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Among the many talking points from the BAFTA nominations — which saw Netflix’s German-language anti-war epic All Quiet on the Western Front lead the charge with a domineering 14 nods on Thursday — was the number of fresh faces in the performance categories.
So often accused of being populated by the same stars year after year, the 2023 crop of nominees sees 14 of the 24 performance slots filled by first-timers, including the likes of Paul Mescal (Aftersun), Danielle Deadwyler (Till), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Dolly De Leon (Triangle of Sadness) and Albrecht Schuch (All Quiet on the Western Front).
While the figure of 14 is down from 2022, when there were 19 BAFTA film debutants, it’s still a hugely impressive number. And it should be noted that some of the returnees are being recognized after an absence of several decades (most notably Everything Everywhere All at Once duo Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis, Yeoh having been nominated back in 2001 for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Curtis winning supporting actress in 1984 for Trading Places and getting a leading actress nod in 1989 for A Fish Called Wanda).
For BAFTA, a particularly pleasing feature of the 2023 nominations is the number of previous winners and nominees of its Rising Star award for up-and-coming on-screen talent to have made the cut. Micheal Ward, who won the Rising Star award in 2020, gets a supporting actor nomination for his acclaimed turn in Empire of Light (opposite Olivia Colman, a surprise BAFTA snub this year). Meanwhile, previous nominees for the award, Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), Carey Mulligan (She Said) and Eddie Redmayne (The Good Nurse) are returning nominees (Mulligan and Redmayne are, of course, previous BAFTA winners). And in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande‘s Daryl McCormack, the 2023 awards features the rare double of having a Rising Star nominee also competing for a leading performance award.
And there’s another BAFTA first-time nominee who may well have been a Rising Star, had that category been in existence when he first broke out: Banshees’ leading actor nominee Colin Farrell.
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