On Tuesday (Jan. 9), the British Academy of Film and Television Academy (BAFTA) unveiled nominations for the 71st annual edition of its movie awards. While the BAFTA bids were announced four days before Oscar nominations voting ends on Friday (Jan. 12), the winners will be revealed on Feb. 18 (two days before final Oscar voting begins). Since the BAFTAs moved up in 2000 to take place before the Oscars, these kudos have foreseen eight of the 16 Best Picture Oscar winners. (See the full list of BAFTA nominations.)
The BAFTAs have missed out on the last three top Academy Awards winners in a row. Last year, the British academy honored “La La Land” while the Oscars went with “Moonlight”; in 2016, the BAFTAs embraced “The Revenant” over eventual Oscar winner “Spotlight” and in 2015 the Brits opted for “Boyhood” over the academy favorite “Birdman.” However, they got it right in the first five years of the expanded Best Picture race: “The Hurt Locker” (2010), “The King’s Speech” (2011), “The Artist” (2012), “Argo” (2013) and “12 Years a Slave” (2014). And the British academy also previewed the Oscar wins for “Gladiator” (2001), “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2004) and “Slumdog Millionaire” (2009).
Let’s take a closer look at each of the most recent eight years and see how often (or not) the Brits hit the bullseye when it came to predicting the Oscar winners.
Last year, “La La Land” won five of its leading 11 BAFTA bids: Picture, Director (Damien Chazelle), Actress (Emma Stone), Cinematography and Score. It repeated at the Oscars in all of those, save the top one. It also won the Academy Award for Best Production Design (that BAFTA went to the British-made “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”) and Best Song (the BAFTAs don’t have that category).
“Manchester by the Sea” took the two awards it went on to win at the Oscars: Best Actor (Casey Affleck) and Original Screenplay (Kenneth Lonergan). Likewise for “Fences” with the Supporting Actress win for Viola Davis. However, just as that film reaped just one nomination with BAFTA (versus four at the Oscars), so too was “Moonlight” short-changed here. It lost all four of its BAFTA bids but won three of its eight Oscar races: Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) and Adapted Screenplay.
In 2016, BAFTA was enamored with “The Revenant,” which won five of its eight nominations including Picture, Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu), Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Cinematography and Sound. That epic Western was coming off a historic victory for Inarritu at the DGA, who became the first helmer to repeat in the 67-year history of those awards, having won in 2014 for “Birdman.” However, he had been all but spurned by BAFTA for that latter film, which won only one of its 10 bids (Cinematography). So keen were British academy voters to make this up to him that “The Revenant” became the first BAFTA Best Picture champ to have been snubbed for its screenplay since “The Last Emperor” back in 1988; that one went on to win the top Oscar.
“The Big Short” won just one of its five BAFTA bids — Best Adapted Screenplay — while “Spotlight” went one for three, claiming only Best Original Screenplay. Both films repeated in those races at the Oscars. Eventual Best Actress Oscar winner Brie Larson (“Room”) and Supporting Actor champ Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”) also prevailed here first. However, Alicia Vikander lost in lead here for “The Danish Girl” before winning in supporting at the Oscars.
In 2015, “Boyhood” was only in contention for five awards 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” claimed just one of its 10 bids here: Best Cinematography. It then prevailed 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 those at the Oscars but for Score. “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.
In 2014, “12 Years a Slave” won just two of its 10 BAFTA bids — Picture and Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor). At the Oscars, “12 Years” won Best Picture but Ejiofor lost to Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club”) who had been snubbed by BAFTA. “12 Years” also won Oscars for Supporting Actress Lupita Nyongo over, among others, BAFTA champ Jennifer Lawrence (“American Hustle”) and John Ridley who claimed Adapted Screenplay over rivals that included BAFTA winner “Philomena.”
