Early this morning, I’d expected to feel quietly content – not smug exactly, but certainly satisfied at having got something right. BAFTA put paid to all that ……….
When Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years came out last summer, I was so blown away by Charlotte Rampling’s performance that I predicted the Best Actress BAFTA for her. But they had other ideas and delivered what could well become a BAFTA tradition: The Big Snub. Remember last year and Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner? Perhaps I should stop trying to predict things.
There was a big fat zero for Rampling in the Best Actress category, with the small consolation of a nomination for 45 Years in the Outstanding British Film category. Thankfully, the actresses who made the shortlist come with a certain pedigree: Cate Blanchett in Carol and Maggie Smith for Lady In The Van certainly do, while Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl, Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn and Brie Larson in Room are comparative newcomers, Larson in particular who is also up for the Rising Star Award. Room, like other contenders Spotlight, The Big Short and The Revenant, doesn’t open in this country until later in the month, so I can’t comment on their chances.
A double nomination can be a curse: it can split the vote as Alicia Vikander might discover as she also gets a nod in the Best Supporting Actress category for Ex Machina. Up against her for the trophy are Julie Walters in Brooklyn (not so much a performance as a comedy turn), Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs, Rooney Mara in Carol and Jennifer Jason Leigh for The Hateful Eight.
Among the men, the Best Actor race will be between, in my opinion, Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs and Leonardo Di Caprio for The Revenant. Di Caprio seems to be in the ascendancy according to the barometer of social media, but the reason why he’s being heavily tipped is that he’s not won before. Surely his performance should come into play somewhere along the line? And Mr Fassbender has also had a very good year.
The contest for Best Supporting Actor should be a close one. The choice is between Benicio Del Toro’s turn in Sicario, Christian Bale in The Big Short, Idris Elba for Beasts Of No Nation, Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight and Mark Rylance in Bridge Of Spies. If there’s a BAFTA frontrunner, it’s probably Rylance, who’s getting a lot of love for his role in Spielberg’s spy thriller.
The top two awards line up what are fast becoming the usual suspects. Up for Best Film is The Big Short, Bridge Of Spies, Carol, The Revenant and Spotlight. The list for Best Director is almost identical: just take out Spotlight and replace it with The Martian’s Ridley Scott and there you go!
With many of the nominees also featuring on the Golden Globe shortlists, this Sunday’s ceremony in Hollywood could be an even bigger indicator than usual of future glory – and, indeed, failure. In the meantime, I’ll console my disappointment over Charlotte Rampling by making sure I see the other nominees being released over the next three weeks. Hopefully that will mean my predictions for the BAFTA winners will be informed choices, not just instinctive ones.
The BAFTA film awards are presented on the evening of Sunday, 14 February. The full list of nominees can be found here.