21 January 2010

The Bestest Most Outstanding British Film

A couple of years ago, my logical sensibilities were offended by the fact that the film Atonement could win the Best Film BAFTA but fail to win the Best British Film category at the same award ceremony. If a film is the "best film" of all of the films in the world, how come it isn't the "best film" in Britain too? Did the Best Film category at the BAFTAs only consider non-British films? Obviously not, given that Atonement won the Best Film category.

This year, there has been a rejig in the names of the categories and the film An Education is nominated both for Best Film and for Outstanding British Film. The rewording is better, to some extent, because semantically, at least, there isn't a logical contradiction, as with saying something is the "best film" but not the "best British film." However, I would imagine that the Outstanding British Film award will be given to the most outstanding British film rather than just any old outstanding British film and so I'm still not entirely happy.

Luckily, this year, An Education is the only film nominated in both categories and as Avatar is bound to win Best Film, these logic fails probably won't be an issue, other than to pedants like me.

The nominees for this year's BAFTAs do at least correlate more closely with my own selections of the best films and best actors/actresses from the past year: three of my top six films of last year are nominated for Outstanding British Film (if you count my honourable mention) and Nowhere Boy was pretty good too, although nowhere near as good as An Education, Moon or In the Loop.

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