Tonight, the BAFTAs will announce their nominees. But they, like the winners of the Golden Globes and the DGA will have no impact on how the Oscars are voted because their ballots are turned in tonight at 5pm.
The BAFTAs also have such a varied history it’s hard to gauge how influential they have been. For instance, they only changed their date to be before the Oscars in 2000. Secondly, two years ago they completely changed the way they vote on awards. They used to have everyone do the nominating and then each individual branch would vote on the winners. Now they’ve reversed it (I think). Each branch does the nominating and the whole voting body picks winners, which is how the Academy does it.
Last year, BAFTA nominations came out, once again, the same day as Oscar ballots where due, thus there could be no direct influence by them. This is how they went. They can, however, be indicative of what might be the “BAFTA SURPRISE,” that last little piece of the puzzle to throw everything out of whack.
What we know will be HUGE with the BAFTA to a deafening and threatening degree will be The Imitation Game. Though it doesn’t have a British director, it has a British hero at its center. It will do battle with The Theory of Everything in both Best Picture and Best British picture.
Last year’s BAFTA surprise was clearly Philomena. Its presence in the race popped up at BAFTA, then showed up in the Oscar nominations. There is so much crossover voting because … well … British people. Also, the British tend to make movies Oscar voters like — where the Americans are trying to work outside of that box.
The year before there wasn’t really much of a BAFTA surprise, except that Emmanuelle Riva won Best Actress but Jennifer Lawrence still won the Oscar.
This year we know we have The Imitation Game and Theory of Everything sewn up. What we don’t know is whether Mr. Turner will in fact make an appearance there or not, becoming the Philomena of this year. One of the things driving Philomena’s inclusion was that it was one of the more gently moving stories in the race. What a wonderful story, even if the film wasn’t roundly accepted by critics. It make an imprint on the heart, which is really what can drive these last minute inclusions. I don’t know if Mr. Turner does that. But maybe the fact that Turner is such a famous British painter and a source of pride, the BAFTAS this year might be All British All the Time with three, count ’em, three famous British men who really did greatly impact their culture and cultures throughout the world.
I don’t know if Mr. Turner will show up at the BAFTAS at all, or whether if it does that means it will then show up at the Oscars. This year seems to produce one question after another, after another. They’re coming eleven hours from now.
I suspect Best Picture will go like:
Grand Budapest Hotel
Nightcrawler or Theory of Everything or Gone Girl
Theory of Everything
The rest, I have no idea.