BAFTA Awards: What will they tell us about Oscars?

This Sunday’s BAFTA Awards could reveal a lot about the Oscars thanks to a significant overlap of voters — upwards of 500. While the academy expanded its Best Picture race to 10 nominees in 2009 and then shifted to a sliding scale of between five and 10 in 2011, the BAFTAs have stuck with five. In that time the BAFTA champ has repeated at the Oscars save for last year when the Brits went with “Boyhood” while the academy embraced “Birdman.” 

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Boyhood” was only in contention for only five BAFTAs but won three big prizes: Best Picture, Director (Richard Linklater) and Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette). Only Arquette went on to win an Oscar. Conversely, “Birdman” prevailed with just one of its 10 BAFTA bids: Best Cinematography. It then won in that Oscar race as well as Picture, Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu) and Original Screenplay. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” won five of its leading 11 BAFTA nominations: Original Screenplay, Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, Production Design and Score; it repeated in all of those save screenplay. “Whiplash” went three for five by claiming Best Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons), Editing and Sound; it also pulled off that hat trick at the Oscars. And leads Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) and Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”) got a chance to practice their Oscar acceptance speeches. 

Let’s take a closer look at this year’s top Oscar nominees and how they are expected to fare at the BAFTAs. 

The Revenant 
This epic adventure contends in eight races here and is predicted to win Best Picture, Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu), Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki); all three men are expected to repeat at the Oscars. It is also nominated at BAFTA in four below-the-line categories: Film Editing, Makeup & Hairstyling, Music and Sound.

Spotlight
While the current frontrunner for the top Oscar does number among the five BAFTA nominees for Best Picture, it was limited to just two other races: Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo) and Original Screenplay (co-written by director Tom McCarthy). We are predicting it will prevail in the latter both here and at the Oscars.

Bridge of Spies
This Steven Spielberg spy thriller scooped up a leading nine nominations (tied with “Carol’): Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor Mark Rylance (who is predicted to win), Adapted Screenplay and five below-the-line races (Cinematography, Film Editing, Music, Production Design and Sound). This marks the sixth BAFTA bid for Spielberg as helmer but his first since “Saving Private Ryan” back in 1998; he won for “Schindler’s List” in 1993. Rylance is expected to lose the Oscar to Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”) who was snubbed by BAFTA. 

UPDATED: BAFTA predictions by Experts in all categories

Carol
This Todd Haynes period drama did much better here than at the Oscars with nine nominations including Best Picture and Director (it was snubbed in both by the academy) as well as Actress (Cate Blanchett), Supporting Actress Rooney Mara (who is predicted to win), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design (which it is predicted to win), Makeup & Hairstyling and Production Design. However, Mara is expected to lose the Oscar to Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”) who contends in lead at BAFTA while costumer Sandy Powell is predicted to win the Oscar for “Cinderella” rather than “Carol.” 

The Big Short
While it has only five nominations, they are in key categories: Best Picture, Director (Adam McKay), Supporting Actor (Christian Bale), Adapted Screenplay (which it is predicted to win at both BAFTA and the Oscars) and Film Editing.

Mad Max: Fury Road
It did not reap bids for either Best Picture or Director despite widespread support below-the-line. It is predicted to win five of those seven bids: Film Editing, Production Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, Sound and Visual Effects and repeat in those races at the Oscars. It also contends here for Cinematography and Costume Design. 

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