It was a chilly night on the Royal Opera House red carpet – and even colder inside for Birdman as BAFTA clipped the wings of the one of the big Oscar contenders for this year.
The much-fancied black comedy lost out to Boyhood in both the Best Film and Best Director categories, while leading man Michael Keaton was grounded as Best Actor by The Theory Of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne for his performance as Stephen Hawking.
Things were even worse, but less unexpectedly so, for The Imitation Game which came away empty handed.
Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel had topped the nominations list with eleven nods and the question was whether they would translate into actual trophies. Five of them did – Costume Design, Make Up/Hair, Original Screenplay, Production Design and Original Music – which bolsters its chances for a craft award or two come the Oscars. And, given that the film was released in the UK nearly a year ago, perhaps a re-release is on the cards as well.
Boyhood, The Theory Of Everything and Whiplash took three apiece. Apart from the two big awards, front runner Patricia Arquette won Best Supporting Actress. The Theory Of Everything took Outstanding British Film and Adapted Screenplay, while Whiplash won in Editing and Sound, with self-styled “60 year old overnight sensation” J K Simmons getting yet another – much-deserved – Supporting Actor trophy.
The other big winner on the night was Julianne Moore who took Best Actress for Still Alice, a performance we won’t see in this country until next month. Film Not In The English Language was picked up by the beautiful Ida, while the Documentary award went to CitizenFour.
And, not wishing to blow my own trumpet, out of the ten predictions I made on here, I got seven right. I slipped up on Director, Documentary and Film Not In The English Language. But sometimes I just love being wrong – and I couldn’t be happier about Ida!
The full list of winners is on the BAFTA website, www.bafta.org.
But the award season isn’t over. The Oscars are handed out on 22 February – and you can find my predictions here in a week or so.