The British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) took place on February 14, 2016. This year, two films, Carol and The Danish Girl in particular, scored very well earning nine and five nods, respectively. Carol depicts a lesbian love affair in the 1950s while The Danish Girl tells the story of Lili Elbe, a transgender pioneer. When asked about his role in The Danish Girl, leading actor Eddie Redmayne talked about the incredible support and help he received from members of the transgender community during research.
Speaking to The Independent, Elizabeth Karlsen (producer, Carol), remarked on the picture, “It’s amazing for a film like Carol to get that many nominations. It’s an extraordinary love story”. Stephen Woolley, co-producer, said about the inclusion of Carol in the BAFTAs, “We are more accommodating here, and BAFTA deserves credit” in an interview with The Guardian. Added Woolley, “Britain always had a groundbreaking film industry…we have a liberal tradition and we also make less of a big thing about that”.
Contrast that with the Oscars where both films were shut out of the Best Picture and Best Director categories. Writing for Variety, Ramin Setoodeh called the Todd Haynes snub “criminal”. Dame Pippa Harris, chair of BAFTA film committee, stressed the need to be true to audience heterogeneity, “It’s about fostering broad inclusivity in terms of those who enter the industry. It has to be about the diversity of people’s backgrounds, too.”
Both these films, as well as BAFTA’s inclusion of SAG winner and Oscar snubbed Beasts of No Nation actor Idris Elba, may suggest that the Oscars are more behind the times than other major awards bodies. Neither Carol or The Danish Girl picked up any trophies.