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TORONTO—Quebec director Denis Villeneuve may not have received an Oscar nomination for Blade Runner 2049, but this weekend he could get a similar trophy across the pond.
Villeneuve is nominated for best director for the sci-fi sequel, going into Sunday’s British Academy Film Awards, a.k.a. the BAFTAs, which air here at 6 p.m. on Hollywood Suite.
He’s among several Canadians in the running for BAFTAs this year. Here are some others:
J. MILES DALE
The Shape of Water is up for a leading 12 BAFTAs, including best film for director Guillermo del Toro and Dale, the Toronto producer.
The two are also nominated for a best-picture Oscar for the film, which has a total of 13 Academy Award nominations.
Dale and del Toro first worked together on the 2013 film Mama after meeting through Scott Pilgrim vs. the World director Edgar Wright.
About halfway through shooting the horror drama series The Strain together, del Toro told Dale about The Shape of Water, which stars Sally Hawkins as a mute janitor who falls in love with an amphibian creature, played by Doug Jones.
Dale said del Toro had been working on the merman suit for a couple of years already before they started shooting the film, which was shot in Hamilton and Toronto.
“He knew that in a love story when the leading man is the fish that he better be sexy, so he’d been working for a while on the suit.”
LUIS M. SEQUEIRA
The Toronto-based costume designer is nominated for creating the 1960s-era outfits for the characters in The Shape of Water. He also has an Oscar nomination for the film.
Sequeira curated clothing from five different cities — scouring rental houses, vintage stores, rag houses, garages and flea markets.
He also worked with del Toro on Mama and The Strain and said the director understands the importance of costumes.
“One of his sayings is once we move into a close-up, costumes are the set dressing for the actor’s face. So they’re uber-important.”
OTHER TALENT ON THE SHAPE OF WATER
Several other Canadians also have BAFTA nods for their work on the dark romance.
They include Edmonton-born Kevin Scott, who is nominated along with several others for special visual effects. The team hails from Toronto digital studio Mr. X.
Glen Gauthier, who was raised in Peterborough, Ont., shares in the nomination for best sound, and is also up for an Oscar.
And fellow Oscar nominees Paul Austerberry, Jeff Melvin and Shane Vieau are in the running for a BAFTA for best production design.
OTHER TALENT ON BLADE RUNNER
Montreal-born Donald Mowat shares in a nod for best makeup and hair on Blade Runner, while Vancouver-born Dennis Gassner is co-nominated for production design.
Gassner said he got inspiration from the architecture in Budapest, where the film was shot.
When he first met Villeneuve in Montreal, he asked him: “’If you could explain the movie in one word, how would you explain it?’ and he said, ‘Brutality,’ and then he added ‘chaos’ to that.”
Villeneuve was “extremely pragmatic” as they worked to build off the original Blade Runner, while also creating something unique with its own signature, Gassner said.
“It wasn’t a movie about technology. It was about style, it was about the emotional content of who this society was and where this society was going and so on.”
It seemed an impossible task, but Plummer pulled it off with aplomb.
The Toronto-born acting legend is nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA for his supporting role in All the Money in the World — a project he took on at the 11th hour to replace Kevin Spacey.
Spacey was erased from the project following allegations of sexual misconduct. Director Ridley Scott shot Plummer in the role of billionaire J. Paul Getty, a mere six weeks before theatrical release.