2021 BAFTA Awards: ‘Nomadland’ wins 4 including Best Picture, Anthony Hopkins in Best Actor upset

The British Academy Film Awards were held over the course of two nights in 2021: Saturday, April 10, and Sunday, April 11. So who did the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) select as the best cinematic achievements of the year, and how might they affect the Oscars coming up in just a couple of weeks? Check out the complete list of winners here, and scroll down for our BAFTA Awards live blog with minute-by-minute analysis of the results as they’re announced.

BAFTA is an organization that comprises thousands of industry professionals, similar to the American motion picture academy. But despite their similar sizes and a number of overlapping members, the BAFTA Award for Best Picture hasn’t agreed with the Oscars’ choice in seven years. “12 Years a Slave” (2013) was the last champ that overlapped.

And this year the BAFTAs went their own way in the nominations round too. Small juries decided the contenders in acting and directing categories, leading to familiar Oscar nominees like Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) and Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) competing against performers like Wunmi Mosaku (“His House”), Bukky Bakray (“Rocks”), and Barry Keoghan (“Calm with Horses”) who haven’t been nearly as prominent throughout the awards season. And more power to them: there’s nothing objectively less prestigious about the BAFTAs that they should subordinate themselves to the Oscars, so it’s refreshing when an awards group strikes out on its own.

However, the general BAFTA membership voted for the winners in most categories, so did they just pick the highest-profile, Oscar-contending achievements from among the nominees? Most of the April 10 winners were the Oscar front-runners, including “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” for Best Costume Design and Best Makeup and Hair, “Sound of Metal” for Best Sound,” “Mank” for Best Production Design, and “Tenet” for Best Visual Effects. Though “Rocks” did beat Oscar nominees “Judas,” “Promising Young Woman” and “Minari” for Best Casting, a category without an Oscar equivalent.

Follow along with us below as we break down the April 11 winners (times listed are Eastern US).

2:14pmBest Animated Feature is the first award of the Sunday show, and it goes to another Oscar front-runner, “Soul.” It was the heavy favorite in our odds, but I thought this might be one place where the critically acclaimed “Wolfwalkers” might have a chance to upset since it’s an Irish film and voters had to opt in to vote in this category. Suffice it to say that “Soul” is still looking pretty safe as the Academy Award favorite. Watch our interview with “Soul” director Pete Docter here.

2:18pm — “The Father” claims Best Adapted Screenplay for scribes Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton, who adapted Zeller’s stage play. Though “Nomadland” is the Oscar front-runner for its script, our users predicted that the British “Father” would have the advantage at these British kudos. This is Hampton’s second BAFTA win following his victory in this category for “Dangerous Liaisons.” Watch our interview with Hampton here.

2:24pmMikkel E.G. Nielson (“Sound of Metal”) wins Best Editing. This is the second win for that film after it won Best Sound on Saturday, and it’s significant since it was up against the aforementioned “Father,” a British film where editing is such a significant part of that film’s dramatic effect. “Metal” also tied with “The Trial of the Chicago 7” to win the Critics Choice Award, and it’s the only editing Oscar nominee also nominated for its sound, and those two categories often go hand-in-hand. So it’s looking pretty good for the Academy Award too. Watch our interview with Nielson here.

2:28pm — Another Oscar front-runner picks up a BAFTA Award: “Another Round” wins Best Film Not in the English Language. But what makes this win so significant is that it was up against Oscars Best Picture nominee “Minari” in this category, unlike at the Oscars where “Minari,” an American production, was ineligible. If it could beat “Minari” here, that could clear the way for it at the Oscars. Watch our interview with director Thomas Vinterberg here.

2:33pm — “Nomadland” solidifies its position as the Oscars front-runner for Best Cinematography by winning that award at the BAFTAs for lenser Joshua James Richards. For a while, it seemed like the showy black-and-white imagery of “Mank” would be a leading candidate, but the momentum has been with “Nomadland” in this category for a while now, especially with it out front to win Best Picture.

2:43pmYuh-Jung Youn wins Best Supporting Actress for “Minari,” an important boost for the film after its Best Foreign Film loss. Is the Oscar race now a done deal? This category has been wide open all season, but now Youn has won the SAG Award and the BAFTA, the two biggest industry prizes leading up to the Oscars. She and Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) were the only two Oscar nominees up for the BAFTA in this category. Watch our interview with Youn here.

