Will Rachel Weisz cash in her BAFTA I.O.U. for ‘The Favourite’?

With Golden Globe champ Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) and SAG Awards winner Emily Blunt (“A Quiet Place”) out of the picture, the Best Supporting Actress race at the BAFTAs is wide open. Our Experts are placing their chips on homegrown talent Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”), who’s holding an I.O.U. from the organization after losing for “The Constant Gardener” (2005). Will she cash in her overdue status with BAFTA voters?

Weisz ran the table 13 years ago for the John Le Carre adaptation, which brought her Oscar, Golden Globe, and SAG victories as Best Supporting Actress. Yet she lost at BAFTA, perhaps because the British academy actually nominated her as a leading actress against Reese Witherspoon (“Walk the Line”), who won both the BAFTA and the Oscar that year.

SEE Fiona Crombie Interview: ‘The Favourite’

“The Favourite” casts Weisz as Lady Sarah, a loyal aide to the frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman). When Sarah’s cousin (Emma Stone) arrives and becomes a servant, the two battle for the monarch’s affections.

In a neat bit of art imitating life, Weisz has found herself battling against Stone in the Best Supporting Actress race all season long. The two lost the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice prizes to King, but King was snubbed at both the SAG and BAFTA Awards. That opened the door for the “Favourite” rivals,” but rather than go with Weisz, Stone, or even Amy Adams (“Vice”), SAG threw a wrench in the race by rewarding Blunt, who was conspicuously absent from the academy’s list. So for anyone hoping to halt King’s momentum towards the Oscars, BAFTA is their last stand.

SEE Tony McNamara Interview: ‘The Favourite’

According to the predictions of Gold Derby users, Weisz is far and away the favourite to win her first BAFTA with odds of 82/25. In fact, her film is expected to win 6 other awards out of its 12 nominations: Best Picture, Best Actress (Colman), Best Original Screenplay (Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara), Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best British Film. So it would be surprising, to say the least, to see one of England’s own overlooked for this very regal affair.

Should Weisz prevail at the BAFTAs, she could mirror Mark Rylance‘s awards trajectory for “Bridge of Spies” (2015). That year the presumed frontrunner was Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”), who won Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Awards despite missing the cut at SAG and BAFTA, much like King has done. And just as they did with Blunt, the guild went their own way and rewarded the academy-snubbed Idris Elba (“Beasts of No Nation”). BAFTA went for hometown favorite Rylance, who then repeated at the Oscars. Could the same happen to Weisz? She’d better hope the Brits are aching to give her a career-first prize to help boost her chances.

PREDICT the Oscar winners now; change them until February 24

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 2019 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.

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