“Gravity” won six of its leading 11 BAFTA nominations: Director (Alfonso Cuaron), Cinematography, Score, Sound, Visual Effects and British Film. At the Oscars, it repeated in Director, Cinematography, Score, Sound (twice) and Visual Effects and also took the Editing Oscar (BAFTA winner “Rush” was snubbed in this race). The other BAFTA/Oscar double dippers were: Best Actress Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”), Animated Feature “Frozen,” Foreign Language Film “The Great Beauty” and “The Great Gatsby” for both Costume and Production Design. In other Oscar races, BAFTA Supporting Actor winner Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips”) was bested by the BAFTA-snubbed Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”); Spike Jonze won Original Screenplay for “Her” over, among others, the BAFTA-winning “American Hustle”); and the makeup/hairstyle award went to “Dallas Buyers Club,” which had been shut out at BAFTA (the winner of that race, “American Hustle,” was not nominated at the Oscars).
In 2013, “Argo” won only three of its seven BAFTA races, but they were big ones: Picture, Director (Ben Affleck) and Editing. While Affleck was snubbed by the Oscars, his film won Best Picture there as well as the editing and adapted screenplay prizes (“Silver Linings Playbook” had claimed the latter at the BAFTAs.)
Other repeat winners with both the BAFTAs and Oscars included: “Les Miserables,” which claimed Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway), Makeup & Hair and Sound at both kudos (as well as Production Design at BAFTA); “Django Unchained” which took Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz) and Original Screenplay at both; and Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”) who was named Best Actor on both sides of the pond.
In 2012, “The Artist” won seven of its leading 12 BAFTA bids — Best Picture, Director & Original Screenplay (Michel Hazanavicius), Actor (Jean Dujardin), Cinematography, Costume Design and Score. At the Oscars, it repeated in five of those — Picture, Director, Actor, Costume Design and Score.
“The Iron Lady” won two of its three BAFTA bids: Best Actress (Meryl Streep) and Makeup and repeated with both at the Oscars. And “Hugo,” which reaped nine BAFTA nods, won two as well — Production Design and Sound. At the Oscars, it won both those plus Cinematography, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects. “The Help” won just one of its five BAFTA races — Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer); she also claimed the Oscar. And Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”) became the oldest BAFTA acting champ with his Supporting Actor win for “Beginnners” before doing the same at the Oscars.
In 2011, “The King’s Speech” won seven of its 14 BAFTA bids — Picture, Actor (Colin Firth), Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush), Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter), Original Screenplay, Score and Best British Film. At the Oscars, it only repeated for Best Picture, Actor and Original Screenplay. While helmer Tom Hooper had been bested at BAFTA by David Fincher (“The Social Network”), he won the Academy Award.
At BAFTA, “The Social Network” had batted .500, prevailing in three of its six races — Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editing. It won the latter two at the Oscars as well as Score. And while Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) repeated as Best Actress at the Oscars, the supporting awards went to “The Fighter” featured players Christian Bale (who had contended at BAFTA) and Melissa Leo (who had not).
And in 2010, “The Hurt Locker” won six of its eight BAFTA bids and repeated at the Oscars for Best Picture, Director (Kathryn Bigelow), Original Screenplay, Editing and Sound. “Avatar” prevailed in just two of its eight BAFTA categories — Production Design and Visual Effects — and also won those at the Oscars as well as Cinematography over BAFTA champ “Hurt Locker.”
“An Education” took just one of its eight nominations with a Best Actress win for Carey Mulligan (“The Blind Side” starring Oscar winner Sandra Bullock was not released in time to contend). “Up in the Air” went one for six winning Adapted Screenplay; it was shut out of the Oscars, losing that writing race to “Precious,” which had come out on top in one of its four BAFTA categories, Supporting Actress (Mo’Nique) who also won at the Oscars. The lone win for “Inglorious Basterds” at both awards was for Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz. The BAFTAs went for native Colin Firth (“A Single Man”) over eventual Oscar winner Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”).
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.