A couple quick comments about the Orange British Academy Film Awards nominations, which were announced Monday:
- Orange, in case you were wondering, is a British telecommunications firm formerly known as Hutchison Microtel. The new name was chosen because "orange" connotes fun, optimism, liveliness and freedom, and because as a name, it's "distinctive and friendly, extrovert, modern and powerful." It's also deeply stupid. It's not stupider than "Monday," but saner heads prevailed at PricewaterhouseCooper Consulting before they went through with it.
- Cold Mountain was nominated as one of the outstanding British films of the year. Which is interesting, because as far as I can tell the only thing about it that's even remotely British is the director/producer, Anthony Minghella. One of the other producers may also be British. but even if that's the case the other six credited producers are all American.
- I didn't realize until now that Big Fish was adapted from a novel.
- Two of the nominees in the Film Not in the English Language category -- a very British sort of name, don't you think? -- are animated films: Belleville Rendez-vous (released here in the US as The Triplets of Belleville) and Spirited Away.
- Apparently, actors can receive multiple BAFTA nominations in a single category. For example, Sean Penn nabbed two nominations in the Actor in a Leading Role category, for 21 Grams and Mystic River, and Scarlett Johansson picked up two nominations for Actress in a Leading Role, for Girl With a Pearl Earring and Lost in Translation.
- Two BAFTA nominees went to actresses I've never heard of before. Anne Reid was nominated in the Actress in a Leading Role category for a movie I've never heard of, The Mother. I have apparently seen her at least once though, because she appeared in a Doctor Who episode, "The Curse of Fenric." It's not one of my favorites, though as Sylvester McCoy episodes go it's a decent one, and I don't think she had a large role, so I don't feel bad for not knowing her name. The other actress whose name I didn't recognize was was Judy Parfitt, nominated in Actress in a Supporting Role for Girl With a Pearl Earring. But once I looked her up in the IMDb, I realized I knew her from having played Elizabeth Corday's mother on several episodes of ER.
- The RZA was nominated for the Anthony Asquisth Award for Achievement in Film Music for Kill Bill Vol. 1. Which is amusing, because there's so little original music in Kill Bill, and the one thing I know he wrote was the thing I liked least on the soundtrack album. Maybe the nomination is for music supervision, i.e. pulling together the score, and whoever did that deserves some recognition. But I have a feeling Quentin Tarantino did most of that himself.
- In addition to the official BAFTA awards, they're also going to hand out something called the Orange Film of the Year. I'm going to quote from the press release here, because I don't understand what this award is for:
The shortlist for the Orange Film of the Year, for the ten most popular films of 2003 is Bruce Almighty, Calendar Girls, Finding Nemo, Love Actually, Johnny English, Pirates of the Caribbean – The Curse of the Black Pearl, Terminator 3 – Rise of the Machines, X2 – X Men United, The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King and The Matrix Reloaded.I don't understand why, if the award is for the ten most popular films of the year, why this is a shortlist. This would appear to actually be a list of the ten most popular films of the year. Shouldn't there be more nominees than awards? It's very confusing.