Tue. Aug 11th, 2020

BAFTA Preview and Winner Predictions: Is The Revenant Inevitable?

Last year's BAFTA acting winners, all of whom went on to win the Oscar
Last year’s BAFTA acting winners (from left; Juliann Moore, Patricia Arquette, Eddie Redmayne and J.K. Simmons), all of whom went on to win the Oscar


The BAFTAs are this weekend (that’s the British Academy of Film and Television Arts) and in this topsy-turvy awards season we could see another tide change or the solidifying of the new and final frontrunner for the Oscars. Of course I’m talking about The Revenant and that it’s snagged the lead from both Spotlight and The Big Short after its director, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, won the DGA last week.

Whatever ends up winning Best Film here is going to give us, and the Academy as it enters the voting period, a lot to talk about. If The Big Short comes back to win this (McKay is nominated for director, there is support) then the PGA stat of the last six years will hold strong. If Spotlight somehow manages a win (doubtful without a director nomination) then we look backwards and wonder why we discounted the early frontrunner in the first place. If it’s The Revenant, we’re probably looking at a few things: the effect of the Birdman/Iñárritu snub last year, the desire for BAFTA to look like aligns itself with the Oscars and the chance to reward an epic. Often, predictors will discount a film as being ‘too American’ for the British group but I find that a hollow argument. But, if Spotlight or The Big Short lose I can guarantee it will be tossed out there as a reason.

The two lead acting categories feel just about as locked as they do at the Oscars. There is no way Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) is losing so it’s kind of pointless to even talk about an alternative. For actress it should be Brie Larson (Room). She’s won everything so far and I don’t see a surprise win from Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), her only true competitor, at this point in the race. Now watch Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van) show up and make a fool of everyone.

The supporting categories are yet again a bit of a mystery in that the Oscar frontrunners aren’t even nominated. In supporting actress, the presumed frontrunner Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) is nominated in that category, but for Ex Machina. She’s nominated for The Danish Girl in lead, just as she was at the Globes. She lost both bids there; to Brie Larson in lead and Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) in supporting. She’s up against both women in their respective categories again and could presumably end up with the same result. There’s a good case to be made for Rooney Mara (Carol) here in that it might be the best shot for the top nominated film to grab an award (other than Costumes).

Supporting actor is even more complicated. When Sylvester Stallone (Creed) won the Globe, no one was surprised and we saw it as the beginning of his coronation to the Oscars. Without a nomination from SAG or BAFTA it would be his only awards show win before the long gap between the Globes and the Academy Awards. Then came SAG, which was thought to be a fight between Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) and Christian Bale (The Big Short). But Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation) bested them both in an historic win. Now the three are nominated together again (along with Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo for Spotlight) and we have a real puzzler on our hands. Could Elba pull it off again? He’s never been a BAFTA darling (this is his first nomination) but there could be a sincere effort from the Brits to help steer the #OscarsSoWhite year to calmer waters like SAG did. So what of Mark Rylance and Christian Bale? At the moment Rylance seems like a possible default winner here (most nominated film) but if The Big Short makes a dent outside of Adapted Screenplay then Bale is a possibility. But both seem like total afterthoughts, passionless picks.

Just like at the Oscars, The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road will be fighting it out for the lion’s share of the tech awards. They’re going to head to head in four categories (10 at the Oscars) but the huge snub of Mad Max in the top two categories gives me a bit of pause as to its strength here. But then, BAFTA has been more willing to let a single film sweep but a split between the two films makes the most sense. The Grand Budapest Hotel walked off with five wins just last year and Gravity with six the year before that but neither won the top award. The last time the winner of Best Film also swept the majority of the other awards was 2011’s The Artist, it won seven. Keep an eye on the Editing category; if it goes to The Big Short we’re probably looking at it to take Best Film. Same goes for The Revenant. But, if it’s Mad Max, all bets are off.

Here are my WINNER predictions and alternates for this year’s BAFTA awards.

Best Film
Winner: The Revenant
Alternate: The Big Short

Best Director
Winner: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
Alternate: Adam McKay, The Big Short

Best Leading Actor
Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Alternate: Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Best Leading Actress
Winner: Brie Larson, Room
Alternate: Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Alternate: Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Alternate: Rooney Mara, Carol

Best Original Screenplay
Winner: Spotlight
Alternate: Bridge of Spies

Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: The Big Short
Alternate: Carol

Outstanding British Film
Winner: Brooklyn
Alternate: Ex Machina

Best Film Not in the English Language
Winner: Force Majeure
Alternate: Theeb

Best Animated Film
Winner: Inside Out
Alternate: Shaun the Sheep Movie

Best Documentary
Winner: Amy
Alternate: Cartel Land

Best Original Music
Winner: The Hateful Eight
Alternate: The Revenant

Best Editing
Winner: The Revenant
Alternate: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Cinematography
Winner: The Revenant
Alternate: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Production Design
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road
Alternate: Bridge of Spies

Best Costume Design
Winner: Carol
Alternate: Cinderella

Best Make Up & Hair
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road
Alternate: The Revenant

Best Sound
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road
Alternate: The Revenant

Best Special Visual Effects
Winner: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Alternate: Mad Max: Fury Road

Rising Star Award
Winner: Dakota Johnson
Alternate: Taron Egerton

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