Strangely, although it garnered the most BAFTA nominations, Joe Wright’s heavily wrought costumer isn’t a lock for the Korda. BAFTA has never given best film and best Brit film to the same movie. It’s a jury prize, not a mass membership vote, and the jury may feel that “Atonement” will get enough attention elsewhere.
The Bourne Ultimatum
A technically brilliant reinvention of the action genre by Paul Greengrass. He’s a BAFTA darling, winning as director last year for “United 93.” But a set piece at Waterloo Station and a cameo by Paddy Considine as a Guardian journalist might not make the third Bourne movie feel British enough to win this prize.
Anton Corbijn biopic of doomed singer Ian Curtis has an austere and thrilling beauty that’s beloved by U.K. film biz insiders. It swept the British Independent Film Awards but didn’t get many BAFTA nominations, so the Korda could well be its consolation prize.
Canada’s David Cronenberg brings his fascination with cutting and carving our too too solid flesh to the mean streets of London, courtesy of Steve Knight’s excellent (though surprisingly not nominated) script. Viggo Mortensen has fun with a Russian accent.
This Is England
Shane Meadows reinvents his experiences as a prepubescent skinhead in the early 1980s, when the racist National Front was on the rise. It has all the best Meadows elements — violent, sentimental, lensed with naturalistic beauty, featuring a great performance by Thomas Turgoose. Won BIFA for best film back in ’06, though, so it’s time might’ve passed.