That our own Adarsh Gourav stands tall in the BAFTA nominations for best actor alongside Riz Ahmed for The Sound Of Metal, late Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Mads Mikkelsen for the Danish language film Another Round, veteran British actor Anthony Hopkins in The Father and Algerian-French actor Tahar Rahim in The Mauritanian.
I am fairly confident that Adarsh will beat the competition, tough as it is this year. Interestingly Adarsh is Indian and Riz Ahmed nominated for The Sound Of Metal ( a film and performance I am crazy about) is Pakistani. Add to the list Tahar Rahim who is a French actor of Algerian descent, and we have a list brimming with diversity. Not to mention great acting talent.
The leading-lady category has veteran Frances McDormand (for Nomadland) alongside the 18-year-old black actress Bukky Bakray (for Rocks) who has absolutely no acting experience. My favourite nominee in the best actress category is Vanessa Kirby one of the most promising new actresses. She is spectacular in Pieces Of A Woman (as too in The World To Come).
Watch out for Ms Kirby.
And watch out for other non-white performers like Sope Dirisu and Wunmi Mosako in the British horror film His House, and Kingsley Ben Adir who is spectacular as Malcolm X in One Night In Miami.
At times I wonder if BAFTA is straining too hard for diversity in the nominations. Then I see Adarsh Gourav in the list, and I see so many women on the directors’ list, and I feel thankful for the fetish of diversity that rules the world these days. And let’s not whine about Priyanka Chopra not getting nominated for The White Tiger. She didn’t deserve it. But I did miss Carey Mulligan in the best actress nominations list. She was a revelation in Promising Young Woman. Are they holding her character’s wanton immorality against her? Or is it that she is not playing an underdog in order to be eligible for immorality (and hence the awards)?
Image source: IMDb