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January 19 2006

No BAFTA nod for Serenity. The word we are looking for is 'boo'. Universal/UIP had entered it for nomination (although I don't believe any 'for your consideration' or screener copies went out).

Bah, though I never pay attention to these awards (or any others really). Still it would've been nice for some offical recognition.
The BAFTAs want to be taken seriously worldwide. They emulate the Oscars so badly it's embarrassing. That's why Serenity didn't get a look in. The thinking being if a sci-fi film got a nod, the BAFTAs wouldn't be taken seriously.

Does the US really care about an award ceremony in the UK? No. So why bother. Same as the Brit awards. No one gives a crap about them outside the UK.
Simon, nobody gives a crap about the Brit Awards inside the UK.

Now the Kerrang Awards are taken seriously the world over by all corners of the rock world. Which should tell you all you need to know about the Brits!

Anyway, back on topic, did anybody expect any different from the BAFTAs? Didn't think so!
Well, in fairness it's the industry people who vote for the nominations, so it's entirely the industry who didn't pick Serenity - I don't think it was any agenda, I think it's mostly because they hadn't actually seen it in many cases.
Ahh yes the Kerrangs. Those I have heard of.

These BAFTA nonsense just made me confused.

As Gossi has pointed out we can't expect the industry people (especially the upper ups) to vote for the movie.

[ edited by war_machine on 2006-01-19 14:54 ]
The calibre of movies that are in that category is extraordinarily high. I wouldn't take not being in that category as a slur on Serenity.

What I am getting cheesed off about is Jake Gyllenhaal only ever being up for supporting actor in awards. Heath Ledger is wonderful in the film, but Jake is equally as wonderful. I know they can't both be in the same category, but can't they take turns. *pouts* Hope they both win though. :0)
I dunno exoticushroom, I think the film focused more on Heath Ledger's character, so if one had to be the best Supporting Actor it would have had to have been Jake imo. You're right though, he's equally as good.

Also loving the fact that Michelle Williams has been nominated. She gave such a wonderful performance in BBM that she really deserves it.

Its a right bugger that Serenity hasnt been nominated in anything. The BAFTA's should be able to look past the whole "sci-fi is bad" issue. Shame on them.
Did anybody seriously expect it to be on their list? It's a good film, but it's not Brokeback Mountain or The Constant Gardener.

I'm pretty sure scifi films have received nominations in the past, though.
I thought it would get a nomination. Despite being an action film, it also has something to say (and says it a great many times, but a lot of people missed the subtexts).
Well, a nom would have just been way to good to be true, we all knew it. So I'm not bitter.
"I dunno exoticushroom, I think the film focused more on Heath Ledger's character, so if one had to be the best Supporting Actor it would have had to have been Jake imo. You're right though, he's equally as good.

Also loving the fact that Michelle Williams has been nominated. She gave such a wonderful performance in BBM that she really deserves it.

Apocalypse | January 19, 16:18 CET"

True, the focus was on Ennis so I suppose that is reflected in the nominations.

Michelle Williams was fantastic too, richly deserved nomination also.

I like the category in the SAG awards for Outstanding Cast. I think it would be excellent if they won that one as it covers all the superb performances.
To echo roadrunner:

Question: If Serenity were to be nominated for BAFTA (or the Oscars, even), what SHOULD it be nominated for, considering the fact that each category gets five nominations and there are so many movies (575 according to this site) released each year, Serenity only being one of them.

Take the screenplay awards, which I think most people would argue is its strongest merit. Not sure where Serenity would fall seeing that it is based on a TV show, but let's go for both.

Original screenplay: Should it be nominated for best screenplay in lieu of Crash, The Squid and the Whale, Match Point, Good Night and Good Luck, Walk The Line, North Country, Mrs. Henderson Presents or Broken Flowers? I'd argue that all those films have stronger screenplays. If you disagree, why?

Adapted screenplay, then. Should Serenity surplant Capote, Brokeback Mountain, Pride and Prejudice, Memoirs of a Geisha, A History of Violence, Everything is Illuminated, or something else?

Is Serenity a better directed film than BBM? Capote? Crash? Good Night and Good Luck? History of Violence? Constant Gardener? So on and so forth.

