Wednesday, 8 January 2014

2014 BAFTA Awards Thoughts and Predictions

Early this morning, this year's BAFTA nominees were announced. Now widely considered as one of the major award ceremonies (along with The Golden Globes) in the run up to the Oscars, the BAFTA awards have long been a well respected and coveted prize on both sides of the Atlantic. Below is a full list of the 2014 BAFTA Award nominees, the winners of which will be announced at the 67th BAFTA Award ceremony on February 16th at the Royal Opera House. Alongside the list of nominees you'll find my prediction and personal choice of which film or person I'd like to see win.

BAFTA gave us no real surprises with its announcement this morning with the most nominations going to Gravity (11), 12 Years a Slave (10) and American Hustle (10). Saving Mr. Banks performed strongly with (9) nominations, continuing its showing as a dark horse during this year's awards season. Behind the Candelabra received (5) nominations, this despite it not being released theatrically in the States. It's Mandela (1) nomination that will perhaps be dubbed this year's snub but there are no nominations for Spike Jonze's Her and Dallas Buyer's Club, the latter especially I expect to perform better in America. 

Best picture

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips

12 Years a Slave seems a nailed on certainty in this category and it would be my choice to win too. An outside bet would be Gravity. 

Best British film

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Saving Mr Banks
The Selfish Giant

With Gravity's surprise inclusion in this category (British produced and filmed at Pinewood and Shepperton) it instantly becomes the front runner here. Philomena will push it close but with 12 Years a Slave surely to take Best Film, Gravity is well placed for Best British Film. I can't really argue with that.

Best director

Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

This will be a close run category. All five are in the running but I think Steve McQueen will get it. He's British and his film is a masterpiece. I'd like to see him win but would be equally happy if the award went to Cuarón.   

Best actor

Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips

I'd love to see Bruce Dern win this one but I don't think he will. Christian Bale was excellent, as was Tom Hanks but the strength of Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance makes him the front runner.

Best actress

Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr Banks

Amy Adams is the surprise inclusion here and I see her and Sandra Bullock as the outsiders. I'd like to see Cate Blanchett win and expect that's where the award will go. 

Best supporting actor

Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Daniel Brühl, Rush
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

A three horse race for me with Abdi, Brühl and Fassbender the favourites. Fassbender is superb and long overdue a BAFTA but BAFTA likes to go left field with its Supporting Actor/Actress awards. I can see Barkhad Abdi win but would love one of my favourite actors Daniel Brühl take the award home. 

Best supporting actress

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Oprah Winfrey, The Butler

A very strong quintet in this category. I think Jennifer Lawrence gives her strongest performance yet in American Hustle and Sally Hawkins was brilliant but Lupita Nyong'o looks the favourite. Personally I'd like Sally Hawkins win.

Best original screenplay

American Hustle, Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
Inside Llewyn Davis, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Nebraska, Bob Nelson

The Coen's latest is yet to be released in the UK so judging it is difficult. I don't think Gravity's screenplay is strong while David O. Russell always goes well in this category. I'd love Nebraska to win and will stick my neck out and say BAFTA will go that way too. 

Best adapted screenplay

12 Years a Slave, John Ridley
Behind the Candelabra, Richard LaGravenese
Captain Phillips, Billy Ray
Philomena, Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope
The Wolf of Wall Street, Terence Winter

12 Years a Slave will be strong here (as everywhere else). Philomena will be popular with the British voters but I'd like The Wolf of Wall Street to win (if only to give Scorsese's film an award). 

Best film not in the English Language

The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen
Blue Is the Warmest Colour, Abdellatif Kechiche, Brahim Chioua, Vincent Maraval
The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino, Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima
Metro Manila, Sean Ellis, Mathilde Charpentier
Wadjda, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Gerhard Meixner, Roman Pau

I'm disappointed that I haven't seen all of these films, especially Blue is the Warmest Colour but The Act of Killing is so strong, I can't see the award going elsewhere.

Best documentary

The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer
The Armstrong Lie, Alex Gibney
Blackfish, Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Tim's Vermerr, Teller, Penn Jillette, Farley Ziegler
We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, Alex Gibney

Blackfish was excellent but even if The Act of Killing doesn't pick up Best Foreign language, it's a sure fire winner here. 

Best animation

Despicable Me 2, Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
Frozen, Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Monsters University, Dan Scanlon

I've only seen Monsters University and it wasn't great. Disney's Frozen is getting good reviews in a rare weak year for Pixar. 

