‘Geisha’ gains ground

Pic leads after round one of BAFTA voting

A correction was made to this article on Jan. 10, 2006.

“Memoirs of a Geisha” was the most nominated movie in the longlists for the British Academy Film Awards, closely followed by “Brokeback Mountain,” “The Constant Gardener” and “Good Night, and Good Luck.”

The longlists narrow each category down to 15 contenders chosen in the first round of voting. The five nominees are selected from the longlists in the second voting round, which closes Thursday. As predicted, “Munich,” which didn’t get screeners to BAFTA members in time for the first voting deadline, failed to make the film longlist. It only figures twice — for direction and adapted screenplay.

“Memoirs” secured 15 entries on the longlists. “Brokeback,” “Constant Gardener” and “Good Night” won 13 apiece.

“King Kong,” “Pride & Prejudice,” “Cinderella Man” and “Batman Begins” crop up 12 times, although “Batman Begins” does not appear on the list for film.

“Capote,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and “Crash” appear 11 times apiece, while “Mrs. Henderson Presents” is the only other film to reach double figures with 10.

The other entries on the film longlist are “Walk the Line” (nine entries), “A History of Violence” (seven), “March of the Penguins” (five) and “Syriana” (five).

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (a surprise exclusion from best film and best director) picked up nine entries, mostly in the technical categories.

But because so many films are included in the longlists, omissions are often more noteworthy than the inclusions.

Pics with a significant British element that missed the best film list were Woody Allen’s “Match Point,” which picked up four other entries including direction; and “Jarhead,” which, despite local helmer Sam Mendes, only managed a single entry for special effects.

Absent were Terrence Malick’s “The New World,” Michael Winterbottom’s “A Cock and Bull Story” and James Ivory’s “The White Countess.”

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