Saturday, February 9, 2013

Predicting the BAFTAs!

Tomorrow night are the British Academy of Film and Television Arts film awards, otherwise known as the BAFTAs, which air on BBC America starting at 8/7 central.  The BAFTAs are essentially the British version of the Academy Awards, where most of the same films are nominated and are awarded through the British Academy of actors, directors, and craftsmen, rather than the American Academy.  As is per usual, the BAFTAs are the final stop before Oscar night.  With many British actors and directors in both the AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who vote on the Oscars) and in the BAFTA, as well, it makes the BAFTAs a vital place to somewhat test the waters as to what we might see come Oscar night.  However, don't be fooled in thinking that the BAFTAs and the Oscars always line-up.

As it is, while the BAFTAs do often make many similar choices that the Academy winds up making, BAFTA has been known to do their own thing every so often -- just look at Mamma Mia!'s big showing from a few years back.  The big thing to always remember with the BAFTAs is that while many BAFTA members are AMPAS members, about the other half of BAFTA are all situated purely in Britain, and therefore British favor often comes into play.  An American made film typically must have been both critically and financially successful in Britain for it to be a real threat at the BAFTAs.  While this does not always hold true, for tomorrow night, I think it will, which is why if Argo and Ben Affleck are to hit any speed bumps cruising into Oscar night, it will be here at the BAFTAs.

The biggest monetary success of the films nominated for the Best Film award is Life of Pi, followed by Les Miserables.  I wouldn't be at all surprised to see either one of those films walk away with the big award.  Both played exceptionally well in Britain, however, I wouldn't count Argo out.  The real decider for what film will win Best Film is which director nabs Best Director tomorrow night, and I honestly think it's down to Ben Affleck and Ang Lee.  Lee I believe has the edge, given how visually stunning Life of Pi is and it's $42 million gross compared to Argo's $9 million gross in the United Kingdom.  Given that Les Mis director Tom Hooper is often met with a ton of controversy across the pond, I think that will be the definitive nail in the coffin for its BAFTA chances.

Below you'll find my predictions, and for a full list of nominees, go here.  As always, I don't do the short film categories because I am not informed enough to make good guesses.  Be sure to check back tomorrow night after the show for all my reactions and how I feel it will all affect Oscar night.

Best Film - Argo
Best Director - Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Best Leading Actor - Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Best Leading Actress - Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Best Supporting Actor - Alan Arkin, Argo
Best Supporting Actress - Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Best Original Screenplay - Michael Haneke, Amour
Best Adapted Screenplay - Tony Kushner, Lincoln
Best Animated Film - Brave
Outstanding British Film - Les Miserables
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer - James Bobin, The Muppets
Best Film not in the English Language - Amour
Best Documentary - Searching for Sugar Man
EE Rising Star Award - Suraj Sharma
Best Original Film Music - Life of Pi
Best Editing - Skyfall
Best Cinematography - Life of Pi
Best Production Design - Anna Karenina
Best Costume Design - Anna Karenina
Best Make-Up and Hair - Anna Karenina
Best Special Visual Effects - Life of Pi
Best Sound - Skyfall

UPDATE:  Leave it to the BAFTAs to keep things interesting.  Places where I thought they'd surprise, they didn't, and places where I thought they wouldn't, they did.  I would definitely say that any doubt that Argo is not destined to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards were put to rest tonight.   I was genuinely shocked, but exhilarated to see Skyfall win for Outstanding British Film, a first for the James Bond franchise.  Hey, it only took 50 years and 23 films.  I was also pleased to see Silver Linings Playbook win Adapted Screenplay.  I think the three biggest shockers for me tonight were Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, and Lead Actress. 

I was not expecting Django Unchained to pick up an award for Tarantino's script and for Christoph Waltz's performance, adding further grist for the Oscar mill for their Oscar chances.  Then there was Emanuelle Riva's win as Best Lead Actress for foreign language flick, Amour, beating out Oscar frontrunners Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence.  Personally, I've been hearing that she was a genuine threat for the Oscar, but I didn't really believe it till now.  Even still, I still believe that it's truly a battle between Chastain and Lawrence for the Oscar, though in the chance that their battle splits the vote, Riva may be the Oscar surprise.  We'll see in two weeks.

Overall, I did terrible with the BAFTAs, only getting 9 out of 22 of my predictions right.  The BAFTAs have really come to be known for doing their own thing, which is evidenced by many of its winners.  For a full list of winners, check here, and I will be back in two weeks time to predict the big show, the Academy Awards!

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