Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The BAFTAs Grow a Pair

After the laboriously predictable and flat-out mean-spirited Golden Globe awards last Sunday, much credit needs to be given to the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (aka the British Oscars) for shaking things up a bit.

Predicting who will win a BAFTA is usually pretty easy: if you’re British, you win. But in recent years, the BAFTAs have seen a subtle shift in the effect they have on the Oscars. In 2007, for example, Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) and Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) took home surprise BAFTAs, which remained the only major award they won before the Oscars.

It’s pretty clear that The King’s Speech will sweep most of the major BAFTAs this year, but just looking at some of the nominees, you’ve really got to appreciate BAFTAs lack of convention, deciding instead to color outside of the lines.

Black Swan
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

The King’s Speech should enjoy this award, it’s the only time it’ll win Best Picture this season.

Firth in The King's Speech
Danny Boyle - 127 Hours
Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
Christopher Nolan - Inception
Tom Hooper - The King’s Speech
David Fincher - The Social Network

Nolan is a Brit, keep that in mind. It’s between him and Hooper.

Hooper on the set of The King's Speech
Javier Bardem - Biutiful
Jeff Bridges - True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network
Colin Firth - The King’s Speech
James Franco - 127 Hours

Bardem is a surprise, maybe Julia Roberts’ constant nagging is working in his favor. Bardem, Bridges, Eisenberg and Franco should enjoy the free trip to London, because that’s all they’re getting out of this.
Bardem in Biutiful
Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
Julianne Moore - The Kids Are All Right
Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Noomi Rapace - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit

Perfect example of the BAFTA’s audacity. We haven’t seen Moore make the Best Actress shortlist anywhere. Likewise Rapace (I’m glad someone remembered her). But Steinfeld is the big shocker here. Widely considered to be a supporting performance, Steinfeld’s BAFTA nomination could help shift her to the leading actress Oscar race. Either way, it’s still a Bening/Portman showdown.
Steinfeld in True Grit
Christian Bale - The Fighter
Andrew Garfield - The Social Network
Pete Postlethwaite - The Town
Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush - The King’s Speech

Postlethwaite got the sympathy vote, which I’m not complaining about, but Bale and Rush are the top contenders. Tough choice, but I imagine Bale will add this BAFTA to his increasing crowded mantel.
Postlethwaite in The Town
Amy Adams - The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter - The King’s Speech
Barbara Hershey - Black Swan
Lesley Manville - Another Year
Miranda Richardson - Made In Dagenham

No Melissa Leo is interesting, as is Hershey nabbing Mila “Sweet Lips” Kunis’ Black Swan spot. Carter is the safe bet here.
Carter in The King's Speech
The BAFTAs will air Sunday Feb. 13 on BBC.


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