The BAFTA Noms are Here! How Did We Decide Between Roma and BlacKkKlansman?

The EE BAFTA award nominations are finally here and there are so many great films up for nominations, but only two real contenders. When it comes to Best Director and Best Film, however, there’s a real glitch in my heart between who should win, and who should really win…

So, BlacKkKlansman up against Roma for Best Film and Best Director? Uh-oh…

I’m such a Spike Lee dork. I can’t get enough of the guy’s chutzpah about as much as I can’t get my head around the total invisibility he seems to have acquired in the eyes of the major awards panels. I mean, Do the Right Thing didn’t deserve the gong at the 1989 Academy Awards and Driving Miss Daisy did? And wait, Lee didn’t even get a mention? Come on… no contest.

And then there are his stratospheric levels of belief, confidence and wonder in his own abilities, which can take a chap a long way. How about this little gem from the Do the Right Thing Journal:

“Something is happening. It’s not of my will, but something is happening. I’m being singled out for my acting as much as for my writing and directing… I’m not trying to say I did the strongest acting in the film, but folks identified with me. I have something with people, and I think at this stage it would be a mistake not to take this into consideration as I write Do the Right Thing.”

I mean, hoo-wee.

And BlacKkKlansman is an excellent film: it’s erudite, and funny, it has a wicked soundtrack, and score, and an unbelievable story that also just happens to be entirely true. Also, Denzel Washington’s son so… there’s that going on too. And then come those closing scenes of actual footage from the whole Charlottesville tragedy. Who managed to leave the theatre with dry eyes? Not this writer that’s for sure.

So this is an incredibly important, prescient film that needs to be seen. Lee is a director whose time is now. He deserves to win the Best Film BAFTA and he deserves to win Best Director too – there’s only so long you can overlook a talented director with a unique vision before it just becomes spiteful.

The thing is though, Roma is just so beautiful. Cuarón has made a sublime film that deserves to be preserved for all posterity. Truly a film that adds to the very art of the medium. Every frame oozes gloriousness, and the story of these women… guh… just stunning. (for more see my review).

And if BlacKkKlansmen wasn’t on the list, Roma is the film I would be throwing my weight behind. Without a doubt, Roma was my best film of 2018.

But Cuarón has had his turn with the thank yous – he won Best Director for Gravity at the Oscar’s in 2014, and has more than his fair share of BAFTAs including for the brilliant Children of Men. Then again, if this guy is going to keep putting out excellent films, why shouldn’t he keep getting the awards?

There’s something to be said here for the awards bods doing a little modern era catch-up and fixing that whole white washing/me too mess. And while Lee may well have run his mouth off once or twice, the guy makes great films. Trouble is, that doesn’t mean you can ignore the very best film of the year.

Spike Lee and Alphonso Cuarón have both made excellent films (and obviously we need a special mention for The Favourite while we’re here) – I’ll tell you this for free though: it better not go to A Star is Born

Written by Niki Smith

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