BAFTAs bring back Joanna Lumley to host for a second year in a row

Joanna Lumley had big shoes to fill last year when she took over as host of the BAFTA Awards from Stephen Fry, who had presided over these ceremonies for a dozen years. She quickly won over the audience, both in the Royal Albert Hall and watching worldwide, with her wit and warmth. Taking a page from Billy Crystal‘s playbook as host of the Oscars, Lumley appeared in an opening film that saw her interacting with several of the leading nominees.

Since moving ahead of the Oscars in 2000, the BAFTAs have become one of the key stops on the road to the Dolby Theater. These kudos have foreseen eight of the 17 Best Picture Oscar winners; however, they missed out on the last four top Academy Awards winners in a row.

In 2018,  BAFTA voters rewarded the home-grown “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” with five wins: Best Picture, Best Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell), Best Original Screenplay (Martin McDonagh) and Best British Film. While McDormand and Rockwell repeated at the Oscars, the Best Picture Academy Award went to “The Shape of Water.”

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That film won three BAFTAs from its leading 12 bids: Best Director (Guillermo Del Toro), Best Production Design and Best Score. The other multiple winners were “Darkest Hour,” which took both Best Actor (Gary Oldman) and Best Makeup and Hair and “Blade Runner 2049,” which claimed Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects.

Nominations for this year’s BAFTA Awards will be revealed on January 9, which is two days after balloting begins for this year’s Academy Awards. That voting ends on Jan. 14, with the nominations for the 91st annual Oscars announced on Jan. 22

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