At Sunday’s BAFTAs, home-grown favorite “The King’s Speech” leads with 14 nominations. “Black Swan” is close behind with an even dozen bids and both are among the five films up for Best Picture. Also in the running for the big prize are “Inception” (9 noms), “True Grit” (8) and “The Social Network” (6). “127 Hours” earned eight nominations but was snubbed in that top race.
Winners will be announced during a ceremony at the Royal Opera House hosted by Jonathan Ross for the fifth consecutive year. The BBC and BBC America will both air an editied edition of this 64th annual celebration of the best in cinema on Sunday evening.
Thirteen of the 20 acting nominees are also in contention at the Oscars. The Best Actor nominees line up exactly and Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) is widely expected to prevail in both races. Only three of the BAFTA Best Actress nominees are also contending at the Oscars, including frontrunners Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) and Annette Bening (“The Kids Are All Right”).
The third BAFTA leading lady is Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”) who is vying for the supporting Oscar. One of her main rivals at the Oscars — Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”) — was snubbed by the BAFTAs, though her co-star Amy Adams did pick up a nod there as well. Among the Supporting Actor BAFTA nominees are both Oscar frontrunners Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) and Geoffrey Rush (“The King’s Speech”).
Since these kudos were moved forward in 2000 to take place while academy members are still voting, they have have foreseen four Best Picture Oscar winners: “Gladiator” (2000), “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003), “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008) and “The Hurt Locker” (2009).
Last year, “The Hurt Locker” won six of its eight BAFTA bids while “Avatar” prevailed in just two of its eight races — Production Design and Visual Effects — and “An Education” took just one of its eight nominations with a Best Actress win for Carey Mulligan (“The Blind Side” starring Oscar winner Sandra Bullock was not released in time to contend) “Up in the Air” went one for six winning Adapted Screenplay while “Precious” came out on top in one of its four categories, Supporting Actress (Mo’Nique). The lone win for “Inglorious Basterds” was for Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz. Both those acting champs repeated at the Oscars. The BAFTAs went for native Colin Firth (“A Single Man”) over eventual Oscar winner Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”).
Two years ago, “Slumdog Millionaire” won with BAFTA first as did three of the four Oscar winners: Kate Winslet (“The Reader”), Heath Ledger (“The Dark Knight”) and Penelope Cruz (“Vicky Christina Barcelona”). BAFTA Best Actor champ Mickey Rourke (“The Wrestler”) lost the Oscar to Sean Penn (“Milk”).
While the British flick “Atonement” took the 2007 BAFTA Best Picture prize over eventual Oscar winner “No Country for Old Men,” all four BAFTA acting winners — Daniel Day-Lewis (“There Will Be Blood”), Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men”) and Tilda Swinton (“Michael Clayton”) — went on to repeat at the Oscars.
In 2006, her loyal subjects bowed down before “The Queen” for Best Picture edging out eventual Oscar champ “The Departed.” Again, all four of the acting champs — Forrest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland”), Helen Mirren (“The Queen”), Alan Arkin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) and Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”) — went on to win Academy Awards as well.