Members of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts have been giving awards for decades but usually after the Academy Awards were presented. Several years ago, in an attempt to be relevant, the British Academy decided to start giving its awards in advance of Hollywood's big night. The BAFTAs are now seen as something of a bellwether for Oscar nominations.
This year brought another major change came which was meant to bring BAFTA closer to Oscar. As this article in Variety reports, "The entire membership of 6,500 voters, including the 1,480 based in the U.S.," will vote on the winners "instead of the prize being decided by a hand-picked jury of London insiders."
The change has led to a certain amount of schizophrenia in this year's list of nominees announced yesterday.
The Artist, the silent movie about silent movies, leads the BAFTA pack with 12 nominations including Best Picture and one for, of all things, Best Sound. The Artist is considered a top contender for Oscar glory.
A British film, a new adaptation of John Le Carre's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy comes second with 11 nominations. My guess is that at Oscar time it won't fare quite as well.