When I reviewed the BAFTA nominations last month, I said that Ben Affleck’s Argo had a better chance of winning Oscars – but that was before the Academy Award nominations and his resounding slap in the face in the Best Director category.
So where does that leave my film of 2012? Well, the Oscars oversight and his triumph at the Golden Globes make me believe now that Argo is in with a better chance at the BAFTAs than I originally thought. Yes, it faces tough competition in the mighty form of Lincoln, but Mr Spielberg isn’t up for a Best Director BAFTA.
The other game changer in recent weeks is the extensively negative coverage given to Zero Dark Thirty. This is nothing to do with Kathryn Bigelow’s skills as a director: the accusation is that it appears to support torture as an acceptable means of extracting information. Bigelow and her cast have been doing the media rounds, strongly denying the accusation and I don’t support it myself: we’re shown waterboarding so graphically that there’s no way that you would ever support it, for whatever reason. Regardless of that, I fear that all this debate has probably undermined the chances of the film when it comes to this year’s awards.
For the BAFTAs, as British awards, the big question is whether Skyfall will be a winner in Bond’s 50th year. And, if so, how many awards will it win? It’s in the running for several, including acting awards for Judi Dench and Javier Bardem, as well as Best British Film and the inevitable Best Song. Apart from the latter category, it’s unusual to see a Bond film nominated for a major award in the first place, which says a lot about having Sam Mendes behind the camera.
So, my predictions for the major BAFTA gongs are:
Argo. My film of last year and I’m sticking with it. Not only that, but the snub from the American Academy to Affleck as its director seems to have done the film more good than harm – to the extent that it’s now being touted as the front runner for Best Picture Oscar. What a delicious irony that would be.
Ben Affleck. He’s not going to win the Oscar in this category, after all! Seriously, though, he has developed into one of the best directors around and deserves it for Ago.
Daniel Day-Lewis. Next …………
Jessica Chastain. The past couple of years have demonstrated her talent and range. It all comes together in Zero Dark Thirty.
Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz. Under Tarantino’s direction, he’s a winner in Django Unchained. It’s a very strong category this year, with classy opposition from the likes of Alan Arkin (Argo) and Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), both previous winners in their own right.
Best Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables. She dreamed a dream – and it came true.
Best British Film
Skyfall. Has to be.
Don’t forget to check out The Coops Review on Sunday, 10 February for the low-down on all the winners, also-rans and news from the ceremony.
And I’ll also be presenting a special BAFTAs report for The Wireless from Age UK on Monday, 11 February. Tune in to Good Morning UK – online at www.ageuk.org.uk or on digital radio in London and Yorkshire – after 8 am.