Feb 152016
 

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock (5586119dt) Alejandro G. Inarritu and Leonardo DiCaprio - Best Actor EE BAFTA British Academy Film Awards, Press Room, Royal Opera House, London, Britain - 14 Feb 2016

The final stage in the award season every year is the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Awards, the British branch of the Academy Awards. At this point in the season – two weeks shy of the Oscars – the primary contenders are starting to look pretty clear, with the BAFTA Best Picture winner either cementing favouritism (Argo, for example) or building late momentum (see The King’s Speech).

While the awards this year were spread out fairly evenly, reflective of the rather strong field, The Revenant came out as the main victor landing five – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Cinematography and Best Sound. Mad Max: Fury Road cleaned up most of the technical categories, claiming four. Carol, which has six Oscar nominations but appears to have little chance beyond Rooney Mara for Supporting Actress, led the field of nominees but was entirely shut out.

While Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu now seems set on winning his second straight Best Director award for The Revennt, after also being awarded at the DGA, and Spotlight and The Big Short are all-but locks to win the respective screenplay categories after their BAFTA and WGA wins, Best Picture is still a tough one to predict. The Revenant, which has the advantage of strength in numbers in that it is a contender in a lot of categories, is up against the SAG Best Ensemble winner in Spotlight and the PGA winner in The Big Short. 

Rarely is there a three-way split between the PGA, DGA and the SAG – but the PGA has slightly more weight in that it is a preferential ballot, like the Oscars. But, The Big Short seems set to lose Best Editing to Mad Max: Fury Road (thought it would win this category any other year), and a lone Best Adapted Screenplay win is hardly enough to justify the big one. Spotlight makes an identical claim, though seems to be even more of a long-shot in the categories it shares with The Big Short. The Revenant – which has had mixed reviews, and has no screenplay nomination – will be bucking a lot of trends if it wins.

Leonardo Di Caprio (The Revenant) and Brie Larson (Room) seem almost-certainties after adding to their Golden Globe and SAG statuettes for Lead Actor and Actress. Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), my personal pick to win the Supporting Actor Oscar, didn’t have his closest competitor in Golden Globe and SAG-winner Sylvester Stallone (Creed), while Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) followed up her surprising-at-the-time Golden Globe win for Supporting Actress. Both categories remain wide open.

Find out the full list of winners after the jump: Continue reading »

Feb 092015
 

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Early this morning the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awarded their winners for the year of 2014 in film. They loved The Grand Budapest Hotel, which led all winners with five (including Best Original Screenplay, Score and Production Design). Boyhood, which was awarded Best Film, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress, finished with three along with Whiplash, including Supporting Actor – JK Simmons, and The Theory of Everything, including Best Actor – Eddie Redmayne. Julianne Moore continued her domination this awards season, winning Best Actress for Still AliceCitizen Four and Ida, hotly tipped to win Best Documentary and Foreign Language Film respectively, were also awarded.

In a star-studded field The Theory of Everything took out Best British Film, while Anthony McCarten’s adapted screenplay also beat out its chief Oscar contenders. While I personally would have loved to have seen Paddington win, The Imitation Game failed to take out its only real chance. Eddie Redmayne secured his favouritism for Best Actor over Michael Keaton, taking out the award on home turf. This Oscar race has to be one of the most interesting in recent years. While Birdman has slowly risen to Oscar Best Picture/Director favouritism after victories at the PGA and the DGA (excellent guide due to the voter crossover), Boyhood bounced back with the double here. With The Grand Budapest Hotel taking out Original Screenplay and Redmayne winning, Birdman was left with just the one win – for Lubezki’s cinematography. All of these categories, come Oscar day, are going to be quite unpredictable.

Check out all of the BAFTA winners after the jump: Continue reading »

Jan 112015
 

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The nominees in the 68th annual British Academy Film Awards were announced on Friday. The Grand Budapest Hotel led the way with eleven nominations, with Birdman and The Theory of Everything following with ten, and The Imitation Game with nine. They are joined by Boyhood for Best Film.

There were a few notable exclusions. Selma failed to received a single nomination, Foxcatcher and Gone Girl received just the two apiece and Mr Turner was absent in a lot of the major categories. Whiplash and Nightcrawler continue to strengthen their momentum, with multiple nominations in key categories.

You can find all of the nominees, with commentary, after the jump: Continue reading »

Feb 172014
 

12 Years A Slave may have won the BAFTA for best film, but it was Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity which came out tops on the night, with 6 wins overall including best actor, best British film and best director.

12 Years only picked up one additional award to the top gong, that for best actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor. While Ejiofor is no doubt a deserving winner, he was competing in a field which did not include Oscar front-runner, Matthew McConaughey. Dallas Buyers Club didn’t get a UK release in time to be eligible for the BAFTA awards, meaning that fellow Oscar front-runner Jared Leto was also not in consideration in the supporting actor category. That award went to the outstanding performance in Captain Phillips by Barkhad Abdi.

Cate Blanchett has continued her unbroken streak, picking up best actress for her role in Blue Jasmine. Surely she must have the shortest odds for an Oscar win almost ever? It would be absolutely shocking if anyone else won.

American Hustle was the fitting winner of the best makeup and hair award (it deserves it for Bale’s hair alone). The film also took home best original screenplay (umm…what?) and best supporting actress for Jennifer Lawrence. I must say I am surprised that the Brits couldn’t see to award Lupita Nyong’o for her powerful performance in 12 Years. If she can’t take home the BAFTA, then I’d say that Lawrence now has the definite edge at the Oscars.

With the editing award going to Rush, we are no closer to having a front-runner in this category at the Oscars. Rush has some phenomenal editing, particularly the F1 racing sequences; however the film is no in the running for an Academy Award.

The full list of BAFTA award winners are after the jump.

Continue reading »

Jan 082014
 

Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity led the nominations for 2014 BAFTAs, receiving 11 nominations, including best film, director and outstanding British film. While Gravity is about as British as The Great Gatsby is Australian, its British production company apparently makes it eligible for the category. David O. Russell’s American Hustle and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave were close behind Gravity with 9 nominations each, including somewhat surprising nominations for Amy Adams and Christian Bale in the leading actress/actor categories. Adams in a particular is quite the surprise, receiving a nomination ahead of one of the undeniable favourites, Meryl Streep. I can understand the love for Gravity and 12 Years, but I’m baffled by the love for American Hustle. I wonder if people just love those involved and not the actual film?

Jean-Marc Vallée’s Dallas Buyers Club, which has been favoured by American critics’ associations and the powerful guilds (DGA,  PGA, SAG)  missed out completely, as did the wonderful Her, from Spike Jonze. Inside Lleweyn Davis gains three nominations here, but is yet to get much momentum behind it in the lead up to the Academy Awards.

I was delighted to see writer/director Paul Wright nominated for outstanding début by a British writer, director or producer (alongside producer Polly Stokes) for the incredible For Those in Peril. I had the utter delight to meet and speak with Paul after the screening of his film at Sydney Film Festival and he was extremely humble and honestly just so chuffed that people liked his film.

The BAFTAs will be awarded on February 16. The full list of nominations are after the jump.

 

Continue reading »