BAFTA Awards Nominations: Nominees, Industry Figures React
Timothy Spall's snub is the main focus of debate on social media
While The Theory of Everything may have walked away with 10 BAFTA nominations following Friday's announcement from London, it was the shortlisting of Stephen Daldry's Trash in the foreign-language film category that elicited the biggest cheer from Eric Fellner, co-chairman of Working Title, the production company for both films.
"That is one of the most gratifying nominations we've ever had," Fellner tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Because it was such a bold, crazy, brave, whatever decision for Richard Curtis and Stephen Daldry to go and make a film entirely in Portuguese with an entirely Brazilian cast and crew, aside from Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen. And for it to pay off, not only by being I think a great film but for our peers to recognize it and give it a little bit of love is very exciting."
Fellner was also extremely thankful for the crafts nominations picked up by The Theory of Everything, which predictably gained recognition in the best film, lead actor and actress categories.
"Particularly costume and makeup because they're so good in this film that they're invisible," he said.
On top of the nominations pile — and something of a surprise — was The Grand Budapest Hotel with 11 nominations, including one for Ralph Fiennes as best actor.
"I'm delighted of course, merci Madame Bafta. Dom Perignon all around for guests and staff at The Grand Budapest Hotel. And a free sample of L'Air de Panache too, darling," Fiennes joked in a statement, adopting the style of his suave concierge Monsieur Gustave H.
Added the film's director Wes Anderson and producers Steven Rales, Scott Rudin and Jeremy Dawson: "We are all four of us thrilled, honored, humbled, elated — and deeply grateful to the British Academy for this recognition of our movie."
The head of BAFTA, Amanda Berry, said she was surprised that Anderson's kitsch hotel-based comedy walked away with the number of nominations that it did.
"I'm thrilled that it's there, but did I expect it to get 11? No. But it's fantastic that it has," she tells THR.
Another surprise for Berry — and one that caused the largest amount of controversy on social media — was the omission of Timothy Spall for his lead performance in historical biopic Mr. Turner. Despite having picked up the best actor awards in Cannes and at the European Film Awards, the actor failed to make make the judge's grade on his home soil.
"I was surprised, because we have nominated him in the past — four in TV, two for film," says Berry. "But with that surprise, when I looked at the list of nominees I thought, it's such a great list, who would you take out? All those performances are absolutely fantastic."
As expected, The Imitation Game was another major frontrunner with eight nominations.
"I'm so grateful to BAFTA for this stunning honor," said Graham Moore, who picked up a best adapted screenplay nomination for the film. "I want to thank BAFTA for helping us to celebrate the life and legacy of Alan Turing, who so tragically never got to experience such accolades in his own life. This is a moment we can only wish that Alan could see."
Producer Harvey Weinstein also said it was an honor to bring Turing's story to light across the world, describing the WWII code-breaker and father of modern computing as "a hero, an innovator and a pioneer"
Weinstein added: "The film was made on just $14 million, and I am so happy that all the hard work and passion for the film has come together and been recognized by so many."
The major categories this year saw few returning names, with former winners Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler), Reese Witherspoon (Wild) and Imelda Staunton (Pride) coming back with only their second nominations as the British Academy's focus seemingly turned to newer faces over established figures.
"I'm used to saying, 'So and so has now broken the record for the most number of BAFTA nominations,' but that's one thing this year I haven't been able to say," added Berry.