February in London isn’t the best time of the year for a major awards ceremony. But that’s when the BAFTAs are and we’ve learned to live with it – heavy rain, soggy red carpet (and who can forget the foaming one?), high winds and everything the weather can throw at us.
How accurate the weather forecast for this Sunday’s ceremony turns out to be is, unsurprisingly, open to question. And, as for my predictions for this year’s winners ….. well, I’ll leave that to you to decide.
I’ve only covered the major awards, otherwise it would be a massive list, and I’ve picked those that should win and those that I believe will. Inevitably, they’re not always the same.
This will be a shoot-out between the two big films of the year and the two with the highest number of nominations – 12 Years A Slave and Gravity.
Should win 12 Years A Slave.
Will win 12 Years A Slave. Gravity is technically accomplished, but 12 Years A Slave is more complete.
Outstanding British Film
What makes a British film in the first place has been chewed over to the point of extinction over the past couple of months. BAFTA’s use of the BFI definition, which includes elements like funding and filming locations, means that Gravity and Rush both make the shortlist, despite the latter having a decidedly Hollywood feel.
Should win The Selfish Giant. Forget the BFI definition: this is the one film that has the British spirit.
Will win Philomena. It’s been a favourite with audiences and critics alike.
And we’re back with the same two front runners up for Best Film, 12 Years A Slave and Gravity. Other awards have taken an ‘honours even’ approach, with one of them winning the director’s award and the other best film. BAFTA, however, tends to go its own way.
Should win Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity.
Will win Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave. He’s had a meteoric rise – and he’s a Brit!
Whoever wins on the night, it won’t go the same way as the Golden Globes. The current Oscar front runner, Matthew McConaughey, hasn’t even made the shortlist for the BAFTA, but this is still a fiercely competitive category and very hard to predict.
Should win Bruce Dern, Nebraska. The winner at Cannes, this is a career best from the veteran actor.
Will win Chiwetel Ejiofor. A superb, heartfelt piece of acting – and McConaughey’s out of the picture.
While the Leading Actor category is hard to predict, the choice of this year’s Leading Actress is pretty much a dead cert. And that’s no disrespect to the likes of Dame Judi and Sandra Bullock.
Should win Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine. She’s been way ahead of the field for months.
Will win Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine.
With no nomination for Jared Leto, whoever wins this category will be getting their Oscar consolation prize, as Leto more than likely to take the Academy Award.
Should win Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips. A debut performance that gave Tom Hanks a run for his money.
Will win Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave. It has to be his night.
Again, this boils down to two performances – 23 year old near-veteran Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o, who is also in the running for the Rising Star Award. Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine would be a popular choice with the home crowd, but she’s unlikely to prevail.
Should win Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Will win Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave. Another fine debut.
Until now, the late charge from Spike Jonze’s Her has worked a treat in this category at other award ceremonies. But there’s no nomination for him here, which blows it wide open.
Should win Bob Nelson, Nebraska. Alexander Payne usually writes his own screenplays, but not this time.
Will win Joel and Ethan Cohen, Inside Llewyn Davis. This is one of the brothers’ best films.
After Philomena’s win in this category at Venice last year, all talk was of it running away with this award everywhere else. But, despite, plenty of nominations, Venice remains its single win. That could change at the BAFTAs.
Should win John Ridley, 12 Years A Slave. It makes particularly striking use of the language of the period.
Will win Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope, Philomena. It walks the tightrope of humour and tragedy perfectly.
Rising Star (public vote)
If awards chosen by committee are hard to predict, public votes are almost impossible. This is a particularly tough category this year, although if it went to the hardest working young actor, George MacKay would walk away with it: he’s been in no less than four feature films in the past year. Dane DeHaan is a strong contender but probably too Hollywood. But Lupita Nyong’o could pull off a double win…..
Should win George MacKay
Will win Lupita Nyong’o
If my predictions are correct, Sunday could be a very big night for 12 Years A Slave. The film was nominated for ten awards, including technical categories that I’ve not mentioned here. I’ve tipped it to win six. And while I’ve not put Gravity’s name against any of the awards on my list, it should dominate the technical categories: Special Visual Effects has to be a foregone conclusion, and it could easily score in Cinematography, Sound and Production Design.
And Philomena should have a decent night as well, with two awards – again, if I’m right – even if that does seem a small number for a film that’s had the much-publicised backing of Harvey Weinstein.
But am I right? Come back to The Coops Review on Sunday night to find out, when I’ll be reviewing the winners and the also-rans – and fessing up to my accuracy or lack of it! You can also find my thoughts on the winners on Turquoise Radio’s Facebook page and I’ll be on The Wireless from Age UK on Monday morning just after 9 am with my round-up from the previous night.
Place your bets now!
The full list of BAFTA nominations can be found at http://www.bafta.org.