ensemble in a Drama Series
* CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Six Feet Under.
The West Wing.
Ensemble in a Comedy Series
* Desperate Housewives.
Everybody Loves Raymond.
Sex and the City.
Will & Grace.
Life Achievement Award: James Garner.
Vancouver Film Critics winners
Best Film: Sideways.
Best Foreign Language Film: A Very Long Engagement (France).
Best Canadian Film: Childstar.
Best Documentary: Fahrenheit 9/11.
Best Director: Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby.
Best Canadian Director: Don McKellar, Childstar.
Best Actress: Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake.
Best Canadian Actress: Joely Collins, The Love Crimes of Gillian Guess.
Best Supporting Actress: Virginia Madsen, Sideways.
Best Canadian Supporting Actress: Rebecca Jenkins, Wilby Wonderful.
Best Actor: Jamie Foxx, Ray.
Best Canadian Actor: Don McKellar, Childstar.
Best Supporting Actor: Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby.
Best Canadian Supporting Actor: Dave Foley, Childstar.
Producers Guild of America's Golden Laurel Awards: Winners & nominations
Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year
* The Aviator.
Million Dollar Baby.
David L. Wolper Producer of the Year - Longform Television
* Angels in America.
Ike: Countdown to D-Day.
The Lion in Winter.
Something the Lord Made.
Norman Felton Producer of the Year - Episodic Drama Television
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Six Feet Under.
* The Sopranos.
The West Wing.
Danny Thomas Producer of the Year - Episodic Comedy Television
* Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Sex and the City.
Will & Grace.
Producer of the Year Award - Non-Fiction Television
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Inside the Actors Studio.
* The Amazing Race 5.
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
Producer of the Year Award - Variety Television
Saturday Night Live.
* The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The Late Show with David Letterman.
The 76th Annual Academy Awards.
David Susskind Achievement Award: John Wells.
Milestone Award: Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Vanguard Award: Terry Semel.
Online Film Critics Awards: Winners & nominations
* Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Best Foreign Language Film
House of Flying Daggers.
Maria Full of Grace.
The Motorcycle Diaries.
A Very Long Engagement.
* Fahrenheit 9/11.
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster.
Super Size Me.
Touching the Void.
Clint Eastwood - Million Dollar Baby.
* Michel Gondry - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Alexander Payne - Sideways.
Martin Scorsese - The Aviator.
Zhang Yimou - Hero.
Jim Carrey - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Don Cheadle - Hotel Rwanda.
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Aviator.
Jamie Foxx - Ray.
* Paul Giamatti - Sideways.
Best Supporting Actor
David Carradine - Kill Bill, Vol. 2.
* Thomas Haden Church - Sideways.
Jamie Foxx - Collateral.
Clive Owen - Closer.
Peter Sarsgaard - Kinsey.
Best Supporting Actress
* Cate Blanchett - The Aviator.
Laura Linney - Kinsey.
Virginia Madsen - Sideways.
Natalie Portman - Closer.
Sharon Warren - Ray.
Best Original Screenplay
* Charlie Kaufman - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Zach Braff - Garden State.
Brad Bird - The Incredibles.
Quentin Tarantino - Kill Bill, Vol. 2.
Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright - Shaun of the Dead.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke - Before Sunset.
Patrick Marber - Closer.
Paul Haggis - Million Dollar Baby.
José Rivera - The Motorcycle Diaries.
* Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor - Sideways.
Best Animated Feature
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.
* The Incredibles.
The Polar Express.
Team America: World Police.
Robert Richardson - The Aviator.
Dion Beebe, Paul Cameron - Collateral.
Ellen Kuras - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
* Christopher Doyle - Hero.
Zhao Xiaoding - House of Flying Daggers.
Thelma Schoonmaker - The Aviator.
* Valdís Óskarsdóttir - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Angie Lam, Vincent Lee, Zhai Ru - Hero.
Long Cheng - House of Flying Daggers.
Sally Menke - Kill Bill, Vol. 2.
Best Original Score
Howard Shore - The Aviator.
Alexandre Desplat - Birth.
Jon Brion - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Tan Dun - Hero.
* Michael Giacchino - The Incredibles.
Best Breakthrough Filmmaker
* Zach Braff - Garden State.
Kerry Conran - Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
Jared Hess - Napoleon Dynamite.
Joshua Marston - Maria Full of Grace.
Edgar Wright - Shaun of the Dead.
Best Breakthrough Performance
Zach Braff - Garden State.
Bryce Dallas Howard - The Village.
Jon Heder - Napoleon Dynamite.
* Catalina Sandino Moreno - Maria Full of Grace.
Emmy Rossum - The Phantom of the Opera.
SAG Awards website.
Audrey Tautou A Very Long Engagement image: Warner Independent Pictures.
Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank Million Dollar Baby image: Warner Bros.
“BAFTA Nominations' Casualties + Thespian Black Hole Clint Eastwood?” last updated in July 2018.