Sunday’s BAFTA Awards mark one of the final major awards shows before The Oscars. Will the winners have an impact on who takes home Oscar gold? It’s quite an interesting year.
BAFTA only has 5 nominees in their Best Film category. They are “Call Me by Your Name”, “Darkest Hour”, “Dunkirk”, “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”. Two glaring omissions happen to be two films that have a great chance of winning the Best Picture Oscar: “Get Out” and “Lady Bird”. My Pick to win the BAFTA is the film leading with 12 nominations overall: “The Shape of Water”.
In the Best Actor category, Gary Oldman is pretty much a lock to win for his performance as iconic British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour”. The surprise nomination here is Jamie Bell for “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”. They join Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Phantom Thread”) and Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”).
For Best Actress, this could go one of two ways. I don’t see Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”), Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”) or surprise nominee Annette Bening (“Film Stars”) as the champ. It’s between Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards”) and Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”). Don’t be surprised if Brit Hawkins (who didn’t win in 2014 for her performance in “Blue Jasmine”) is the upset victor here.
The Supporting Actor category is also not a slam-dunk for a “Three Billboards” star. Sam Rockwell could lose to the legendary Christopher Plummer for his last-minute, high-profile casting and brilliant performance in “All the Money in the World”. The film’s director, Ridley Scott, is receiving the BAFTA Fellowship Award Sunday night. However, I still think Rockwell is the winner. This category also includes Rockwell’s co-star, Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”), and for the second year in a row, Hugh Grant. He was nominated last year for “Florence Foster Jenkins”, and this year the Brits gave him some love for his eccentric work in “Paddington 2”.
I suspect Allison Janney is going to continue her hot streak in the Supporting Actress category. Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”) would be a big, but not out-of-the-question, surprise. Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird”) and Octavia Spencer (“The Shape of Water”) join them, along with “Darkest Hour”‘s Kristin Scott Thomas, who, frankly, has too small a role to justify the nomination, let alone a win.
Best Animated Feature sees three nominees: frontrunner “Coco” (which will probably win), the beautiful “Loving Vincent” (which I’d love to see win) and “My Life as a Zucchini” – an Oscar nominee last year, which wasn’t released in England to qualify until this year.
And as for Best Director – three of the five nominees are NOT up for the Oscar: Luca Guadagnino (“Call Me by Your Name”), Martin McDonagh (“Three Billboards”) and Denis Villeneuve – for his excellent work crafting “Blade Runner 2049”. The sci-fi sequel is nominated for 8 BAFTAs, and I’d love to see Villeneuve pull-off a stunning win. But it will come down to Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”) and Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”), with del Toro sealing the deal – on his way to the Oscar.
The BAFTA Awards air this Sunday, Feb. 18th at 8pmET on BBC America, with new host Joanna Lumley.