Something very interesting happened at BAFTA this morning and something I didn’t see coming but now makes perfect sense. While the expected films were nominated for Editing: Dune, Belfast and No Time to Die, the concert doc Summer of Soul found itself in the top 5 as well. While the film, which details six weeks during the summer of 1969, where thousands of people attend the Harlem Cultural Festival to celebrate Black history, culture, music, and fashion, was nominated for Documentary as expected, this showing raised more than a few eyebrows and got me thinking.
All season I’ve predicted that the film will ultimately be snubbed at the Oscars in the Documentary Feature category as it too comfortably fits the mold of exactly the kind of film the doc branch has consistently been quite intentionally leaving off their lists: the overwhelming critics’ winner plus comprised almost completely of archival footage. While I still think that will be the case it reminded me of when 1994’s Hoop Dreams missed doc feature but found love within the editing branch of the Oscars and was nominated there. I can see that scenario playing out again as their paths are strikingly similar. Add the 1970 film of the legendary music festival Woodstock, which was nominated here, and the case gets stronger. But it will have to contend with formidable narrative feature competition including the surprising surge of Licorice Pizza, which also secured a BAFTA nom to go along with its ACE and CCA nods. I’m taking a big risk with this one, but sometimes you gotta.
For the first time in its 75-year history, BAFTA nominated a female director of photography in their cinematography category, Ari Wegner for The Power of the Dog. A bittersweet celebration if there ever was one but one that also recalls when Rachel Morrison became the first Oscar-nominated female cinematographer just four years ago, for 2017’s Mudbound. Wegner is on a clear path not just for a nomination but for a history-making win with only Greig Fraser’s lensing of Dune as her main competition. From there things get wily, especially since West Side Story found itself snubbed at both ASC and BAFTA. Does Janusz Kamiński come back from that? It seems unlikely; he’s never been Oscar-nominated after having missed both. Belfast got skipped at BAFTA too but at least made ASC. The Tragedy of Macbeth should be very safe but who does that leave to take one or possibly two more spots? Nightmare Alley seems like the right choice on paper, it has everything The Power of the Dog, Dune and Macbeth has and Dan Laustsen is already a proven commodity with this branch.
Here are my final 2022 Oscar nomination predictions for Film Editing and Cinematography.
1. Dune (Warner Bros/HBO Max) – CCA, BAFTA, ACE
2. Belfast (Focus Features) – CCA, BAFTA, ACE
3. The Power of the Dog (Netflix) – CCA, ACE
4. Don’t Look Up (Netflix) – ACE
5. Summer of Soul (Searchlight Pictures/Hulu) – ACE, BAFTA
6. Licorice Pizza (MGM/UAR) – CCA, ACE, BAFTA
7. No Time to Die (MGM/UAR) – BAFTA, ACE
8. King Richard (Warner Bros/HBO Max) – ACE
9. West Side Story (20th Century Studios) – CCA
10. tick, tick…BOOM! (Netflix) – ACE
1. The Power of the Dog (Netflix) – CCA, BAFTA, ASC
2. Dune (Warner Bros/HBO Max) – CCA, BAFTA, ASC
3. The Tragedy of Macbeth (A24/Apple Original Films) – CCA, BAFTA, ASC
4. Belfast (Focus Features) – CCA, ASC
5. Nightmare Alley (Searchlight Pictures) – CCA, ASC, BAFTA
6. West Side Story (20th Century Studios) – CCA
7. No Time to Die (MGM/UAR) – BAFTA
8. The French Dispatch (Searchlight Pictures)
9. Licorice Pizza (MGM/UAR)
10. The Green Knight (A24)