This Sunday, the BAFTA awards will take place. The winners will be announced via press release before the broadcast but it will be airing in America on the BBC at 8pm Eastern and 5pm Pacific. We will already know the winners by then but it will be fun to watch! InContention‘s Guy Lodge will be live-blogging them.
There were a couple of things last year that were shockingly similar to the Oscars – which begs the question again, have the BAFTA become THE awards body to look to in predicting the Academy? Their choices always seemed a little wacky but looking over last year’s winners – Marion Cotillard, Tilda Swinton and then the Bourne Ultimatum in the sound categories. On the other hand, Atonement beat No Country for Old Men for Best Picture and the Diving Bell beat No Country for screenplay. So how accurate are they? And why is it they are SO accurate on some categories but not so much on the “big” categories?
I think you could say, when all else fails rely on their love for God and country. I am imagining John Cleese explaining the BAFTAs in his foppish voice. The British seem to side with themselves when given the opportunity but it certainly isn’t always the case.¬† That’s where I personally run into problems when predicting the Oscars off the BAFTA; I always assume that the odd winners happened because they were British. And that the Academy wouldn’t follow suit. But the similarities lately have been too strong to ignore. Americans are forever playing catch-up to the smarter, classier British!
With that, let’s take a pointless look at how we think it might go.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON Kathleen Kennedy / Frank Marshall / Ce√°n Chaffin
FROST/NIXON Tim Bevan / Eric Fellner / Brian Grazer / Ron Howard
MILK Dan Jinks / Bruce Cohen
THE READER Anthony Minghella / Sydney Pollack / Donna Gigliotti / Redmond Morris
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE Christian Colson
I really think Slumdog is going to clean sweep it, winning the WGA, the BAFTA, the Eddie and eventually the Oscar so I’m not going to predict it won’t win here. What I do think, though, is that if anywhere is going to feel the brunt of the so-called controversy (which is wholly unfair and beside the point of these awards and of making films in the first place) it will be here at the BAFTAs, where the press is wildly out of control and where scandal tends to reign. Sorry, Brits, but that’s just the way it is. We have McDonalds, you have the scandals. If it isn’t Slumdog, though, I’m going to guess it’s either The Reader or Benjamin Button.
CHANGELING Clint Eastwood
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON David Fincher
FROST/NIXON Ron Howard
THE READER Stephen Daldry
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE Danny Boyle
The last time a film won both Picture and Director at the BAFTAs was when Brokeback Mountain and Ang Lee won. Brokeback, like Slumdog, was winning everything (not the SAG ensemble nor the Eddie, however). So it’s possible that Danny Boyle and Slumdog will win here. It’s the safest prediction. But in light of their recent pattern of splitting those awards, who might benefit?¬† Again, I think it’s down to Daldry or Fincher, and in light of the London Critics honoring Fincher I would give him the edge. But it’s tough to bet against Danny Boyle — especially since Fincher is American!
Prediction: Danny Boyle
Alternate: David Fincher
BURN AFTER READING Joel Coen / Ethan Coen
CHANGELING J. Michael Straczynski
I‚ÄôVE LOVED YOU SO LONG Philippe Claudel
IN BRUGES Martin McDonagh
MILK Dustin Lance Black
Well, this is a tough one. My first instinct is that McDonagh will take this but what of Dustin Lance Black and Milk? And then there are the Coens. Smart money would pick the Coens as I sense that Burn After Reading is going to catch on in the years to come.
Prediction: In Bruges
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON Eric Roth
FROST/NIXON Peter Morgan
THE READER David Hare
REVOLUTIONARY ROAD Justin Haythe
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE Simon Beaufoy
Oh I think Mr. Beaufoy, for a variety of reasons, wins this in a walk. Yes, there is Peter Morgan to contend with here. They don’t have the same stigma on the film as we do because it was already a Broadway show here first. I also think Brits would appreciate the Nixon saga as told through the eyes of a Brit than many of us do here. And then there is David Hare, famous playwrite who adapted that beloved book. This is tough to call but when in doubt, Slumdog it out.
