Bafta nominations: The biggest snubs and surprises

There was no sign of Top Gun: Maverick in the major categories, while Steven Spielberg got very little love for The Fabelmans

The Bafta nominations threw up some interesting selections as awards season moves into its final stretch. (Netflix/Paramount/PA/Getty/A24)
The Bafta nominations threw up some interesting selections as awards season moves into its final stretch. (Netflix/Paramount/PA/Getty/A24)

Awards season is now in full flow, with today's Bafta nominations revealing the latest crop of films set to compete for gold statuettes as we move ever closer to the Oscars.

It was the German war movie All Quiet on the Western Front that emerged with the most nominations today, beating all of the predictions on the way to securing 14 nods. More on that unexpected success for the Netflix war drama later.

Closely behind it in terms of nomination success were multiversal adventure Everything Everywhere All at Once and black comedy The Banshees of Inisherin, which managed 10 nominations each. Baz Luhrmann's colourful biopic Elvis earned nine nods.

Read more: Everything we know about the 2023 Baftas

But what were the snubs and surprises from the Baftas nominations? Some films have seen their awards season stock rise, while others have taken a severe hit ahead of the Oscar nominations next week.

Let's take a closer look at the big takeaways...

SURPRISE: All Quiet on the Western Front reigns supreme

The 1929 war novel All Quiet on the Western Front was written by German author Erich Maria Remarque and, a year later, became the first movie to win Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars. Almost a century later, German director Edward Berger has returned the material to its roots with a new adaptation for Netflix.

At today's Bafta announcement, the movie was the most rewarded with 14 nominations — equalling the record for a foreign language movie set by Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon two decades ago. The film was well received by critics, but nobody saw this coming.

Read more: Here's how Oscar campaigns work

As well as nominations for Best Picture and Best Director, it secured a supporting actor nod for Albrecht Schuch and recognition for the screenplay penned by Berger, Ian Stokell and Lesley Paterson. Whether it converts many or any of its nominations into wins, it will now be a huge presence at the Baftas.

SNUB: Spielberg and Fabelmans miss out

Steven Spielberg's semi-autobiographical drama The Fabelmans is one of the frontrunners for the Best Picture Oscar. However, it floundered at the Baftas with just one nomination for the original screenplay written by Spielberg and regular collaborator Tony Kushner. Spielberg missed out on Best Director and the movie was absent from Best Film, while highly-fancied acting contenders including lead Gabriel LaBelle — who plays the Spielberg insert — and Michelle Williams as his mother were also snubbed.

Read more: The Fabelmans wins big at Golden Globes

Despite today's disappointment, The Fabelmans is every inch the sort of film that gets the Academy across the pond salivating. If this sort of across-the-board snub happens again at the Oscars, it will be considered an enormous shock.

SURPRISE: Leo Grande lands acting nods

Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson both received acting nominations for Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. (Lionsgate)
Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson both received acting nominations for Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. (Lionsgate)

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is in many ways the epitome of a Bafta film. It's a British comedy-drama starring a homegrown stalwart and an exciting rising talent. Sure enough, in addition to Daryl McCormack's EE Rising Star recognition for playing the titular sex worker in the movie, he has secured a surprise Best Actor nod. His co-lead Emma Thompson — who plays the repressed teacher who hires Leo — is on the shortlist for Best Actress.

The film also has a nomination for Outstanding British Film and first-time screenwriter Katy Brand is nominated for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. It's a great haul for a very enjoyable film, but don't expect it to sweep the Oscars off the back of this.

SNUB: Tom Cruise and Top Gun miss out

Tom Cruise hopes to be in the Oscar hunt for his lead role in Top Gun: Maverick. (Paramount)
Tom Cruise hopes to be in the Oscar hunt for his lead role in Top Gun: Maverick. (Paramount)

With Top Gun: Maverick established as the second highest-grossing film of 2022 — it got pipped right at the end by the blue folk — it was expected to have something of a presence in awards season. The film did manage four nominations in the technical categories at the Baftas, but there was nothing for Tom Cruise in Best Actor or Joseph Kosinski in Best Director. It also missed out in Best Film.

