Opinion: Reaction to Long List for BAFTA 2023 Film Awards

It has been a great year for cinema – now Emma Clarendon shares a few thoughts on some of the categories for the long list for this year’s BAFTA film awards.

Special Visual Effects: I feel like categories such as visual effects are a little bit more wide open this year, with a diverse range of films featuring in the long list. For me, I was completely mesmerised by the stunning effects used in Top Gun: Maverick that really worked themselves well into the bigger scheme of the film in an understated way. In contrast to this I really felt that Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio was a completely different achievement and you can really see the time and precision that has gone into each special effect that is used in this film. The Batman was equally impressive – but just in a slightly more obvious way that still managed to impress audiences.

Production Design: I have to say that there are two films that really stand out for me in particular in this category: The Banshees of Inisherin and Empire of Light. Both have been beautifully and stylishly designed to reflect the era beautifully and help draw the audience further into each story in a subtle but powerful way.

Make up and Hair: it would be have to be said that it is clear that the most fun to be had in terms of the hair and make up would have been for Matilda the Musical – there is so much variety on display here, depending on the character and the attention to detail is brilliant.

Original Score: there are three films that stand out for a variety of different reasons in this category. The Batman for Michael Giacchino’s sumptuously dramatic and tension infused score really highlights the story in all the right places. In contrast to this Carter Burwell’s score for The Banshees of Inisherin has a beautiful variety to it that captures the story and characters perfectly and Nathan Johnson’s score for Glass Onion is simply fun and intriguing – a perfect match for the quirkiness of the story.

Costume Design: once again, the most fun to be had in terms of costume design is to be found with Matilda: The Musical – bold, vibrant and capturing the character’s perfectly it matches the tone of the film perfectly. In terms of sophistication – I would have to lean towards Glass Onion- again bold but in a classy way.

Cinematography: a difficult category here – I do feel there are plenty of films that deserve this award from last year but I’m certainly leaning toward Empire of Light and The Banshees of Inisherin. Both films really captured the intimacy and whirl of emotions from all characters beautifully that manage to make a powerful impact on the audience.

Supporting Actor: in this category (and I will admit here there is only one option as I haven’t seen the other films) but Micheal Ward really does deliver a beautiful performance in Empire of Light, capturing the subtle nuances of his character beautifully and working in perfect synchronicity with Olivia Coleman.

Supporting Actress: I have to say that Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda really surprised me (I wasn’t sure about the casting initially). Great timing, suitable amount of nastiness and yet adding some extra depth to the character that I wasn’t expecting. In contrast to this, Janelle Monáe is super sharp in Glass Onion – never giving anything away until the very end – a subtly powerful performance who got the full measure of her character.

Original Screenplay: The Banshees of Inisherin has plenty to offer – subtle and increasingly dark – it is a brilliant examination of human relationships and how quickly they can go sour. The humour, the uncertainty of where it was going to head certainly kept me gripped.

Outstanding British Film: for me (and yes it is getting predictable as to where my loyalties lie) there are three films that really are all deserving of this: Empire of Light, Matilda the Musical and The Banshees of Inisherin!

Best Film: The Banshees of Inisherin – a completely out there and stand out film that really engaged me from start to finish.

This is just a few of my thoughts on this year’s long list (I couldn’t comment on the leading actor/actress as I didn’t see the performances in question so it would have been unfair for me to comment on this) and I can’t wait to see what happens!

The awards are set to take place on the 19th February 2023.

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