As ever, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ EE British Academy Film Awards favor homegrown fare. As a result, the BAFTAs — whose voters do overlap somewhat with the Academy — are not always predictive. Last year, Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” dominated, while on Sunday another Fox Searchlight release, Londoner Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite,” took seven awards, including Leading Actress Olivia Colman, Supporting Actress Rachel Weisz, Original Screenplay, Production and Costume Design, Make Up and Hair, and British Film.
But it did not land Film and Director. Those went to Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” (Netflix), which picked up a total of four awards, including Film Not in English and Cinematography, which it lost to “Cold War” on Saturday at the ASC Awards. These wins are likely to repeat on Oscar night. “What would Chivo do?” said Cuarón as he accepted the Cinematography award. Just as many people mentioned Brexit at the BAFTAs, a highly charged political issue, in his acceptance speeches, Cuarón made the connection to stateside immigration issues.
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The BAFTAs give “Roma” and “The Favourite” nice boosts heading into final Oscar voting; ballots open on February 12 and close a week later on the 19th. Widely considered to be a frontrunner duking it out with “Roma” in the Best Picture race, “Green Book” took home one award: the inevitable win for Mahershala Ali, who is sweeping the season’s awards and is a lock for a second Oscar statue, which he took home for “Moonlight” two years ago.
Best Picture Oscar advantage: “Roma.” When a movie starts to become inevitable, voters tend to go along.
Colman gets a nice perk in the Oscar race for Best Actress against Glenn Close (“The Wife”), who many voters will happily give a career prize after seven nominations and no wins. Oscar newcomer Colman has been working on “The Crown” and hasn’t been as available to do the hand-shaking rounds. The race is close — no pun intended.
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) February 10, 2019
On the other hand, while Weisz pulled ahead of her MIA costar Emma Stone in the Supporting Actress race, she wasn’t competing with Emmy-winning American star Regina King, star of “If Beale Street Could Talk,” who is expected to win Oscar night. Winning costume designer Sandy Powell praised Lanthimos’ creativity, calling him “bonkers.”
Rami Malek gains valuable momentum off his SAG win over Christian Bale (“Vice”) and Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”). On the BAFTA red carpet, the “Bohemian Rhapsody” star was fresh, engaging, authentic — nothing rote. That has helped him on the awards circuit. (One of his fans and followers is Spike Lee, who hugged him BAFTA night.)
Cooper’s film took home yet another win for Original Music, and picked up some prizes at Sunday’s Grammys as well. Lady Gaga could not attend but followed the BAFTAs at home:
I can’t believe we just won Best Original Music @BAFTA ‘s . I wish so much I was there but am at the Grammy’s to show them our love as well. We made a film about music. This means the world to me. Thank u to all our fans we love u so much, we wouldn’t be here without u #BAFTAs pic.twitter.com/nD8QZgwySB
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 10, 2019
The live BAFTA show provided a model (hello, Oscars) for how presenting technical awards builds suspense. Editing went early on to “Vice,” which might have been a good indicator for further awards down the line for Christian Bale or Adam McKay, but the film did not win anything else. Whereas a Sound win for “Bohemian Rhapsody” turned out to be good news for Malek. (The edited BBC America version placed some trimmed craft prizes at the end, much as the Oscars are planning to do.)
Likely to repeat at the Oscars is the Adapted Screenplay award for Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” which marks the only competition for Cuarón for Best Director.
— GIPHY Pop (@GiphyPop) February 10, 2019
Also sailing into the Oscars with a strong wind behind it is BAFTA-winner “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which can’t be beat for the animation prize, and “Free Solo” gets another lift for its Best Documentary duel against “RBG” in the Oscar race.
The EE British Academy Film Awards unfolded on Sunday February 10 at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The ceremony was hosted by returning Joanna Lumley, and was broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD as well as major territories around the world.