The 2020 British Academy Film Awards were held on Sunday, February 2 at Royal Albert Hall in London. The 73rd annual BAFTAS hosted by Graham Norton serves as a preview of next Sunday’s Oscars. Final voting for the 92nd annual Academy Awards ends on Tuesday (Feb. 4).
“Joker” leads among nominated films at these important precursor prizes with a whopping 11 bids. Two films — “The Irishman” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” — are tied for second place at 10 each while “1917” earned nine. “Jojo Rabbit” has an even half dozen nominations while “Marriage Story,” “The Two Popes,” and “Little Women” received five apiece. A trio of films — “Parasite,” “Rocketman,” and “For Sama” — each has four bids while another three — “Bombshell,” “Judy,” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” — are at three apiece.
Among those taking to the stage to present the BAFTA Awards winners were: Joe Alwyn, Gillian Anderson, Aisling Bea, Zazie Beetz, John Boyega, Asa Butterfield, Dean-Charles Chapman, Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, Stephen Graham, Hugh Grant, Richard E. Grant, Roman Griffin Davis, Naomie Harris, Sharon Horgan, Daniel Kaluuya, Vanessa Kirby, George MacKay, Ian McKellen, Daisy Ridley, Andrew Scott, Kristin Scott Thomas, Song Kang Ho, Mark Strong, Jodie Turner-Smith and Rebel Wilson.
Follow along with our live blog as we bring you all the results hours before the show airs on the BBC.
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6:30 p.m: The red carpet is wrapping up. All of the actresses nominated made the trip but four of the fellows didn’t, including leading man Leonardo DiCaprio. Also MIA are three of the nominees for Best Supporting Actor: Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins and Joe Pesci. The latter trio is tipped to lose to Leo’s co-star in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Brad Pitt.
6:50 p.m.: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have just arrived; Prince William is the patron of the BAFTAs and will be presenting the fellowship to producer Kathleen Kennedy at the end of the evening. But first there are a slew of competitive awards to give out. For fashionistas, Kate is recycling a gold Alexander McQueen gown that she first wore to state dinner in Malaysia back in 2012.
7:00 p.m.: Graham Norton is an old hand at hosting the TV edition of the BAFTA awards but this is his first stint as emcee on the film side. Last year’s host was Joanna Lumley, who had a tough time as the first follow-up act to Stephen Fry who had presided over 12 ceremonies in a row.
7:05 p.m. Norton makes merry with some of the nominees, noting that he has company as “there’s more than one Irishman here tonight that seems to go on and on.” And, he admits he thought “Parasite” was “a new category for agents.”
7:07 p.m.: “Jojo Rabbit” director Taika Waititi and the film’s scene-stealing newcomer Roman Griffin Davis present Best British Film to “1917.” In the 27 years since this category was brought back in 1992, only two films have won both this award and Best Picture: “The King’s Speech” (2010; also Best Picture Oscar) and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017).
7:10 p.m.: Comedy stars Aisling Bea and Asim Chaudhry are presenting two awards. Animated Film and Make-Up and Hair. The winner of Best Animated Film is “Klaus.” It only had to get past one of its Oscar rivals here: “Toy Story 4” as well as “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmaggedon” and “Frozen 2.”
7:15 p.m.: Best Makeup and Hair goes to Oscar frontrunner “Bombshell.” Three of the other nominees, “1917,” “Joker” and “Judy” are also in contention at the Academy Awards.
7:17 p.m.: Mark Strong is presenting the two short film categories, which are restricted to home-grown fare only: British Animated Short and British Short. The former is won by “Grandad Was a Romantic” while the latter goes to the documentary”Learning to Skateboard in a War Zone (If You’re a Girl”), which is an Oscar nominee.
7:24 p.m.: Niamh Algar and Joe Alwyn present Best Original Score to Oscar frontrunner Hildur Guðnadóttir for “Joker.” Among those she bested were three of her Oscar rivals: “1917,” “Little Women” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” She credits the film’s director, Todd Phillips as :a master for having steered that ship.”
7:27 p.m.: Algar and Alwyn reveal that “1917” has won the Best Sound award. Unlike the Oscars, the BAFTAs combine the achievements of both sound mixing and sound editing into one category.
7:30 p.m.: Ella Balinska & Andrew Scott (aka the hot priest from “Fleabag” reveal that “1917” has also won Best Production Design over, among others, three of its Oscar rivals: “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
7:33 p.m.: They also reveal that Jacqueline Curran claimed Best Costume Design for “Little Women” over three of the other Academy Awards nominees: “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
7:37 p.m.: Another duo, Lily Rose Depp and Anthony Welsh, are onstage to present a pair of prizes. Best Film Editing goes to Oscar frontrunners Andrew Buckland and Michael McCusker for “Ford V Ferrari” (“Le Mans ’66” on this side of the pond.
7:40 p.m.: They hand Roger Deakins the Best Cinematography award for “1917.” That is the fourth award of the night for this WWI epic. It took Deakins till nomination #14 to win his first Oscar for “Blade Runner 2049” but he should soon have a bookend.
7:44 p.m.: Naomie Harris and Richard E. Grant reveal that another Oscar frontrunner, Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”), wins Best Supporting Actress. Neither of Dern’s previous two Oscar bids for “Rambling Rose” and “Wild” had earned her BAFTA nominations. Three of the other Oscar nominees were in contention this year: Florence Pugh, “Little Women”; Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”; and Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit.” Dern thanks Martin Scorsese for directing her mother, Diane Ladd, to this award back in 1975 for “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.”
