With just days to go before the British film industry’s big night out, it’s time to give The Coops Review’s crystal ball a thorough dusting and putting it to work on predicting this year’s BAFTA winners. And, with any luck, I’ll do better than last year!
This time, I’ll concentrate on the seven big awards of the night – plus any others that catch my eye. As usual, I’ll look at who I think should win and who will actually win – often two very different things.
Despite the British contenders – The Imitation Game and The Theory Of Everything – this still looks like being a two horse race between Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and Birdman, the two main Oscar contenders. I don’t see BAFTA bucking the Oscar trend here, which means the outcome should look like this:
Should win Boyhood. Richard Linklater’s family drama is crafted with care and deserves it.
Will win Boyhood. As above and more.
Outstanding British Film
Here we go again! What makes a British film? But, while the criteria that helped Gravity be the winner last year haven’t been changed, this year’s line-up of nominees has a stronger domestic flavour. And, despite the absence of Mr Turner, it’s going to be a close run thing.
Should win Pride would be a popular choice, for its great ensemble cast and sheer heart.
Will win The Theory Of Everything. It’s the strongest British contender in the Best Film category but will take away this award as a consolation prize.
This rather echoes the Best Film category, with a head to head between Linklater and Inarritu. Giving this and the Best Film award to just one of them would mean the other potentially going away empty handed, so I’m expecting a repeat of last year, with honours even. That means:
Should win: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman. The film’s audacious ‘one long take’ style makes the film the more technically innovative of the two.
Will win: Inarritu. Otherwise one of the outstanding films of the year risks a big, fat zero.
Yet again, this is one of the tightest categories of the lot, even if Ralph Fiennes’ inclusion is a touch unexpected. Whoever wins, it won’t be by much more than a whisker …..
Should win: Michael Keaton, who is nothing short of brilliant in Birdman.
Will win: BAFTA will follow the SAG awards by giving it to the home-grown Eddie Redmayne. His odds on an Oscar win are shortening as well.
This was pretty much a done deal last year and 2015 is no different. Except that this time we don’t get to see the winning performance in this country until a month after the ceremony.
Should win: Felicity Jones in The Theory Of Everything has plenty of supporters, but it should go to Julianne Moore for Still Alice. A beautiful performance from one of the most consistently good actresses around.
Will win: Julianne Moore. There’s also the general feeling that this year is “her turn”.
If Leading Actress is a done deal, then the Supporting Actor trophy has had a certain name engraved on it for months! There can only be one winner.
Should win: J K Simmons for Whiplash. The archetypal “that guy” gets his moment in the sun with his blistering turn as the obsessive teacher.
Will win: J K! Nuff said.
Although this category has its own front runner, it’s possible that BAFTA may decide to go its own way and pick a British winner. They’ve got two to choose from but, in all honesty, it’s a long shot.
Should win: Imelda Staunton for Pride would be the popular British win. Swansea has never been the same since her classic line!
Will win: Patricia Arquette in Boyhood is the front runner and is still likely to triumph.
And what of the other categories? I’m especially torn over the Film Not In The English Language category, with the likes of Two Days One Night and the brilliant Ida both in contention. However, my guess is that Leviathan will be the winner, if only to make a political point! Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director or Producer is likely to go to Yann Demange for ’71, despite competition from Pride and Lilting. And, much as I would love to see Best Documentary go to 20,000 Days On Earth, I’m anticipating CitizenFour coming out on top.
So, assuming I’m right, it looks like being an equally good evening for both Boyhood and Birdman and a pretty decent one for British talent as well. If there’s likely to be any losers, it could easily be The Imitation Game, which is increasingly in The Theory of Everything’s shadow, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Wes Anderson’s delightful shaggy dog topped the list with 11 nominations but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that it could end up with next to nothing.
Does this all affect the Oscars? Possibly, although the Screen Actors Guild awards are seen as having more influence. But the final voting among the American Academy members starts just a few days before the BAFTA ceremony and finishes on Tuesday, 17th February. So an unexpected BAFTA win could have an effect on Oscar night. It happened in 2008 in the Best Actress category. Up until BAFTA night, Julie Christie was sweeping all before her for Away From Her, but it was Marion Cotillard who took Best Actress for La Vie En Rose. Two weeks later, the Oscar was hers as well.
In the meantime, find out how many I got right – and how many I got wrong! – by checking out The Coops Review on Sunday night after ceremony. You can also hear my review of the winners on Monday morning on The Wireless – www.thewirelessradio.com – just after 9 on the breakfast show and on BBC Surrey and BBC Sussex at around 11 on the Danny Pike Show.