Joaquin Phoenix dancing on the now famous Joker stairs

Writing a headline about the BAFTA awards not recognizing any actors of color for the zillionth time is an all too familiar headline.

But writing that JOKER was the leading film with 11 nominations…

Didn’t see that one coming.

The big story coming out of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards was the shocking lack of diversity. In a year where Parasite and The Farewell have been racking up awards, every single one of the acting nominations was white – in fact they had to scratch their heads so much they had to give Margot Robbie and Scarlet Johansson TWO NOMINATIONS EACH! Robbie is competing with herself in the Best Supporting category.

Kelvin Harrison Jr., Michael Ward and Awkafina were nominated in the “Rising Star” category though – reassuring folks that non-white actors will always be rising…but never quite arrive.

No women directors were nominated of course, but Syrian documentarian Waad al-Kateab did get four nominations – as did Parasite’s director Bong Joon-ho.

Diversity aside, the biggest story might be Joker leading the pack with 11 nominations. The Beat is not a fan of the film, but has to admit, the craft was impeccable, hence the nominations for Best Film, star Joaquin Phoenix, director Todd Phillips, script (also nominated for a WGA yesterday), Make-up, Sound, Editing, Cinematography, Score, Productuon Design and Best Casting.

Yep, 11. Cleaning up in those craft noms.

Given Joker’s two Golden Globes wins (for Score and Best Actor) it does seem inevitable that the mercurial Phoenix will be toting home a little golden guy come Oscar time. And Joker could become the most nominated “comic book” movie of all time, beating even Black Panther. Put that in your cannoli and smoke it, Martin Scorsese!

The Englishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood were tied for second with 10 nominations each.

Joker jokes aside, it is really dismal to see such regressive nominations at a time when films made by and starring people of all ethnicities and genders and flourishing. Bafta chairman Marc Samuelson tried to put an outraged spin on what is business as usual in an interview with CNN. “Clearly everybody knows that everybody in the four acting groups of nominees are white, it’s infuriating, we can’t make the industry do something, all we can do is encourage and push and inspire and try to help people coming in at the bottom end.”

The BAFTAs will be handed out on February 2.