It might be presumptive of me to say, but I'd argue the cast and crew of Serenity might agree that, while they are proud of their film, their performances, and their work, that it doesn't reach the level of some or all of these films. Serenity is assuredly better than many of the 575 films that came out last year. But, objectively, it certainly is not as good as a number of other films that came out in 2005 as well.
I think there are two main issues here. Firstly there would be a certain amount of snobbery towards sci-fi films -- if you look at Bafta nominations of a number of years not many sci-fi films have had nods. Serenity might have had extraordinary performances and an amazingly literate script but it will still have been thrown in with Star Wars and that crowd as being somehow inferior because it was set in space and not based on some kind of literature.

The second issue that it was not a popular success -- it simply didn't generate the mainstream buzz which Brokeback and Constant Gardener had.

Someone wants to use the phone. More soon.
You make a fair argument, tittergrrl, but you lose me when you say that "objectively, it certainly is not as good as a number of other films that came out in 2005 as well". There's no "objectively" there - whether one film is better than another cannot possibly be measured objectively. It's all opinion.

To respond more specifically - well, I can't really, 'cos of all the films you list, I've only seen Matchpoint. As to that: I'm a huge huge fan of Woody's, and I enjoyed Matchpoint quite a bit. But I don't think its screenplay is better than Serenity's. I found much of the dialogue quite stilted, and the pacing off in places. On the other hand, it cranked things up rather beautifully about half-way through, and benefited from some great performances. And I'm a sucker for Woody's morality tales - even while seeing the irony inherent in that statement. :)

But a better screenplay? I would disagree. And I do agree that the depth of a movie like Serenity is apt to be completely disregarded because of its setting.
Well, tittergrrl, I can only respond to the movies I've actually seen (many of these have not started playing in The Netherlands yet) and sadly that's limited to Pride & Prejudice and Crash at the moment, though almost all the movies you list are on my 'to watch' list.

And here's the thing: I would argue that Serenity has a better script than both of those movies. Crash is a wonderfull ensamble piece, which is great because of the social issues it raises, some very strong performances and great pacing and camera work. But it has a lot of issues as well, the script being the most obvious.

It features a whole lot of Important Life-Changing Events[tm] which are all crammed into a single day and all these are woven together to paint one big picture of one day in this fictional Los Angeles. There's memorable things in there, but I'd say Joss' grasp of both dialogue and characterisation is superior. As far as tight plotting goes, I'd say both movies are about even. Serenity leaves some plot-holes (mostly caused by its sci-fi setting) and Crash has believability problems because of the sheer amount of stuff that happens.

As far as subtext goes, I'd again say Serenity is superior. Crash is very much a movie reflecting our time, but I'm not quite sure it'll stand up to be 'timeless'. The subtext in Serenity might be less obvious, but I'd say it's just as meaningfull and I believe it to be universal, in that it won't age as much as Crash.

Now as for 'Pride and Prejudice', that was a pretty good adaptation as well. There's a lot of fun things in there and the script deserves a nod. But I'd say Joss' work is superior on plotting and I'd have to flip a coin to say wether Serenity of PaP has the better characterisation and dialogue, but I certainly prefer Serenity in those areas.

I'd argue that all those films have stronger screenplays. If you disagree, why?


I'd like to ask you the same thing. What does Serenity lack that the other movies you've listed do have? The only thing I can think of, is that Serenity is a sci-fi film and as such appears less meaningfull and is certainly assumed to be. What's more, it's also an action oriented 'fun' movie so it can't possibly be as good as the more obviously 'thoughtfull' movies to come out this year. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you or anyone else here'd argue that way (and maybe you would, that's fine too ;-)), but this seems to be the way people tend to think about movies. And that's fine, because it's very often true. It's just not always true, and Serenity is a fine example of this.
Chiwetel Ejiofor is up for their "Orange Rising Star" nomination and I must say deservedly so! The man has a hypnotic voice and manner about him.

I do not understand why it is that anything that falls under the scifi genre is dismissed out of hand and yet Fantasy can still be seen as "art." It's as though, somehow, there was more emotional depth and it is viewed as a metaphor for some greater philosophical question. My ire is ,of course, directed at all the other genres as well. Admitting an appreciation of science fiction seems to be akin to believing that WWF wrestling is real (or drinking unsweetened tea if you are in the south). What is it about scifi that seems so one-dimensional? I feel the need to add that reading is my first and forever love and I enjoy any artistic endeavor that is well done.
You know, I wonder if some of it is as simple as gossi stated -- a lot of the people who vote on the nominations didn't see Serenity. I was even going to say something about it being sad that Serenity didn't get a special effects nomination, but looking at the list, well, those films did have great special effects. Like DejaThoris says, yay Chiwetel Ejiofor! He was a scary-kewl true believer/villain.
Roadrunner wrote:
Did anybody seriously expect it to be on their list? It's a good film, but it's not... The Constant Gardener.