2:48pm — “Promising Young Woman” continues its Oscars trajectory by winning Best Original Screenplay for Emerald Fennell. This is the first win for the film at these awards so far, and Fennell also won Critics Choice and Writers Guild Awards for her script, so she solidifies her position as the Oscars front-runner over Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”) and Aaron Sorkin (“Trial of the Chicago 7”). This might also be good news for Carey Mulligan in the Oscar race for Best Actress. She wasn’t nominated by the BAFTAs thanks to their new jury system, but she still might be a top contender for the Academy Award. Watch our interview with Fennell here.

2:53pm — No surprise here: Daniel Kaluuya wins Best Supporting Actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” He won Golden Globe, Critics Choice, and SAG Awards before this, and he’s a British actor, so it seemed natural that the British academy would go for him. This is also Kaluuya’s second BAFTA win following his Rising Star victory a couple of years ago. He may be the safest bet of any actor to repeat at the Oscars at this point. Watch our interview with Kaluuya here.

2:59pmBest British Debut Film goes to Remi Weekes for “His House,” perhaps a bit surprising since that film was up against “Rocks,” which won Best Casting at Saturday’s BAFTAs and has a leading seven nominations overall, tied with Best Picture favorite “Nomadland.” “His House” is also nominated for lead actress Wunmi Mosaku.

3:03pm — Another win for “My Octopus Teacher”: it wins Best Documentary over fellow Oscar nominee “Collective,” which was the front-runner in our odds. It started its race towards Oscar by winning the Producers Guild Award. It lost the Directors Guild prize on April 10, but the winner there, “The Truffle Hunters,” isn’t nominated for the Oscars, so “Octopus” is still looking very good for Oscar.

3:09pmBest Original Score goes to “Soul” by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste. This was another expected win: it was the overwhelming favorite in our predictions after already racking up music wins at the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards, in addition to a wide variety of regional critics awards. This also feels like one of the safest bets for Oscar. Watch our interview with Reznor and Ross here.

3:14pm — A significant victory for “Promising Young Woman”: Best British Film over “Rocks,” “The Mauritanian,” and “The Father,” among others. We were predicting “Promising” to win here, but while there’s no Best British Film equivalent at the Oscars, it suggests strong industry support for the film. Again, good news for Mulligan in the Oscar race since she’s not present in the Best Actress race here.

3:21pm — “Rocks” star Bukky Bakray upsets Kingsley Ben-Adir for the Rising Star Award, which was voted on  by British fans. Perhaps this is good news for Bakray in the Best Actress race, though that award is voted on by the academy and not by the public, so it might not be indicative of that later category one way or the other.

3:34pm — The good weekend continues for Chloe Zhao, who wins BAFTA for Best Director the day after she become the first woman of color to win the Directors Guild Award. she also won at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards, plus a slew of Best Director plaudits from regional critics groups. It looks like the Oscar is hers no matter what happens in the Best Picture race.

3:38pm — In a bit of an upset, Anthony Hopkins wins Best Actor for “The Father” over Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” But this wasn’t entirely unforeseeable. Hopkins is a beloved British actor, and “Ma Rainey” wasn’t that well liked by the British academy, who only nominated the film for three awards. Interestingly, though, the film won both of its other nominations: Best Costume Design and Best Makeup and Hair.

3:42pmFrances McDormand wins her second BAFTA for Best Actress for her starring role in “Nomadland.” She previously won just three years ago for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which also won Best Picture at that year’s BAFTAs. The only other Oscar nominee up for the BAFTA, though, was Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”). Globe winner Andra Day (“United States vs. Billie Holiday), Critics Choice winner Mulligan, and SAG winner Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey”) didn’t make the cut, so the Oscar is still anyone’s guess.

3:45pm — After all that, it’s no surprise that “Nomadland” wins Best Picture, but whether that’s good news for the film at the Oscars depends on how you look at it. The BAFTAs have jinxed their Best Picture winners for the last six years in a row, even when the BAFTA winner was the heavy Oscar favorite like “La La Land” (2016) and “Roma” (2018). Still, winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Cinematography is a great indication of support from the industry. We’ll see if that translates to the American industry.

3:48pm — So “Nomadland” is the most awarded film of the BAFTAs with four, while several other movies won two apiece: “The Father,” “Promising Young Woman,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Soul,” and “Sound of Metal.” Nice spreading of the wealth from the British academy

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