Sunday’s BAFTAs could be a preview of the Oscars in two weeks time thanks to a significant overlap between the two academies — upwards of 500 voters belong to both. So, it is not surprisingly then that the BAFTA Best Picture has gone on to repeat at the Academy Awards for the last six years running.
Last year, BAFTA awarded “12 Years a Slave” the top prize (but only one other) while “Gravity” claimed six, including Best Director. At the Oscars, “12 Years” also won Best Picture and two more (Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay) while “Gravity” repeated in Director, Cinematography, Score, Sound (twice) and Visual Effects and also took the Editing Oscar (BAFTA winner “Rush” was snubbed in this race). However, the British had snubbed “Dallas Buyers Club,” which scored Oscars for leading man Matthew McConaughey and supporting player Jared Leto.
So who among this year’s Oscar hopefuls was most helped and hurt by the BAFTAs?
GOOD NEWS FOR …
After losing the top prize with three guilds in a row stateside (PGA, SAG, DGA), this critics darling rallied to win Best Picture here as well as Best Director (Richard Linklater) and Patricia Arquette. This boost could not have come at a better time as Oscar voting kicked off last Friday (Feb. 6) and runs till Feb. 17.
“The Grand Budapest Hotel“
This Wes Anderson charmer had led with the most nominations (11) and won the most awards with five in all: Best Original Screenplay and Score (that one was a surprise) as well as three below-the-line races (Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, Production Design).
Damien Chazelle‘s first feature won veteran character actor J.K. Simmons his first BAFTA and also claimed Best Editing and Best Sound. While Chazelle lost his bids for directing and writing, he has to be happy with these three wins.
“The Theory of Everything”
Leading man Eddie Redmayne had the home field advantage and solidified his standing in the Best Actor race. That this biopic of Stephen Hawking also won Best British Film and Adapted Screenplay over the favored “Imitation Game” was a surprise.
BAD NEWS FOR …
While it was the only film to score three acting nominations — lead Michael Keaton and supporting players Edward Norton and Emma Stone.– and had 10 bids in total, it was all but blanked, winning only Best Cinematography. That these losses came less than 24 hours after Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu pulled off an upset at the DGA throw up at least a speed bump on the road to the Oscars.
“The Imitation Game“
This prestigious picture about a great Brit — WWII hero Alan Turing — was shut out, losing all nine of its bids. It had been expected to prevail in at least two — Adapted Screenplay and Best British Film –but lost both those races to “The Theory of Everything.”
While British writer/director Mike Leigh scored his biggest hit domestically with this biopic of revered English painter J.W.W. Turner, it only reaped four BAFTA nominations, all below-the-line, and lost all of those. By way of consolation prize, Leigh was feted with the Fellowship (akin to a lifetime achievement award).
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