Read more: The best Tom Cruise movies

Cruise has now missed out on a Best Actor nomination from just about every group — with the Critics Choice Awards a notable exception — and it's looking unlikely that he'll make it to the five-man shortlist for the Oscar. That fifth slot is very much up for grabs, but Cruise faces an uphill battle to land it.

SURPRISE: Baftas get loud for The Quiet Girl

The Quiet Girl was a surprise inclusion in the Bafta nominations. (Curzon)
The Quiet Girl was a surprise inclusion in the Bafta nominations. (Curzon)

On an absolutely great day for Irish movies and talent — with The Banshees of Inisherin a huge success story — The Quiet Girl was one of the real beneficiaries. Released to little fanfare in May last year, Colm Bairéad's 80s-set drama follows a withdrawn nine-year-old girl spending her summer on a farm.

Bairéad's script secured a shock nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and the Gaelic-language film also got recognition in the Best Film Not in the English Language category.

SNUB: Hsu absent from EEAAO wave

It was broadly a very good day for Everything Everywhere All at Once, which secured key nominations in Best Film, Director and Original Screenplay among its 10 nods. Michelle Yeoh made it into a crowded Best Actress field and Oscar frontrunner Ke Huy Quan was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, while Jamie Lee Curtis secured a Supporting Actress nod.

Read more: What is the multiverse?

Curtis has been pushed throughout the awards season, but it's a huge shame that Stephanie Hsu has not received the same recognition. The young star's performance as Yeoh's daughter is arguably the emotional centre of the entire movie. Hsu and Curtis were both nominated by the Screen Actors Guild, so it's surprising not to see this replicated by the Baftas, given their obvious affection for the film.

SURPRISE: Micheal Ward gets Bafta love

Micheal Ward and Olivia Colman play cinema employees in Sam Mendes drama Empire of Light. (Searchlight Pictures)
Micheal Ward and Olivia Colman play cinema employees in Sam Mendes drama Empire of Light. (Searchlight Pictures)

Empire of Light has somewhat faded from the awards season narrative in the wake of lukewarm reviews for Sam Mendes's drama, which follows the employees of a cinema in 1980s Margate. The film secured a nod for Outstanding British Film at the Baftas, while Micheal Ward — who won the EE Rising Star Award in 2019 — made it into Best Supporting Actor.

Read more: Empire of Light cast discuss favourite cinema memories

Ward is definitely one of the best things about this rather uneven film, and it's always good to see the Baftas giving some love to top British talent rather than simply going with the awards season flow.

SNUB: Aftersun misses out in Best Film

Aftersun had a decent day at the Bafta nominations, but it probably should have been a great one. The emotionally devastating debut feature from Charlotte Wells secured a selection of nominations in the categories reserved for British films and also got a well-deserved Best Actor nod for Paul Mescal, who plays a dad taking his daughter on a rare holiday abroad.

However, the film missed out in Best Film, Best Director and for its screenplay. Any sign of it being a shock Oscars dark horse probably vanishes if it can't muster nominations on home turf. Don't be surprised if Mescal nabs that fifth Best Actor slot though. He's an outside shout worth backing.

SNUB: Nothing at all for RRR or Women Talking

Jr NTR and Ram Charan swing into action as the two leads of epic actioner RRR. (DVV Entertainment/Netflix)
Jr NTR and Ram Charan swing into action as the two leads of epic actioner RRR. (DVV Entertainment/Netflix)

Indian epic RRR has been building up real momentum throughout awards season, especially in the Best Original Song category. The absence of that category from the Baftas has hit RRR hard, with SS Rajamouli's bombastic action movie completely shut out from the nominations. This is a real dent to its chances outside of that song category, doubled by the fact India did not submit it to the Oscars for Best International Feature.

Read more: How RRR became a global phenomenon

Also shut out entirely was Women Talking — Sarah Polley's tale of a group of Mennonite women who uncover a history of rape in their community and must discuss how to react. The film has been tipped as a Best Adapted Screenplay contender for the Oscars, as well as providing the potential for acting prizes, but it got absolutely nothing from Bafta voters.

Watch: Trailer for Women Talking