The 2018 British Academy Film Awards were held on Sunday, Feb. 10 at Royal Albert Hall in London. The 72nd annual BAFTAS hosted by Joanna Lumley (“Absolutely Fabulous”) serves as a preview of next month’s Oscars. Final voting for the 91st annual Academy Awards begins on Tuesday (Feb. 12).
“The Favourite” leads among nominated films at these important precursor prizes with a whopping 12 bids. Four films — “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star is Born” — are tied for second place at seven while “Vice” earned six, “BlacKkKlansman” has five and both “Cold War” and “Green Book” received four apiece.
Four more films are three-time nominees: “Mary Poppins Returns,” “Mary Queen of Scots,” “Stan & Ollie” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Oscar Best Picture hopeful “Black Panther” was shut out save for a bid for Best Visual Effects.
The roster of presenters includes: Riz Ahmed, Yalitza Aparicio, Jamie Bell, Cate Blanchett, Mary J. Blige, Lucy Boynton, Rachel Brosnahan, Lily Collins, Elizabeth Debicki, Marina de Tavira, Taron Egerton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Luke Evans, Joseph Fiennes, Henry Golding, Danai Gurira, Salma Hayek, Regina King, Olga Kurylenko, Richard Madden, Eddie Marsan, Bill Nighy, Sophie Okonedo, Gary Oldman, Ellen Page, Will Poulter, Michelle Rodriguez, Andy Serkis, Eleanor Tomlinson and Michelle Yeoh.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have just arrived; Prince William is the patron of the BAFTAs and will be presenting the fellowship to Oscar-winning film editor Thelma Schoonmaker at the end of the evening. But first there are a slew of competitive awards to give out.
The show opened with a pre-recorded film bit as it did last year when Lumley was inter-cut calling various characters from nominated films “darling” a la Patsy from “AbFab.” This year, she was seen clad in costumes evocative of characters from the nominees.
Cirque du Soleil is going to present performances throughout the evening that are themed to some of the films in contention. First up is a homage to seven-time nominee “First Man.”
Lumley is as effervescent as ever, and is certainly comfortable as emcee. She took over from Stephen Fry last year, who had hosted 12 ceremonies in a row. Lumley referenced the trouble that the Oscars are having in finding some to host and credited her gig to staying off social media. She is making merry with some of the nominees, and is particularly enamored with five-time contender Bradley Cooper.
Don’t look for his “A Star is Born” leading lady though. Lady Gaga is nominated for Best Actress but skipped these awards to perform at the Grammys in Los Angeles. While we expect her to lose at the BAFTAs, she is predicted to win four Grammy Awards, including both Song and Record of the Year for “Shallow,” which featured in the film. Cooper will share in two of those wins as her duet partner on this chart-topping tune.
Best Actress nominee Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me”) presented the first award, Best British Film, to “The Favourite.” Last year, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” won both this award and Best Picture. We expect “The Favourite” to do the same.
Lily Collins and Olga Kurylenko present Best Animated Film to Oscar frontrunner “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse.” It only had to get past two of its Oscar rivals here: “Incredibles 2” and “Isle of Dogs.”
To move the ceremony along, producers had Collins and Kurylenko also present Best Production Design, which went as expected to “The Favourite.” Fiona Crombie has already won at the Art Directors Guild Awards and is favored (sorry!) to win the Oscar.
“Crazy Rich Asians” breakout star Henry Golding and Eleanor Tomlinson, who had a small role in “Colette” but is best-known for TV’s “Poldark,” present Best Sound to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” That was a surprise with either “First Man” or “A Star is Born” expected to win.
Tomlinson and Golding also announce the winner of Best Film Editing which went to “Vice.” We had thought that “Bohemian Rhapsody” was a slam dunk for this award.
“Boho” scene stealer Lucy Boynton and “The Handmaid’s Tale” leading man Joseph Fiennes present a pair of prizes as well. First up is Best Documentary Feature, which goes to “Free Solo.” Chalk that up as another surprise with many predicting this award would go to Peter Jackson‘s WWI tribute “They Shall Not Grow Old.”
“The Favourite” is living up to its name, winning Best Makeup and Hair over the overwhelming frontrunner “Vice.”
Mary J. Blige and Ellen Page reveal that Rachel Weisz won Best Supporting Actress over, among others, her co-star in “The Favourite,” Emma Stone. One of their Oscar rivals, Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) was snubbed by the BAFTAs.
However, King did cross the pond and joins Welsh heartthrob Luke Evans to present the Rising Star Award to Letitia Wright (“Black Panther”), who gave a heartfelt speech expressing her gratitude to the BAFTAs for being there for her at a low time in her life.
Another pair of Oscar nominees who were overlooked by the BAFTAs — Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira from “Roma” — present the Adapted Screenplay award to “BlacKkKlansman.” Director Spike Lee worked on this script with David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel and Kevin Wilmott,
“Black Panther” co-stars Danai Gurira and Andy Serkis announce another shocker: “A Star is Born” won Best Original Music. Cooper, who numbered this among his five bids, accepts.
“Widows” co-stars Elizabeth Debicki and Michelle Rodriguez present Best Original Screenplay to, no surprise here, “The Favourite.” Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara are tipped to win the Oscar too.
“Widows” only got one nomination — for leading lady Viola Davis. She presents the Best Supporting Actor award to Oscar frontrunner Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”). We had thought that the home-grown favourite Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”) might pull off an upset.
Rising British talent Will Poulter and “Crazy Rich Asian” grande dame Michelle Yeoh present Best Cinematography to Alfonso Cuaron for “Roma.” Among those he bested was Lukasz Zal who won the ASC award on Saturday for “Cold War.” Cuaron only handled the lensing as well as helming because his pal Emmanuel Lubezki was too busy.
A trio of British talent — Jamie Bell, Taron Egerton and Richard Madden — reveal that Best Visual Effects went to “Black Panther,” which counted this as its only nomination.
Thandie Newton and Sophie Okonedo give Alfonso Cuaron his second award of the evening when “Roma” wins Best Foreign Language Film.
Rising Star nominee Cynthia Erivo and veteran actor Eddie Marsan give “The Favourite” its sixth win of the night with Sandy Powell collecting her third Costume Design award. She was also nominated for “Mary Poppins Returns.”
Salma Hayek is delighted to hand the Best Director award to her compatriot Cuaron, who also hails from Mexico.
Margot Robbie, who lost her Best Supporting Actress bid for “Mary Queen of Scots,” reveals the closely-fought Best Actor race goes to Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”). As with the supporting actor race, we had thought that the British Christian Bale (“Vice”) might prevail. Malek makes mention of Dexter Fletcher, who replaced Bryan Singer as director but is credited only as an executive producer.
Last year’s Best Actor winner, Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”) presents Best Actress to another Brit, Olivia Colman, bringing the haul for “The Favorite” to six. Colman, who has three BAFTAs for her TV work, gives an endearingly heartfelt speech.
Chiwetel Ejiofor saved the biggest upset for last with “Roma” winning Best Picture. That meant “The Favourite” had to settle for six wins to four for the Oscar frontrunner, with Cuaron having his name on each of those.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on February 24.