Prediction: Slumdog Millionaire
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX Bernard Eichinger / Uli Edel
GOMORRAH Domenico Procacci / Matteo Garrone
I‚ÄôVE LOVED YOU SO LONG Yves Marmion / Philippe Claudel
PERSEPOLIS Marc-Antoine Robert / Xavier Rigault / Marjane Satrapi / Vincent Parannaud
WALTZ WITH BASHIR Serge Lalou / Gerhard Meixner / Yael Nahl Ieli / Ari Folman
Prediction: Waltz with Bashir
PERSEPOLIS Marjane Satrapi / Vincent Parannaud
WALL‚Ä¢E Andrew Stanton
WALTZ WITH BASHIR Ari Folman
Oh, tough call here because Waltz is up against Wall-E. Both Persepolis and Waltz are in the foreign category as well and if they are beloved enough both will win in these two categories. Still…Only a fool bets against Wall-E (note how Kung-Fu Panda is not nomintated here).
Alternate: Waltz with Bashir
FRANK LANGELLA Frost/Nixon
DEV PATEL Slumdog Millionaire
SEAN PENN Milk
BRAD PITT The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
MICKEY ROURKE The Wrestler
Wow, this is tough. I actually saw Milk at a BAFTA screening and they loved this movie. Penn has never won a BAFTA, though he’s been nominated twice before. This is a really tough call between Mickey Rourke (who just won the London Film Critics) and Penn (who has basically won everything else except the Globe). It’s a really tough call. The last time the BAFTA missed Best Actor with Oscar was, weirdly enough, Sean Penn v. Bill Murray, wher Murray won. The year before that, Daniel Day-Lewis won the BAFTA for Gangs of New York but Adrien Brody won the Oscar (most deservedly). I figure whomever wins this probably wins the Oscar and since I’m currently predicting Rourke for the Oscar I suppose I’ll white-knuckle it through. My instincts are telling me it’s Penn, though, just for the record.
Prediction: Mickey Rourke
Alt: Sean Penn
ANGELINA JOLIE Changeling
KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS I‚Äôve Loved You So Long
MERYL STREEP Doubt
KATE WINSLET The Reader
KATE WINSLET Revolutionary Road
Okay, this is tricky because Kate is in twice. The grand dame Meryl Streep is up for this award and, if you can believe it, the last time she won a BAFTA was for The French Lieutenant’s Woman and that was before they switched the date to make these before the Oscars. Still, it’s hard to bet again the very British Ms. Winslet for either part. There is also the old theory that Winslet cancels herself out and Streep wins.
Prediction: Kate Winslet for The Reader
Alt: Meryl Streep, Doubt
ROBERT DOWNEY JR. Tropic Thunder
BRENDAN GLEESON In Bruges
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN Doubt
HEATH LEDGER The Dark Knight
BRAD PITT Burn After Reading
If there is a crack in the Heath Ledger vessel it will be felt here, I suspect. So if anyone but Heath wins, his Oscar will not be the slam dunk everyone is assuming it will be.¬† Still, I’m not going to be the one who doesn’t predict him since his was among my favorite performances of the year and he fucking deserves it.
Prediction: Heath Ledger
Alt: Robert Downey, Jr.
AMY ADAMS Doubt
PEN√âLOPE CRUZ Vicky Cristina Barcelona
FREIDA PINTO Slumdog Millionaire
TILDA SWINTON Burn After Reading
MARISA TOMEI The Wrestler
This is a tough one again. I think it’s down to Penelope Cruz versus Marisa Tomei and there’s a chance that Tomei and Rourke could win. There’s always Freida Pinto to contend with. Liking her character could prove successful.
Prediction: Penelope Cruz
Alt: Marisa Tomei
Wild card: Freida Pinto
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON Alexandre Desplat
THE DARK KNIGHT Hans Zimmer / James Newton Howard
MAMMA MIA! Benny Andersson / Bj√∂rn Ulvaeus
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE A. R. Rahman
WALL‚Ä¢E Thomas Newman
The Dark Knight should win this but I’m going to bet it’s either Button or Slumdog, or Wall-E.