7:48 p.m.: “1917” leading men George Mackay and Dean-Charles Chapman are presenting Best Adapted Screenplay. Multi-hyphenate Taika Waititi wins for “Jojo Rabbit,” just hours after taking home the same prize at the WGA Awards. Here he edged out all four of his Oscar rivals: Steven Zaillian, “The Irishman”; Todd Phillips & Scott Silver, “Joker”; Greta Gerwig, “Little Women”; and Anthony McCarten, “The Two Popes.”
7:50 p.m.: Best Actress nominee Jessie Buckley commands center stage with a riveting performance of “Glasgow” from “Wild Rose.” It’s a shame that song didn’t reap an Oscar bid as this rising star, who came to fame on a reality TV show hosted by Norton, is one to watch.
7:57 p.m.: “Sex Education” stars Gillian Anderson and Asa Butterfield present Best Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer to “Bait.”
8:00 p.m.: At the one hour mark, we’ve already gotten through 14 awards! Sir Ian McKellen is on-stage to honor Andy Serkis, his co-star from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy for his Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema. Lauding his friend, Sir Ian says, “This award is for an actor who is also a director who is also an innovator who is also a writer who is also a screen icon.”
8:10 p.m.: Naomie Ackie and Jodie Turner Smith announce that the Best Documentary winner is “For Sama,” which was up for a record four BAFTAs, including Best British Film. The only other Oscar nominee in contention was the frontrunner, “American Factory.”
8:20 p.m.: Best Supporting Actress nominee Florence Pugh presents Best Original Screenplay to Han Jin Won and Bong Joon Ho for “Parasite.” In this tough race, they edged out three of their Oscar rivals: Rian Johnson, “Knives Out”; Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story”; and frontrunner Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” While the writers branch of the academy nominated “1917,” the British snubbed it in favor of “Booksmart.” This duo also won at the WGA Awards on Saturday, but Tarantino was ineligible there.
8:25 p.m.: Double nominee Scarlett Johansson reveals that the Best Supporting Actor award goes to Brad Pitt (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”). He faced off against the same slate as at the Oscars: Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”; Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”; Al Pacino, “The Irishman”; and Joe Pesci, “The Irishman.” While Pitt had shared in the 2014 Best Film award as a producer of “12 Years a Slave,” this was his first BAFTA for acting after three losses. Shame that Pitt wasn’t there to accept as his speeches have been the highlight of this awards season. His co-star, Margot Robbie, reads an otherwise heartfelt message from him that opens with the one-liner, ““Hey Britain, heard you just became single, welcome to the club.”
8:30 p.m.: Cirque du Soleil performs a routine set to “Over the Rainbow,” the signature song of Judy Garland. All eyes are on Renee Zellweger, who is tipped to win for her portrayal of the icon in “Judy.”
8:35 p.m.: Emilia Clarke and Vanessa Kirby announce that the winner of Best Special Visual Effects is “1917,” which is now up to five BAFTAs. It bested all four of the other Oscar nominees: “Avengers: Endgame”; “The Irishman”; “The Lion King”; and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
8:39 p.m.: Zazie Beetz and Stephen Graham reveal that the winner of Best Foreign Language Film is “Parasite.” Only one of the other BAFTA nominees, “Pain and Glory,” is in contention at the Oscars.
8:44 p.m.: The “In Memoriam” segment is always heart-wrenching.
8:50 p.m.: 2018 Rising Star recipient Daniel Kaluuya hands this award, which is voted on by the public, to Micheal Ward, who stars in the TV series “Top Boy” and the indie hit “Blue Story.”
8:55 p.m. The BAFTAs have outpaced the Oscars by introducing an award for Best Casting. Sharon Horgan and Kristin Scott Thomas reveal that the inaugural winner is Shayna Markowitz for “Joker.” Last week, she had lost at the Casting Society of America awards to another of the BAFTA nominees, Victoria Thomas (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”).
9:00 p.m.: Rebel Wilson is presenting Best Director and taking no prisoners in an extended intro. Sam Mendes wins his first BAFTA for helming “1917.” While he won the Oscar 20 years ago for “American Beauty” he lost her to Pedro Almodovar for “All About My Mother.” He referenced this in his acceptance speech: “It’s a war movie that we made, but it’s also about home and family. It’s so moving to get this award in my hometown for the first time.”
9:05 p.m.: Last year’s Best Actress winner Olivia Colman presents Best Actor to Oscar frontrunner Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”). Fourth time proved to be the charm for Phoenix, who had lost once in supporting for “Gladiator” and twice in lead for “Walk the Line” and “The Master.” Among those he bested were three of the other Oscar nominees, Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”; Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”; and Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes.” Phoenix delivered an impassioned plea to promote diversity in the industry. “I think it is the obligation of the people that have created and perpetuate and benefit from a system of oppression to be the ones that dismantle it.”
9:05 p.m.: Robert De Niro, who lost all six of his BAFTA bids, presents Best Actress to another Oscar frontrunner, Renee Zellweger (“Judy”). She had previously prevailed her in 2004 for “Cold Mountain,” which also won her the Supporting Actress Oscars. As with Phoenix, her competition included three other Oscar nominees: Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”; Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”; and Charlize Theron, “Bombshell.” The fifth BAFTA nominee, Jessie Buckley (“Wild Rose”) appears in “Judy” too. Zellweger concludes her charmer of a speech thus: “Miss Garland, Londontown, which you have always loved so much, loves you back. This is for you.”
9:15 p.m.: Zellweger’s “Bridget Jones” co-star Hugh Grant is presenting Best Picture to “1917,” which went seven for nine this evening with wins for Director, Cinematography, Production Design, Sound, Visual Effects and British Film. It lost only Makeup and Hair (to “Bombshell”) and Original Score (to “Joker”).