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Finally a nod for Javier Bardem; will Oscar follow?

January 18, 2011 |  6:14 pm

Javier Bardem 
The BAFTAs must be getting great appreciation today from Julia Roberts, Sean Penn and perhaps even Michael Mann. All three have been championing Javier Bardem for a best actor nod for his turn as underground street hustler and father in Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu's "Biutiful." But until early this morning, Bardem's role has been largely ignored by the critics' groups and the guild nominations.

Penn moderated a panel for Bardem and Inarritu for "Biutiful" in which he compared Bardem's performance to that of Marlon Brando's in "Last Tango in Paris." Mann also moderated a Q&A because he was such a big fan of the film. And at CAA's screening of the film, Roberts said his performance was a "magic trick and a miracle all together."

Yet Bardem was left out of the Golden Globes, the critics awards picks and SAG. But Tuesday morning BAFTA chose Bardem's performance as one of the best, right alongside Jeff Bridges, Jesse Eisenberg, Colin Firth and James Franco.

Will the inclusion by the British Film Academy help Bardem's Oscar chances? It will definitely bring more attention to his role, and as my colleague Tom O'Neil points out, more than 500 BAFTA members are also members of the academy. Momentum hasn't been on his side, but the BAFTA nod can't hurt.

— Nicole Sperling

Photo: Javier Bardem in "Biutiful." Credit: Roadside Attractions.