Ahead of tonight’s BAFTA awards presentation, a lot of people – me included – were predicting a big winner. So far, so good. Trouble was, we all chose the wrong film.
The first award of the night rather set the tone. Outstanding British Film went to Gravity, immediately reviving the debate about the definition of a British film. But, however BAFTA defined it, Gravity was most definitely it. And, as the evening rolled on, the film continued to gather trophies: they were mainly technical but it finished its progress with a flourish by winning Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron, bringing its total to six.
So what of the film everybody thought would win, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave? The two major honours of the night were split evenly between it and Gravity – a definite habit at this year’s awards ceremonies. It took Best Picture and completed the double with Chiwetel Ejiofor winning Leading Actor.
The Leading Actress category went completely to form, with Cate Blanchett steamrollering the opposition with her performance in Blue Jasmine. The Oscar must be a done deal by now. Jennifer Lawrence won Supporting Actress for American Hustle, with one of the most popular wins of the night coming in the Supporting Actor category. This went to Barkhad Abdi, for his debut performance in Captain Phillips. It’s not so long ago that he was a taxi driver …..
Stephen Frear’s Philomena walked off with the Adapted Screenplay award, as hoped, while The Great Gatsby won both Production Design and Costume Design. American Hustle came away with a total of three awards, the other two being for Original Screenplay and Make Up/Hair. And the Rising Star award, voted for by the public, went to Will Poulter.
So, time for me to fess up. My predictions weren’t as good as last year. I predicted nine awards and got four of them right – Best Film, Leading Actor, Leading Actress and Adapted Screenplay – although I can, and will, claim a bit of extra credit for the other two actors who I said should win their categories, and who did just that. I’ll try to redeem myself come the Oscars.
Talking of which, members of the American Academy are currently casting their votes, so it remains to be seen how tonight’s results will influence them, especially when it comes to Best Picture and Best Director.
In the meantime, the full list of winners is on http://www.bafta.org.