The British Academy for Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) announced the nominees for their annual film awards today, which recognize contributions to the industry both from British films, specifically, and international films, generally. Guillermo del Toro's fantasy-romance The Shape of Water led the field with 12 nominations, with the official Oscar frontrunner Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri nipping at its heels. The real shocker, however, is that Paddington 2, the live-action sequel about a neighborly pajama-wearing bear who loves marmalade, received not one, but three nominations: for Best British Film, Best Adapted Screenplay (Simon Farnaby and Paul King) and Best Supporting Actor (Hugh Grant).
And that's not all: as of this writing, Paddington 2 has a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes, with 75 positive reviews and no negative reviews. The Guardian calls it a "tremendously sweet-natured, charming...and above all funny film," with a "scene-stealing" performance from Hugh Grant, whose villain frames Paddington for stealing a one-of-a-kind pop-up book from good Mr. Gruber's antique shop; The AV Club favorably notes the aesthetic influence of Wes Anderson, particularly in the prison scenes (umm, spoiler: Paddington rots in prison); I admittedly didn't read any other reviews, because I grew tired of reading about Paddington Bear, but I think we can safely assume they all went something like those two.
Earlier this year, Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird became the best-reviewed movie in the history of the site, surpassing the previous record-holder, Toy Story 2, with 170 consecutive positive reviews. (It currently has 214 positive reviews and one negative review.) Nothing against Paddington, but it would be somewhat of a shame if a whimsical kid's movie about a kind-hearted English bear surpassed one of the most memorable coming-of-age filmsin recent memory.
You can go see Paddington 2 and determine its artistic merit for yourself when it premieres stateside this Friday. Or you can go see Paul Thomas Anderson's much-anticipated fashion drama, Phantom Thread, starring Daniel Day-Lewis. It's also set in London. And involves 100% less adorable animals wearing human clothes.