13 great British films overlooked for a Best British Film BAFTA nomination

This Sunday once again celebrates the cream of British cinema as the BAFTAs dish out the UK versions of the Oscars.

The films slugging it out this year for the 'Outstanding British Film' are ’71, Paddington, Pride, The Theory of Everything and Under the Skin.

But some haven't received the recognition that they deserved - and here are some of the greatest British films not to get an Outstanding British Film nomination.

 

13. 28 Days Later

Danny Boyle's zombie 'infected' horror which features a highly contagious virus tearing through society featured Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston and Brendan Gleeson.

While the film was widely praised for reinvigorating the zombie genre and Boyle picked up awards, it wasn't considered as one of the best films of 2002 by BAFTA judges.

 

12. Layer Cake

The British gangster crime thriller was Matthew Vaughn's directing debut (who went on to direct Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class amongst others) and launched Daniel Craig into the limelight and attention of the Bond producers, who cast him to reinvigorate 007 in Casino Royale.

Despite positive reviews, it didn't make a dent on the 2004 Best British Film nominations, unlike Girl with a Pearl Earring, Love Actually and winner Touching the Void.

 

11. The Descent

Another horror that passed by the BAFTA judges, The Descent sees six women become trapped while caving and get hunted by flesh-eating creatures.

It was dubbed as one of the finest horror films of recent years, earned $57m globally and arrived on many top 10 horror lists of 2006, but evidently not on the BAFTA judges nomination list. 

 

10. Snatch

Guy Ritchie's much-loved crime caper gave us some memorable and extremely quotable characters when it arrived in 2000.

Despite becoming a fan favourite and commercial success, it didn't get the BAFTA Best British Film nomination that Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels earned the year before.

 

9. V for Vendetta

Based on Alan Moore's graphic novel, the story of an anarchist starting a revolution against a facist regime has asserted itself in popular culture thanks to the use of the famous Guy Falkes mask by hacking group Anonymous.

V for Vendetta received a stack of award nominations and a generally positive reaction, but was unable to get a nomination from BAFTA.

 

8. Get Carter 

MIchael Caine plays Jack Carter, a London gangster who travels back to his Newcastle home town to investigate his brother's 'accidental' death with violent interrogations.

The film did earn Ian Hendry a Best Supporting Actor BAFTA nomination, but no overall plaudits.

Since then, the film has been recognised as one of the greatest British films of all time and in the top 500 best movies of all time. It also got an American remake in 2000, with Sylvester Stallone as Carter.

 

7. The Long Good Friday

Another British gangster film that obviously didn't interest the BAFTA judging comittee, The Long Good Friday brought us the late great Bob Hoskins in his breakthrough role.

Hoskins plays Harold Shand, one of London's gangster kingpins who wants to become a legitmate businessman with a redevelopment plan for London's Docklands areas.

Unfortunatley for him, bombs start showing up in very inconvenient places and Shand must find out who are behind them, with very violent means.

Standing the test of time, The Long Good Friday is now amongst one of the top British films of the 20th century, but didn't get a nod from BAFTA at the time of its release.

 

6. Dracula

With Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and MIchael Gough, Dracula is the first and most famous of Hammer Horror's films inspired by the Bram Stoker novel.

Upon its release, it was a huge success from critics, and Christopher Lee's performance as the titular vampire is still regarded as one of the finest portrayals as Count Dracula.

It would seem that the BAFTA panel don't like horror films, as it's another great British horror flick to be overlooked for an award.

 

5. Distant Voices, Still Lives

Legendary Brit Pete Postlethwaite stars in this 1988 look at working-class Liverpool in the 1940s and 50s, with music and films playing specific importance to the tight-knit community.

In 2007, the BFI re-printed and distributed the film, which led to it receiving the prestigious Grand Prix of the Belgian Film Critics Association.

It has since been labelled "Britain's forgotten cinematic masterpiece", but it was obviously forgotten by BAFTA judges at the time it came to handing out nominations.

 

4. Withnail & I

One of Britain's biggest cult films which follows two unemployed young actors as they launch their careers and attempt a unsuccessful holiday.

Despite it's lasting legacy as a cult classic and inclusion high up on many comedy and British film polls, its lack of intial popularity obviously deterred BAFTA from including it as a nominee.

 

3. Performance

Bringing us the acting debut of Mick Jagger, Performance was a crime thriller following an East London gangster who need to lie low, and does so in a guesthouse ran by mysterious one-time rock superstar Mr. Turner.

At time of release, the opinion was mixed, one reviewer proclaimed it was "the most completely worthless film I have seen since I began reviewing."

Since then, it has gained a cult following, including Jagger's performance being heralded as "the best performance by a musician in a film."

Unfortunately this was all to late for it to gain recognition by award judges at the time.

 

2. Brazil

Terry Gilliam's hugely adored, mind-bending "fantasy/satire on bureaucratic society" has firmly cemented itself as a classic in the UK and abroad.

The film picked up two Oscar nominations in Original Screenplay and Art Direction, and features in the American Film Institute's top 100 movies and top 10 of fantasy films.

 Unfortunately this side of the Atlantic, the film didn't get a BAFTA single nomination.

 

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Prior to Gilliam's snub in 1985, his comedy group, the legendary Monty Python were shunned by BAFTA in 1975 for their King Arthur parody.

The near-universally adored cult classic has gone on to feature heavily in greatest movie and greatest comedy lists and has inspired an award-winning musical in Spamlot.

A box-office success, it is the highest grossing film of 1975, but didn't register a nomination for an award.

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