CHANGELING Tom Stern
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON Claudio Miranda
THE DARK KNIGHT Wally Pfister
THE READER Chris Menges / Roger Deakins
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE Anthony Dod Mantle
These are, I think, five for five for the Oscars too. I don’t know how this will go – it’s the same conflicts as predicting it for the Oscar. Since Button’s strength is how pretty it is, though, it has to be that film.
CHANGELING Joel Cox / Gary D. Roach
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON Kirk Baxter / Angus Wall
THE DARK KNIGHT Lee Smith
FROST/NIXON Mike Hill / Dan Hanley
IN BRUGES Jon Gregory
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE Chris Dickens
Again, who knows. In Bruges could win here but I think The Dark Knight will have to win something and this could be the one prize it does win. I think Slumdog will win the editing Oscar but BAFTA likes to spread the wealth more.
Prediction: The Dark Knight
CHANGELING James J. Murakami / Gary Fettis
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON Donald Graham Burt / Victor J. Zolfo
THE DARK KNIGHT Nathan Crowley / Peter Lando
REVOLUTIONARY ROAD Kristi Zea / Debra Schutt
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE Mark Digby / Michelle Day
Button deserves this but they clearly liked Changeling enough to give it all of these nominations and it’s so gorgeous, isn’t it?
CHANGELING Deborah Hopper
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON Jacqueline West
THE DARK KNIGHT Lindy Hemming
THE DUCHESS Michael O‚ÄôConnor
REVOLUTIONARY ROAD Albert Wolsky
Prediction: The Duchess
CHANGELING Walt Martin / Alan Robert Murray / John Reitz / Gregg Rudloff
THE DARK KNIGHT Lora Hirschberg / Richard King / Ed Novick / Gary Rizzo
QUANTUM OF SOLACE Eddy Joseph / Chris Munro / Mike Prestwood Smith / Mark Taylor
SLUMDOG MILLIONARE Glenn Freemantle / Resul Pookutty / Richard Pryke / Tom Sayers / Ian Tapp
WALL‚Ä¢E Ben Burtt / Tom Myers / Michael Semanick / Matthew Wood
Prediction: The Dark Knight
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON Eric Barba / Craig Barron / Nathan McGuinness / Edson Williams
THE DARK KNIGHT Chris Corbould / Nick Davis / Paul Franklin / Tim Webber
INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL Pablo Helman
IRON MAN Shane Patrick Mahan / John Nelson / Ben Snow
QUANTUM OF SOLACE Chris Corbould / Kevin Tod Haug
Prediction: Iron Man
MAKE UP & HAIR
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON Jean Black / Colleen Callaghan
THE DARK KNIGHT Peter Robb-King
THE DUCHESS Daniel Phillips / Jan Archibald
FROST/NIXON Edouard Henriques / Kim Santantonio
MILK Steven E. Anderson / Michael White
Alt. The Duchess
(SKIPPING THE SHORTS)
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
HUNGER Laura Hastings-Smith / Robin Gutch / Steve McQueen / Enda Walsh
IN BRUGES Graham Broadbent / Pete Czernin / Martin McDonagh
MAMMA MIA! Judy Craymer / Gary Goetzman / Phyllida Lloyd / Catherine Johnson
MAN ON WIRE Simon Chinn / James Marsh
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE Christian Colson / Danny Boyle / Simon Beaufoy
THE CARL FOREMAN AWARD for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer for their First Feature Film
SIMON CHINN Producer ‚Äì Man On Wire
JUDY CRAYMER Producer ‚Äì Mamma Mia!
GARTH JENNINGS Writer ‚Äì Son of Rambow
STEVE McQUEEN Director/Writer ‚Äì Hunger
SOLON PAPADOPOULOS / ROY BOULTER Producers ‚Äì Of Time And The City
Prediction: Steve McQueen
Alt. Simon Chinn
THE ORANGE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)
Prediction: Rebecca Hall