Who wins BAFTAs with snubs of Oscar frontrunners Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto?

For much of this awards season we’ve been able to count on victories for “Dallas Buyers Club” stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, who won Best Actor and Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards, and SAG Awards. And they’re strong frontrunners to win at the Oscars too,

Their enviable track record makes it harder to figure out what will happen at the BAFTAs, where surprisingly neither was nominated.

While no one has won Best Actor at the Oscars without at least a BAFTA nod since 2001 (Denzel Washington, “Training Day”), and no one has done it in the Supporting Actor race since 2004 (Morgan Freeman, “Million Dollar Baby”), I don’t think McConaughey or Leto need worry that much. They’ve built up so much momentum there may be no stopping them but BAFTA could indicate potential spoilers.

Chiwetel Ejiofor is our odds-on favorite for Best Actor. The “12 Years a Slave” star gets 1/5 odds in our predictions center, likely in large part because he’s one of the only two British actors in the running – the other is Welshman Christian Bale (“American Hustle“).

BAFTA often honors its hometown favorites, like recent multiple winners Colin Firth (“A Single Man” and “The King’s Speech”) and Daniel Day-Lewis (“Gangs of New York,” “There Will Be Blood,” and “Lincoln“).

But being British isn’t a foolproof path to victory. In 2008, American Mickey Rourke (“The Wrestler”) defeated Brit Dev Patel (“Slumdog Millionaire”). And in 2006, American Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland”) bested a trio of British actors: Daniel Craig (“Casino Royale”), Richard Griffiths (“The History Boys”), and Peter O’Toole (“Venus”).

So, we should watch out also for a pair of Americans: Bruce Dern (“Nebraska“) and Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf of Wall Street“). We haven’t seen how either measures up to Ejiofor in a race without McConaughey in it, so it’s possible we’re overestimating the hometown advantage.

The Supporting Actor race may be even more unpredictable. Ejiofor’s “12 Years” co-star Michael Fassbender leads our racetrack odds, but Leto has so dominated the field throughout the season that Fassbender hasn’t had many opportunities at the podium. Will he really do as well with BAFTA voters as we expect?

Fassbender faces a pair of fellow Oscar-nominees – Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips“) and Bradley Cooper (“American Hustle“) – as well as Daniel Bruhl, a German actor playing famous Austrian Formula One racer Niki Lauda in “Rush.” While Bruhl ranks second in our odds, I think the real wild card is Matt Damon.

He is nominated for “Behind the Candelabra,” the HBO telefilm for which he competed in TV categories at the Emmys, Golden Globes, and SAG Awards, but Steven Soderbergh‘s Liberace biopic had a theatrical release in the UK.

He’s really a lead in the film – he has more screentime than his co-star Michael Douglas – which may be an advantage. This is Damon’s first time competing this performance in the supporting category; at previous events he has lost the lead-acting race to Douglas every time. With Leto out of the way, could Damon be the real spoiler?

Can anyone challenge Ejiofor and Fassbender at the BAFTAs? Make your BAFTA Best Actor predictions below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. 

15 thoughts on “Who wins BAFTAs with snubs of Oscar frontrunners Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto?

  1. Leonardo dicaptio– the best performance of the year, there has been no awards where matthew and leo have been in the same category

  2. Damon certainly would have won a bunch of awards as a supporting actor, but that would have annoyed me. He’s not just a co-lead in “Candelabra,” he’s THE lead in “Candelabra.” The whole story is told from his point of view, and he’s in just about every scene. A better case could be made for Douglas as a supporting actor in the movie.

  3. I’m not entirely convinced that Mconaughey wins BA…the movie is not highly rated and didn’t do well at the box office and it just seems unlikely to be able to support two winning actors …if 12 yas were to win BP then I could easily see EJIOFOR going along with the momentum …there’s still one month before the Oscars and EJIOFOR is gonna win big at BAFTA so things COULD change

  4. Nothing would make me happier than to see two overhyped, overpraised performances by McConaughey and Leto BOTH lose at the Oscars. These two have been unbearable in the televised awards, coming off as entitled, knowing they would win, arguably cold even. When have either given Oscar worthy performances before? Why are they hogging the PR for losing weight and “transforming”? Why are truly transformative performances ignored for gimmicks? Tranny performances don’t win Oscars, historically. And neither should actors on Neptune. I would vote for Leo and Fassy FTW. Maybe one might surprise in March…

  5. Again, McConaughey & Leto were not “snubbed.” They and their movie were ineligible for the BAFTAs since ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ *has not yet opened in the UK.* Anyway, I’m giving Best Actor to Ejiofor and Supporting Actor to Fassbender. If it’s not Ejiofor, it’ll be DiCaprio, and/or if it’s not Fassbender, it’ll probably be Damon.

  6. ChuckAmuck – MM and Leto were eligible, screeners were sent to voters and the eligibility deadline is Feb 14. BAFTA have a whole different set of rules to Oscars.

    I would think of Damon as a wild card if Michael Douglas were nominated, but he wasn’t. I think buzz on Behind the Candelabra has dissipated and Damon in lacking momentum. If there’s a wild card, it’s Brühl, as BAFTA often like to vote for Europeans and he could get sympathy votes for missing an Oscar nom. But realistically, I think Fassbender (and Ejiofor) will win out in the end.

  7. I would be shocked if Leto lost. But its not a guarantee that Matthew will win. Chiwetel and Leo could easily take the Oscar. The Academy adores roles that involves losing weight or gaining weight. I think Matthews performance is great, but overpraised. I dont want him to win. Now Leto is a different story. If Leo takes the BAFTA, then he will be a strong contender, as he took the Golden Globe and a Critics Choice. If Chiwetel takes it, then same thing. I think it will be unfair to give Bruce Dern an Oscar just because he is old and not on his performance. Personally, I think DiCaprio or Ejiofor should win the Oscar, but I wont be upset if McConaughey wins it.

  8. For this movie lover, BAFTA predictions: the great Leonardo Di Caprio will be named Best Actor. Michael Fassbender [who for this viewer, gives a GREAT performance in Twelve Years A Slave] MAY be named Best Suppoorting Actor. I do agree with the comment re Daniel Bruhl possibly winning Best Supporting Actor. Jennifer Lawrence will be named Best Supporting Actress [it appears to this viewer that the British love David O’. Russell, having awarded Silver Lining Playbook, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress in 2012]. Whoever wins, it is an exciting and unpredictable awards season [e.g., Gravity and Twelve Years A Slave tying for Best Picture at Producers Guild Awards??!!]. I love the movies.

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