BAFTA Film Awards 2020 nominations in full

Best Film
“The Irishman”
“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”
Outstanding British Film
“For Sama”
“Sorry We Missed You”
“The Two Popes”
Best Director
Sam Mendes (“1917”)
Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”)
Todd Phillips (“Joker”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”)
Bong Joon-ho (“Parasite”)
Leading Actress
Jessie Buckley (“Wild Rose”)
Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”)
Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”)
Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”)
Renée Zellweger (“Judy”)
Leading Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”)
Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”)
Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”)
Taron Egerton (“Rocketman”)
Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”)
Supporting Actor
Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood”)
Anthony Hopkins (“The Two Popes”)
Al Pacino (“The Irishman”)
Joe Pesci (“The Irishman”)
Brad Pitt (“Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood”)
Supporting Actress
Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”)
Scarlett Johansson (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Florence Pugh (“Little Women”)
Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”)
Margot Robbie (“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”)
Adapted Screenplay
Steven Zaillian (“The Irishman”)
Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Todd Phillips, Scott Silver (“Joker”)
Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”)
Anthony McCarten (“The Two Popes”)
Original Screenplay
Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Katie Silberman (“Booksmart”)
Rian Johnson (“Knives Out”)
Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”)
Han Jin Won, Bong Joon-ho (“Parasite”)
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
Mark Jenkin, Kate Byers, Linn Waite (“Bait”)
Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts (“For Sama”)
Alex Holmes (“Maiden”)
Harry Wootliff (“Only You”)
Álvaro Delgado-Aparicio (“Retablo”)
Original Score
Thomas Newman (“1917”)
Michael Giacchino (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Hildur Guđnadóttir (“Joker”)
Alexandre Desplat (“Little Women”)
John Williams (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”)
Roger Deakins (“1917”)
Rodrigo Prieto (“The Irishman”)
Lawrence Sher (“Joker”)
Phedon Papamichael (“Le Mans ’66”)
Jarin Blaschke (“The Lighthouse”)
EE Rising Star Award
Kaitlyn Dever
Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Jack Lowden
Micheal Ward
Film Not In The English Language
Lulu Wang, Daniele Melia (“The Farewell”)
Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts (“For Sama”)
Pedro Almodóvar, Agustín Almodóvar (“Pain and Glory”)
Bong Joon-ho (“Parasite”)
Céline Sciamma, Bénédicte Couvreur (“Portrait of a Lady On Fire”)
Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert (“American Factory”)
Todd Douglas Miller (“Apollo 11”)
Asif Kapadia (“Diego Maradona”)
Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts (“For Sama”)
Karim Amer, Jehane Noujaim (“The Great Hack”)
Animated Film
Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho (“Frozen 2”)
Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh (“Klaus”)
Will Becher, Richard Phelan, Paul Kewley (“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”)
Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen (“Toy Story 4”)
Shayna Markowitz (“Joker”)
Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler (“Marriage Story”)
Victoria Thomas (“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”)
Sarah Crowe (“The Personal History of David Copperfield”)
Nina Gold (“The Two Popes”)
Thelma Schoonmaker (“The Irishman”)
Tom Eagles (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Jeff Groth (“Joker”)
Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker (“Le Mans ’66”)
Fred Raskin (“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”)
Production Design
Dennis Gassner, Lee Sandales (“1917”)
Bob Shaw, Regina Graves (“The Irishman”)
Ra Vincent, Nora Sopková (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Mark Friedberg, Kris Moran (“Joker”)
Barbara Ling, Nancy Haigh (“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”)
Costume Design
Christopher Peterson, Sandy Powell (“The Irishman”)
Mayes C. Rubeo (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Jany Temime (“Judy”)
Jacqueline Durran (“Little Women”)
Arianne Phillips (“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”)
Makeup and Hair
Naomi Donne (“1917”)
Vivian Baker, Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan (“Bombshell”)
Kay Georgiou, Nicki Ledermann (“Joker”)
Jeremy Woodhead (“Judy”)
Lizzie Yianni Georgiou (“Rocketman”)
Scott Millan, Oliver Tarney, Rachael Tate, Mark Taylor, Stuart Wilson (“1917”)
Tod Maitland, Alan Robert Murray, Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic (“Joker”)
David Giammarco, Paul Massey, Steven A. Morrow, Donald Sylvester (“Le Mans ’66”)
Matthew Collinge, John Hayes, Mike Prestwood Smith, Danny Sheehan (“Rocketman”)
David Acord, Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, Stuart Wilson, Matthew Wood (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”)
Special Visual Effects
Greg Butler, Guillaume Rocheron, Dominic Tuohy (“1917”)
Dan Deleeuw, Dan Sudick (“Avengers: Endgame”)
Leandro Estebecorena, Stephane Grabli, Pablo Helman (“The Irishman”)
Andrew R. Jones, Robert Legato, Elliot Newman, Adam Valdez (“The Lion King”)
Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, Neal Scanlan, Dominic Tuohy (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”)
British Short Animation
Maryam Mohajer (“Grandad Was a Romantic”)
Kathrin Steinbacher (“In Her Boots”)
Naaman Azhari, Lilia Laurel (“The Magic Boat”)
British Short Film
Myriam Raja, Nathanael Baring (“Azaar”)
Hector Dockrill, Harri Kamalanathan, Benedict Turnbull, Laura Dockrill (“Goldfish”)
Sasha Rainbow, Rosalind Croad (“Kamali”)
Carol Dysinger, Elena Andreicheva (“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl”)
Lena Headey, Anthony Fitzgerald (“The Trap”)


  1. Do you know the actual racial makeup s of the U.S., Great Britain, and Europe? It’s not quite the Benetton ad you seem to think it is.


  2. “Must be awful to wake up every day looking for the worst in people.”

    I agree. I’ve never seen Mike post a positive comment about anything. It’s always negative bile and put-downs from him.

    But I’m sure he sees himself as a fearless truth-teller, and everyone else as hypocritical “snowflakes.”

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