In our latest edition of Awards Focus, we're assessing Aleem Khan's touching, BAFTA-nominated drama After Love.
Aleem Khan’s tale about a woman who, shortly after her husband’s sudden death, discovers he had another wife in France, premiered at the 2020 Toronto Film Festival. Since then, it has made its way around the world, picking up praise and awards at film festivals, and gradually finding an audience who are moved by the simplicity and power of its storytelling.
A small-scale drama, After Love doesn’t feature at the Academy Awards, but it is a contender in four categories at the BAFTAs: Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer; Outstanding British Film of the Year; Best Director; and Best Actress. It previously won five awards at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) and is recognised as one of the strongest British films released in the last year. There is little doubt that writer-director Khan ranks highly in the debut-feature category. However, in Outstanding British Film, After Love is up against a number of other highly regarded independent films (particularly Clio Barnard’s excellent Ali & Ava, Rebecca Hall’s sublime Passing and Philip Barantini’s kinetic Boiling Point), as well as big hitters such as Belfast and No Time to Die. As for Best Director, it’s hard to see Khan beating The Power of the Dog filmmaker and current frontrunner Jane Campion.
The most interesting category where After Love is concerned is Best Actress. With Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter) and Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos) not in the running, there is a chance that Joanna Scanlan will win for her committed portrayal of a woman both grieving and betrayed. Khan’s excellent screenplay and understated direction notwithstanding, Scanlan’s performance is ultimately what makes After Love such a compelling film.
WATCH AFTER LOVE ON CURZON HOME CINEMA
Outstanding British Film of the Year
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer
Best Director, Aleem Khan
Best Actress, Joanna Scanlan