British People Love Those Darned Sandworms

Denis Villeneuve's Dune leads this year's BAFTA nominations in a hefty 11 categories.

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Gurney Halleck pulls Paul Atreides onto a ship's ramp as a giant sandworm devours a spice facility.
Screenshot: Warner Bros.

In what could be a prophecy for the future of this year’s Academy Awards, Dune: Part 1 has conquered this year’s nominations for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards like a potential Kwisatz Haderach might conquer fear, aka the Mind-Killer. The sci-fi epic will be featured in 11 categories, more than any other 2021 film.

Of course, some of those categories are ones where CG-heavy sci-fi epics tend to find themselves (i.e. the technical ones), but it’s still a very impressive showing for what is very much half a movie about colonialism, space witches, Oscar Isaac’s magnificent beard, and big-ass worms. Dune was nominated for Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, Casting, Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, Costume Design, Make-up and Hair, Sound, and Special Visual Effects.

Of the other films you come to io9 to read about, Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond, No Time to Die, amassed five nominations in the Outstanding British Film, Cinematography, Editing, Sound, and Special Visual Effects categories. The apocalyptic comedy Don’t Look Up will be a contender in the Best Film, Best Original Screenplay, and Original Score categories, along with Leonardo DiCaprio as Best Actor. Edgar Wright’s time-bending suspense film Last Night in Soho also managed to make it to the Oustanding British Film list, as well as Sound. Blade-to be Mahershala Ali was nominated as a potential Best Actor for his role in the Apple TV sci-fi movie Swan Song, a film in which his character orders a clone of himself to comfort his family after he passes away from a terminal illness.


The other nominees in the Best Visual Effects went to Free Guy, The Matrix: Resurrections, and A Quiet Place: Part II. In the Best Animated Film category, Pixar’s Luca, Walt Disney Animation’s Encanto, and Netflix’s The Mitchells Vs. the Machines are three of the only four nominees in the category. The other: acclaimed Danish documentary Flee, about Afghani refugee Amin Nawabi, who tells his husband-to-be about his escape to Denmark; Flee, unsurprisingly, was also nominated for Best Documentary. Finally, my beloved Cruella received Best Costume Design and Best Make-up and Hair, as is just and proper.

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