There are two events upcoming where BlacKkKlansman could stage an 11th hour coup. They are the Writers Guild Awards, which are in two weeks, and this coming BAFTA Awards show on Sunday. The Spike Lee joint is up for Best Director, adapted screenplay, acting, and Best Film. The other heavyweights are The Favourite, with Best Film, director, screenplay, and acting; A Star Is Born, with film, director, writing, and acting; Roma, with film, director, and Ssreenplay (no acting); and Green Book, with film, screenplay, and acting (no director).
Thing is, the BAFTA are, at least lately, not all that much of a match with Oscar when it comes to Best Picture. Part of the reason for that is how they vote. They have five nominees for Best Picture, so a plurality rules. That isn’t how the Academy decides Best Picture. They use the preferential ballot and a majority vote, which can often wreak havoc on predicting how they will go.
Last year, there was a definite split between Three Billboards and The Shape of Water. The SAG and BAFTA went for Three Billboards, while the PGA and DGA went with The Shape of Water. Enough controversy on Three Billboards knocked it out of contention, so not even the actors branch could save it on a preferential ballot. There were enough people put off by it to put it lower on the ballot.
That can often be exactly how controversies can hurt a movie on preferential ballot. Here is an example. I run polls on Facebook and ask people to rank movies. You can see very easily who is caught up in the internet bubble and who isn’t. A movie like Green Book would only be ranked very low if people HATED it and the only way they would ever hate a movie like Green Book (as opposed to indifference, for instance) is if they felt supporting it was some sort of political gesture, which many of them do. Those who want to defend Green Book or feel it has been unfairly attacked might push it to the top or near the top of their ballots even if they didn’t put it at number one.
Figuring out plurality votes are easier, in some ways, than predicting the preferential ballot wherein psychology often comes into play. A plurality vote will often be the result of an entire membership really loving a movie, so you would expect to see it show up in various branches. But a preferential ballot has no such requirement, which is how Spotlight ended up winning Best Picture and only one other Oscar for screenplay.
The Best Actor and Best Actress races appear to also be wide open. Is Glenn Close going to beat Olivia Colman? Will Christian Bale beat Rami Malek? Who will win in supporting actress? Regina King isn’t nominated — will Amy Adams win? Will one of the girls from The Favourite win? So many questions…
At any rate, take your best shot at how the BAFTAs might go: