Once the British film academy showered “All Quiet on the Western Front” with seven BAFTA Awards, it became difficult to imagine that there would be much overlap between its 2022 honorees and the subsequent Oscar winners. Although they lauded its film editing, the Brits otherwise overlooked industry juggernaut “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which, as expected, proved to be an Academy Awards magnet. In the end, the two organizations only agreed on a handful of below-the-line wins, while their top eight category results were completely different for the first time since the BAFTAs became an Oscar precursor more than two decades ago.
At last month’s BAFTA Awards, which took place exactly three weeks before the Oscars, the above-the-line categories were dominated by “All Quiet on the Western Front” and “The Banshees of Inisherin,” with three wins each. The former took the top prize of Best Picture and was honored for its directing and adapted screenplay, while the latter collected the original writing and both supporting acting awards (for Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon). Austin Butler (“Elvis”) and Cate Blanchett (“TÁR”) received the lead trophies.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” director Edward Berger’s omission from the Oscar lineup guaranteed that there would be at least one above-the-line discrepancy this year. The academy chose to award “Everything Everywhere All at Once” duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert not only for their directing, but also for producing the film and writing its original screenplay. With these and its three acting wins for star Michelle Yeoh and supporting players Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis, the sci-fi comedy made history as the first film to ever conquer six of the top eight Oscar categories. The remaining two above-the-line awards — Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay — respectively went to Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”) and “Women Talking.”
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The running tradition of the BAFTAs preceding the Oscars began with the 2000 film awards season, when there ended up being only three above-the-line differences: director (BAFTA: Ang Lee, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”; Oscar: Steven Soderbergh, “Traffic”), actor (Jamie Bell, “Billy Elliot”; Russell Crowe, “Gladiator”) and supporting actress (Julie Walters, “Billy Elliot”; Marcia Gay Harden, “Pollock”). The pre-2022 discrepancy average was 3.1, and it has now risen to 3.3.
The previous record for highest number of differences was seven, which applied to the films of 2001. That time, the two groups only agreed on their supporting actress winner, Jennifer Connelly (“A Beautiful Mind”), while the academy went for Denzel Washington (“Training Day”), Halle Berry (“Monster’s Ball”) and Jim Broadbent (“Iris”) instead of Crowe (“A Beautiful Mind”), Judi Dench (“Iris”) and Broadbent (“Moulin Rouge!”) in the other acting categories. The Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director went to Ron Howard’s “A Beautiful Mind” over Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” while BAFTA adapted and original screenplay winners “Shrek” and “Amélie” were respectively bested on their academy bids by “A Beautiful Mind” and “Gosford Park.”
The last case of the groups being in complete disagreement involved the films of 1997, with a note that the British directing and adaptive writing awards went to Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet,” which had been eligible for the preceding year’s Oscars. This time, BAFTA voters gave most of their above-the-line attention to “The Full Monty” four weeks after the academy spread the love with two wins apiece for “As Good as It Gets,” “Good Will Hunting,” “L.A. Confidential” and “Titanic.”
This year’s historic incident occurred just two years after the organizations went eight-for-eight for the first time ever. In that case, BAFTA accurately forecasted the outcome of the confounding 2020 Best Actress race by choosing Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) and primed “The Father” for two somewhat unexpected Oscar wins for Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins) and Best Adapted Screenplay. Many Oscar predictors have understandably relied heavily on BAFTA ever since, but doing so now seems foolish. Only time will tell if this year was a fluke or if the precursor landscape has changed for good.
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