Best cinematography

12 Years a Slave, Sean Bobbitt
Captain Phillips, Barry Ackroyd
Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska, Phedon Papamichael

Nebraska's beautiful monochrome could win this and 12 Years a Slave will be in the running but this one is all about Gravity.  

Best editing

12 Years a Slave, Joe Walker
Captain Phillips, Christopher Rouse
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger
Rush, Dan Hanley, Mike Hill
The Wolf of Wall Street, Thelma Schoonmaker

Gravity again looks to be a favourite here but Rush stands an outside chance. 12 Years a Slave features some nice touches and you can never count out a Thelma Schoonmaker film. I'm going for Gravity as a well deserved winner. 

Best production design

12 Years a Slave, Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker
American Hustle, Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
Behind the Candelabra, Howard Cummings
Gravity, Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woodlard
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn

Gravity could easily win this one too although the award often goes to more traditional fare. I'm going for a Great Gatsby win but think Gravity deserves it. 

Best costume design

American Hustle, Michael Wilkinson
Behind the Candelabra, Ellen Mirojnick
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin
The Invisible Woman, Michael O'Connor
Saving Mr Banks, Daniel Orlandi

Another one for The Great Gatsby in my opinion although American Hustle could run it close. 

Best make up and hair

American Hustle, Evelyne Noraz, Lori McCoy-Bell
Behind the Candelabra, Kate Biscoe, Marie Larkin
The Butler, Debra Denson, Beverly Jo Pryor, Candace Neal
The Great Gatsby, Maurizio Silvi, Kerry Warn
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor, Rick Findlater

American Hustle should win this one but The Hobbit will always be a threat. 

Best sound

All Is Lost, Richard Hymns, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, Micah Bloomberg, Gillian Arthur
Captain Phillips, Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro, Oliver Tarney
Gravity, Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris Munro
Inside Llewyn Davis, Peter F. Kurland, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff
Rush, Danny Hambrook, Martin Steyer, Stefan Korte, Markus Stemler, Frank Kruse

A two way race between Gravity and Rush for me. I'd like Rush to win it but think it's Gravity's to lose. 

Best original music

12 Years a Slave, Hans Zimmer
The Book Thief, John Williams
Captain Phillips, Henry Jackman
Gravity, Steven Price
Saving Mr Banks, Thomas Newman

Hanz Zimmer's score is monumentally brilliant so he has to be favourite although John Williams could sneak it. Gravity is a film in which the music takes centre stage so will also be strong. I'm going for 12 Years a Slave. 

Best special visual effects

Gravity, Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Nikki Penny
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds
Iron Man 3, Bryan Grill, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Dan Sudick
Pacific Rim, Hal Hickel, John Knoll, Lindy De Quattro, Nigel Sumner
Star Trek Into Darkness, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton, Patrick Tubach, Roger Guyett

Nothing will beat Gravity here but I think Pacific Rim could be an outside bet. 

Best British short animation

Everything I can see from Here, Bjorn-Erik Aschim, Friederike Nicolaus, Sam Taylor
I Am Tom Moody, Ainslie Henderson
Sleeping with the Fishes, James Walker, Sarah Woolner, Yousif Al-Khalifa

Best British short film

Island Queen, Ben Mallaby, Nat Luurtsema
Keeping up with Joneses, Megan Rubens, Michael Pearce, Selina Lim
Orbit Ever After, Chee-Lan Chan, Jamie Stone, Len Rowles
Room 8, James W. Griffiths, Sophie Venner
Sea View, Anna Duffield, Jane Linfoot

Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer

Colin Carberry, (Writer), Glenn Patterson (Writer), Good Vibrations
Kelly Marcel, (Writer), Saving Mr Banks
Keiran Evans (Director/Writer), Kelly + Victor
Paul Wright (Director/Writer), Polly Stokes (Producer), For Those in Peril
Scott Graham, (Director/Writer), Shell

Saving Mr Banks has a great script so Marcel is in with a strong shout here. I've heard excellent things about Good Vibrations though. 

The EE Rising Star award (voted for by public)

Dane DeHaan
George MacKay
Lupita Nyong'o
Will Poulter
Léa Seydoux

A strong five. Dane DeHaan has looked a star in the making for several years while Will Poulter has home advantage. Lupita Nyong'o's strong performance gives her an edge too. I'm going for Will Poulter. 

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