BAFTA predictions: ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ will win both picture prizes

The Banshees of Inisherin” is a bitingly funny, gut-punching empathetic black comedy by Oscar winner Martin McDonagh. The film, set on a remote island off the coast of Ireland, chronicles the darkening escalation of a falling out between two longtime friends. It premiered at the Venice Film Festival to a rapturous reception, and merited a 15-minute standing ovation. After it’s buzzy fall festival run, “Banshees” became an awards juggernaut, winning three Golden Globes and reaping nine Oscar nominations.

“The Banshees of Inisherin” heads into Sunday’s BAFTA Awards with 10 nominations, tied for second with “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and four behind the German import “All Quiet on the Western Front.” It is the only one of the three up for both Best Picture and Best British Film. 

Our collective predictions predictions by our industry Experts, in-house team of Editors, elite users, and thousands of reader  have “Banshees” way out front to win the home-grown prize. It’s closest rival in that race is the character study “Living.”  That win could give it a much-needed boost for Best Picture where it is neck-and-neck in our odds with “Everything Everywhere.” 

Of the other three Best Picture nominees, we expect “All Quiet” to walk away with the foreign film prize while “TAR” could take Best Actress for Cate Blanchett and “Elvis” looks good for costume and production design. 

Since the BAFTAs brought back Best British Film three decades ago, only three films have won both big awards. Two were the epitome of Englishness: “The King’s Speech” (2011) and “1917” (2020). Both claimed a lucky seven trophies in total. The third was McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” As the title suggests, this movie may have been made with British pounds but was set in America. Likewise for “Banshees.” 

McDonagh shared in the two film wins for “Three Billboards” and also picked up the original screenplay prize that night. He had previously won the scripting prize in 2009 for “In Bruges.” That seriocomic film first paired up “Banshee” leading men Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson

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