The last precursor for actors on the way to the Academy Awards is the BAFTAs across the pond in Great Britain. Andrew Garfield will contend for his performance as Desmond T. Doss, a WWII medic and the first conscientious objector to earn the Medal of Honor in “Hacksaw Ridge.” Garfield lost the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor and the Golden Globe for Best Film Drama Actor to Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”). Then he lost the SAG Award to Denzel Washington (“Fences”). Can he still eke out his first major win of the season?
According to Gold Derby’s exclusive odds Garfield is currently in second place with odds of 12/1 behind Affleck, who is way out front with odds of 2/13. Garfield was a no-show at the SAG Awards, but he’s going to want to show up at the BAFTAs as I believe the odds are mistaken. Below are the top four reasons why I’m predicting him to upset.
1. Garfield is British
Joining Garfield and Affleck in competition for Best Actor are Ryan Gosling (“La La Land”), Viggo Mortensen (“Captain Fantastic”) and Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nocturnal Animals”). That makes Garfield the only Brit in the category. The BAFTAs already like Garfield, having previously awarded him Best TV Actor for “A Boy” (2007) and on the film side nominating him for Rising Star and Best Supporting Actor for “The Social Network” (2010). If the voters are feeling patriotic he’s their only option.
2. Washington was snubbed
For some mysterious reason the BAFTAs seem to hate Washington. They’ve never nominated him, which benefits Garfield. Being overdue in a self-directed performance just helped Washington win the SAG Award for Best Actor, giving him momentum towards winning the Oscar. If Washington had been nominated at BAFTA too those voters might also have been tempted to finally award the respected star directing one of his finest performances.
3. Affleck is not overdue
Which brings us to the current frontrunner, Affleck. The BAFTAs do not owe him. This is Affleck’s first nomination as he was snubbed for “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (2007). But this is really only the second time he’s been prominent in the awards conversation and the first time he’s a possible frontrunner. However, Affleck is not an overwhelming favorite, and with momentum shifting towards Washington BAFTA voters may choose Garfield, whom they’re more familiar with.
4. Whoever wins will not decisively affect the Oscar race anyway
With Washington snubbed it’ll be hard to know if the BAFTAs will have any effect on the Oscar outcome, even if Affleck wins. They could do what they did in 1995, when the BAFTAs were handed out after the Oscars. They could have chosen to rubber-stamp the Oscar winner, Tom Hanks (“Forrest Gump”), but they selected the hometown star, Hugh Grant (“Four Weddings and a Funeral”). Even with the BAFTA ceremony now held in advance of the Oscars and with a main competitor missing, they might choose Garfield, the Brit again.
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