The 67th edition of the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) is almost here. This Sunday, held at the London Royal Opera House and hosted by Stephen Fry for the ninth time, United Kingdom will celebrate some of the best films of 2013 (and some not as good).
The BAFTAs have always been one of the awards leading up to the Oscars, with the Best Film of the night often winning the Best Picture award in Hollywood (since 2009, they have always got it right, with few mismatches the previous years). This edition will see a close fight between the same big contenders at the Oscars: Gravity, with eleven nominations and American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave with ten each.
Although the great attractive of the show is to see who is attending. Most nominees will be there, and many other Hollywood stars will be presenting the awards, which include a BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award for Dame Helen Mirren (last year, it was given to Michael Palin, my favourite Python).
So while the winners are announced, let’s take a look at the nominees to see who has a better chance to win.
- 12 Years a Slave
- American Hustle
- Captain Phillips
While all the films have been praised worldwide (American Hustle, no-one knows why), the likely winner is slavery drama 12 Years a Slave. A contender would be Philomena, but the British Film Award is also there, so there would be no point in giving both to the Stephen Frears movie.
- Christian Bale – American Hustle
- Bruce Dern – Nebraska
- Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
- Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
- Tom Hanks – Captain Phillips
Although Ejiofor is a clear favourite in this category (thanks to the absence of Matthew McConaughey), the statuette could easily go to Hanks, because Brits love him. Everybody loves Tom Hanks.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
- Amy Adams – American Hustle
- Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
- Sandra Bullock – Gravity
- Judi Dench – Philomena
- Emma Thompson – Saving Mr. Banks
This is one of those clear winners: Blanchett. Judi Dench could steal the limelight in the last minute, since her performance is from a British film, and her acting there is just as good as the Australian’s.
- Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
- David O. Russell – American Hustle
- Paul Greengrass – Captain Phillips
- Alfonso Cuarón – Gravity
- Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street
Cuarón is going to win, if only because he has being conquering every award this season. The second in the race is Londoner McQueen, who is nominated for a BAFTA as a director for the first time.
EE Rising Star Award
- Dane DeHaan
- George Mackay
- Lupita Nyong’o
- Will Poulter
- Léa Seydoux
The obvious rising star of the year has been Nyong’o, but since she is probably going to win as supporting actress, a reasonable choice would be DeHaan, who has had an outstanding year, thanks to his performances in The Place Beyond the Pines and Kill Your Darlings, and who will be playing Harry Osborn in the unnecessary Spider-Man reboot.
Best Adapted Screenplay
- Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope – Philomena
- Richard LaGravenese – Behind the Candelabra
- Billy Ray – Captain Phillips
- John Ridley – 12 Years a Slave
- Terence Winter – The Wolf of Wall Street
The script of Wolf is very bold and straightforward, but Coogan’s adaptation of Philomena Lee’s story may have better options.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
- Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine
- Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
- Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
- Julia Roberts – August: Osage County
- Oprah Winfrey – The Butler
Lupita. That’s it, she is going to win.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
- Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
- Daniel Brühl – Rush
- Bradley Cooper – American Hustle
- Matt Damon – Behind the Candelabra
- Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave
Since Jared Leto is not here either, a good choice would be Damon. The film was broadcast on TV in USA, making it ineligible for movie awards, and he has always been nominated as leading actor, which means he has always lost to co-star Michael Douglas. He definitely deserves it; his acting as Liberace’s lover is outstanding.
Best Original Screenplay
- Woody Allen – Blue Jasmine
- Joel & Ethan Coen – Inside Llewyn Davis
- Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón – Gravity
- Bob Nelson – Nebraska
- Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell – American Hustle
Without Spike Jonze’s Her, this award is going to Nebraska, or to the overrated American Hustle (here’s to hoping the Brits know better).
Best Animated Film
- Despicable Me 2
- Monsters University
- Hans Zimmer – 12 Years a Slave
- John Williams – The Book Thief
- Henry Jackman – Captain Phillips
- Steven Price – Gravity
- Thomas Newman – Saving Mr. Banks
I’d choose Hans Zimmer any day, but Gravity’s is good. As in, extraordinarily good. Sort of like Zimmer’s score for The Dark Knight Rises level of merging with the story.
- Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
- Saving Mr. Banks
- The Selfish Giant
It is going to be Philomena*. There is nothing as British as Judi Dench and Steve Coogan on a road trip, no one can top that.
The BAFTAs will be broadcast live this Sunday on BBC One at 21:00 GMT.
*I have the feeling, though, that they will give it to Gravity.