Monday, February 17, 2014

12 Years a Slave pulls off Best Film at the British Academy Awards (BAFTA)

I have never watched the BAFTA ceremony, but decided that I would tonight, I did twitter blackout, but damn sent out an e-mail too, so there was one minor spoiler, but otherwise this is a great ceremony.  Like a true Brit the show is direct, but unlike the Oscars this ceremony focuses on the films, shows clips, and highlights things the Oscars do not.  To be fair not all of their categories are televised, maybe that's the key that could help out the Oscars.

Tonight opened up a lot of questions for the Oscar race going forward.  There are several winners whose fate are sealed, Cuaron as director for Gravity, and Blanchett for Blue Jasmine.  Yet there were many which were unexpected.  Many people predicted that Philomena would win Outstanding British Film, and Gravity would win Best Film, but Gravity won best British Film and 12 Years a Slave won Best Film.  Slave only won two prizes the whole night, it was even bested by Philomena for Adapated Screenplay, oh yea watch out for that happen on Oscar night too.  This was a night of surprises.

Speaking of surprises Jennifer Lawrence beating Lupita Nyong'o was one of the biggest of the night.  Many people have to remember while Lawrence won the Oscar last year, she lost the BAFTA to Emanuelle Riva for Amour.  There is also a statistic that every person who has won both the Golden Globe, and BAFTA will win the Oscar, can Jennifer Lawrence make it two in a row? Doubtful, but it has happened Jason Robards did for All the Presidents Men (1976) and Julia (1977). At the moment I am sticking with Lupita.

Where were the men of Dallas Buyer Club?  The film opened late in England so Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto did not make the cut.  Barkhad Abdi was another upset of the night, many predicted Michael Fassbender, heck I even had Matt Damon as the spoiler, but the British Academy liked Phillips so his win makes sense.  Can Abdi steal thunder from Leto, maybe, but look for Leto to win.

The real question mark for me is in Lead Actor, a week or so ago Tom O'Neil from changed his prediction to Leonardo DiCaprio, while many Oscar journalists scoffed, I think he is on an interesting path.  Many have said McConaughey has had this in the bag, but he has only won the Globe and SAG, no other prize.  While those are two of the bigger awards, I can't help but think its rare for a film to win two acting prizes without being in a serious Best Picture contender.  In the 2000s only two films have won 2 acting prizes, Million Dollar Baby, it won Best Picture, and The Fighter.  The Fight is a similar situation, so that makes sense, but is McConaughey vulnerable? Possibly.

Who would beat him Matt?  Anyone but Bale can beat him.  Chiwetel won the BAFTA, Leonardo won the Globe too, but watch out for Dern as well.  The Academy voters are like voters in a general election old white men, who  else would they connect with more? Dern!  Nicholson is on his side, and we saw how that worked for Adrien Brody.  Can Ejiofor make for more wins for Slave, the film just can't seem to get anymore wins, which is baffling, and their Best Picture wins almost seem like pity votes, the way you vote for Ralph Nader, because you don't want to hurt his feelings.  At the end of the day people may be over thinking this race, but its the most up in the air.

In the tech categories, there is even some unknowns.  At this moment I am sticking with The Great Gatsby in Production Design and Costume Design, but Production Design threw people for a loop going for Lincoln last year, many predicted Les Miserables.  Production Design could go to Gravity, or 12 Years a Slave.  Costume could go to American Hustle.  Gravity is not winning Editing, while Rush (a British film) won at BAFTA this will go to Captain Phillips on Oscar night.  There are so many potential upsets this is going to be one of the most exciting Oscars in two weeks,

Best Picture – 12 Years a Slave
Best Director – Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Best Actor – Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Best Actress – Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actor – Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Best Supporting Actress – Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Best Adapted Screenplay – Philomena, Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
Best Original Screenplay – American Hustle, Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Best Cinematography – Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
Best Documentary – The Act of Killing
Best Animated Feature – Frozen
Best Music – Gravity, Steven Price
Best British Film – Gravity
Best Editing – Rush
Best Production Design – The Great Gatsby
Best Costume Design – The Great Gatsby
Best Sound – Gravity
Best Hair & Make – American Hustle
Best British Short, Live Action – Room 8
Best British Short, Animation – Sleeping with the Fishes
Outstanding British Debut – Kelly & Victor
BAFTA Rising Star – Will Poulter

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