Yes, "Serenity" was a great film. "The Constant Gardener" was not good.

Exoticmushroom wrote:
I know they can't both be in the same category, but can't they take turns.

Yes, they could be both nominated in that category if the producers wished to put them both forward in that category. (For instance, Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis were both nominated for their roles in "Thelma & Louise")

But putting the two of them in the same category would split the vote and probably result in neither of them getting the award. See: "Thelma & Louise" and the year I was praying for a tie - except Jodie Foster took out the prize and it was all good :-)
Sad there's not even a nomination. The script was definitely worthy for an Original Screenplay nod - vastly better that Mrs. Henderson Presents, which is the only one I've seen from that category, and which was fairly bad, in fact. And I'd agree it was a better film overall than The Constant Gardener, which was wonderfully directed, shot and acted, but has a pretty lame plot and script.

I'd been hoping for the Carl Foreman Award, but I notice now that it's for a first time British filmmaker, so unfortunately Joss isn't eligible anyway (going to school over here doesn't count).

Maybe it is true that the academy members just hadn't seen it: shame Universal didn't push it enough to try to get them to.
Was discussing this last night with somebody... Basically, it costs money to put out advertising the trade press and send out encoded screener copies. Which isn't a great surprise.
Basically, it costs money to put out advertising the trade press and send out encoded screener copies. Which isn't a great surprise.


True, that, gossi. The amount of money studios spend just to try and get a film nominated is huge. And not only do they send out screener copies, sometimes they send out whole packages containing all kinds of promo stuff. "For Your Consideration" costs big bucks. The small ads that come out this time of year in Variety and the HR are pricey, so you can imagine how much a full page costs. (More than the full page that Firefly fans bought a few years ago.)

Lots of fun to speculate how much money studios spend. Especially when they have more than one film to pimp--I mean to tout. Or peddle. Or...well, y'all know what I mean.

And regarding Serenity being nominated, once again, the whole Sci-Fi "taint" is there. Even though there are no robots, transporter beams or green skin and pointy ears. Batman Begins was a cool drama, but it only got nominated in the technical categories. Is Batman Begins considered science fiction? It's not exactly fantasy a la LOTR.
What I'd like to know is: Why only 5 nominees? As many films that come out during a year, why not 7 or 9?

Oh! And Brokeback Mountain was heartbreakingly sublime. My friends and I were all cryin' at the end. I didn't expect to be cryin'. But there I was. Last time I puddled up like that at a flick was "Crouching Tiger..." Nope. I'm wrong. It was "Rent".
What has bothered me for years in any awards show for movies is how some types of movies are in, or out, just by their genre or topic. A movie about the war? Any war? About someone mentally and/or physically handicapped? Based on a true story about some person who took on the system? Based on old literature perhaps? You're IN baby!

A comedy? Science fiction? Fantasy? Generally you're OUT baby. Unless it's special effects. Because otherwise you know it looks like we take that stuff seriously!

Of course it's all bollocks. Awards should be about quality (as subjective as that value judgment is) and not about topic. A zany comedy can be better written and acted than a movie about WWII. But if we look at the history of nominations of any Awards show I do believe we detect a pattern.

And yes Lord of the Rings got nominations and oscars. But only because by then they couldn't ignore the enormous success anymore. The first two were pretty much ignored except for FX. And it's about the only exception to pure fantasy/adventure movies getting those oscars that I know. Oh! But then, it IS also based on old literature, isn't it??

I liked Crash. I really did. But it wasn't exactly a new thing for one (how many ensemble story movies have there been? And that take place in LA to boot??) And within its own genre I didn't think it was THAT good. And within SF, I think Serenity was highly original, and a fresh shot in the arm for the entire genre. In that sense I do feel it was a better movie.

No, exceptions here and there, but overall if you want the "real" awards, SF or fantasy or comedy isn't your way. Stick with the war stories, old literature and the handicapped characters. And I don't see that changing anytime soon.

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