BAFTA Awards predictions: Battle of the British in Best Supporting Actor

In 2010, Christian Bale co-starred in “The Fighter” as Dicky Eklund , a former boxer and recovering drug addict who helps train his brother to be a prizefighter. He would be feted with at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and numerous critics groups on his way to collecting an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. His one hiccup came at the BAFTAs where Geoffrey Rush proved victorious for “The King’s Speech”.

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He was nominated by the BAFTAs again in 2013 for “American Hustle,” this time for Best Actor. Fate did not prove to be kind to Bale, when once again he would walk away empty-handed. He would lose to another Brit, Chiwetel Ejiofor for “12 Years a Slave”. Both lost that Oscar race to Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club”). 

But third time could prove the charm for Bale. He’s currently nominated once again in Best Supporting Actor for “The Big Short”. He stars as Michael Burry, the first fellow to figure out that there was an opportunity to make money by shorting the housing market.

This year’s BAFTA race has been in flux. According to our exclusive odds, the Welsh-born Bale will have to overtake two other British thespians — Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies) and Idris Elba (“Beasts of No Nation“) — to finally win on his home turf. 

Rylance is often referred to as the greatest stage actor of his generation and has the hardware to prove it (two Olivier Awards and three Tony Awards). The actor, who was also artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater for a decade, won a BAFTA TV award winner for “The Government Inspector” (2005). After being bested at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice by Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”), who is not in contention here, and at the SAG Awards by Elba, Rylance could be rewarded by his fellow Brits. He leads among those making predictions at Gold Derby, with the support of 9 of 11 Experts, 4 of 7 Editors, 20 of the Top 24 (those two dozen folks who did the best predicting last year’s BAFTA winners) and two-thirds of all users. 

UPDATED: BAFTA predictions by Experts in all categories

However, after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy the BAFTAs might want to take this opportunity to honor Elba as did the SAG Awards, where he also won on the TV side for “Luther.” He has the backing of 1 Expert, 2 Editors, 3 of the Top 24 and 30% of users. 

Bale’s biggest problem with BAFTA voters might be that he is perceived as a Hollywood actor. His most notable roles have been American, including in  the Batman franchise as well as his three BAFTA nominated performances. However, an Expert and an Editor as well as one of the Top 24 and 5% of users think he will pull off an upset. 

The other two nominees — Mark Rufflalo (“Spotlight”) and Benicio Del Toro (“Sicario”) — have only a smattering of support each. 

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Who do you think will win Best Supporting Actor at the BAFTAs? Make your predictions starting with that category to the right or at the bottom of this post.

You’ll compete to win our contest prize for best picks — a $100 Amazon gift certificate — as well as a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s DGA nominations). Be sure to read our contest rules.

Photos: Mark Rylance in “Bridge of Spies” (Disney); Christian Bale in “The Big Short” (Paramount); Idris Elba in “Beasts of No Nation” (Netflix)

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