Posted Feb 16 2014

Lastword Calls The BAFTAs


In the interests of transparency, and God knows we’re all all about transparency these days, some of us here at lastword get to vote in the BAFTAs (we won’t bore you with the reasons why.)

Voting for this year’s awards closed today (Feb 12) in readiness for the ceremony this coming Sunday – 16th.However, this list is not a reflection of how we voted (sanctity of the ballot box and all that) as we, frankly, don’t believe in tactical voting, so on occasion voted for what we really thought should win. Not what probably will.

Instead this is our look at how the night will (might?) unfold – lastword calls the BAFTAs. Check back in on Sunday to see if we were right.

BEST PCTURE – Start with the biggie. And this is genuinely a tough one to call this year. A few years back BAFTA moved their ceremony to before the Oscars, having spent years being side-lined by falling after the American Academy event, resulting in a less valued award and, more importantly, fewer stars showing up for your broadcast on the grounds they’d already won the big one a couple of weeks earlier. It was also designed to lend the awards some more impact, and this year, more than ever before, BAFTA has the chance to be a real influence on how the season plays out, largely due to the incredibly strong, and evenly matched playing field. In short, for the last few months it’s been between Gravity, 12 Years A Slave and American Hustle with no clear consensus on who’s going to be the ultimate winner. And with Oscar voting still open for the best part of two weeks, more than ever before what happens at BAFTA could seriously influence what happens at Oscar. And don’t think the voters don’t know that and are very happy to wield such power.

Now the good news is, despite several nominations American Hustle is out of the race. Nothing against it, it’s a good movie; it’s just not that good. Which leaves it a two horse race. We’d be very happy to see Gravity romp home and the fact that the Brits consider it to be a British film could be in its favour.

But ultimately we’re thinking the BAFTA bunch like to be seen to reward the worthy, so we’re going with the other one (which many of them also see as something of a British film – which it isn’t).

And the BAFTA goes to …drum roll please…12 YEARS A SLAVE

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM – Yes, it’s confusing – apparently Saving Mr Banks is a British film. More worrying is that so is Gravity – which may have well split the Best Picture vote. Either way, we’re thinking that BAFTA voters traditionally think of this as the less important award in a way. So this is where they show some love for one of the smaller films they really love. And the BAFTA goes to…PHILOMENA

BEST DIRECTOR – McQueen was in with a shot, but this is – as we see it – the safest bet in town tonight – it’s Gravity, it’s happening, it’s…ALFONSO CUARON (nicely setting up a potnetial Best Picture/Director split at the Oscars)

LEADING ACTOR – At least the Brits had the good sense to nominate Hanks, although we see the Oscar snub impacting here. In an ideal world we’d like to see Leo take the podium, but once again feel a strong sense of nationalism and inherent worth coming into play here. So it’s a well-deserved win for…CHEWETEL EJIOFOR

LEADING ACTRESS – Unless Mia Farrow’s in charge of the final tally, this is as obvious as Alfonso and has been since day one. Arise…CATE BLANCHETT

SUPPORTING ACTOR - The American Hustle shut out continues here, as well as the unfortunate lack of love for Daniel Bruhl. Barkhad Abdi is serious competition, but the winner here is popular with this voting body and they’ve been eager to give him an award for a while now. So this one goes to…MICHAEL FASSBENDER

SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Oprah s showing up but that news is too late to swing her the vote. Sally Hawkins is a local fave, and everyone loves Lawrence (too soon!!). But supporting awards are always a good opportunity to encourage and celebrate new talent so this one’s going to…LUPITA NYONG’O

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – One of the few industry groups to acknowledge the Cuarons and their Gravity screenplay (and quite rightly so.) Voters here haven’t been too bothered by Nebraska and the Coens seem to have not won as many hearts as they should, so this is the point where Mr Russell will feel slightly less hard done by, as the BAFTA goes to…AMERICAN HUSTLE

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – 12 Years would seem to be the front runner, but that’s underestimating the voters’ fondness for Steve Coogan and the very active campaigning that’s been done on the movie’s behalf this past season. So we’re plumping for…PHILOMENA

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE – Metro Manila is actually a British movie in a foreign tongue, which might lend it some clout. But it’s not had much of a showing or impact in the campaign season. Blue is the Warmest Colour has worked for critics but Academy types have been singing the praises of this one for some months now, so this gong is going to go to…THE GREAT BEAUTY

ANIMATED FILM – Monsters U and Despicable 2 are very easily frozen out (ahem) by…FROZEN

DOCUMENTARY – The two Gibneys have cancelled each other out, and lacking the feel good factor of a 20 Feet from Stardom, the Brits will embrace the feel bad factor of…THE ACT OF KILLING

CINEMATOGRPAHY – It’s a crime that Her wasn’t nominated (for this or indeed anything) but this remains one of the most competitive and deserved categories. And in a tough field we’re leaving the earth behind and going for…Emmanuel Lubezki and GRAVITY

COSTUME DESIGN – Brits tend to go for classical period rather than disco so we’re backing…THE INVISIBLE WOMAN

EDITING – This is a key one, with editing often reflecting the choice for Best Picture. We’d personality like to see The Wolf walk it, and Captain Phillips certainly puts the work in (and was favoured by the American editors’ guild.) But we’re hoping they have the sense to understand how editing reflects storytelling and give the golden face to…GRAVITY

MAKEUP & HAIR – A hobbit? Or a gay piano player? Neither, the comb-over gets it…AMERICAN HUSTLE

PRODUCTION DESIGN – Again, the Brits tend to opt for the past rather than the future, so 12 Years looks a safe bet. But they also like to see a bit of decadence and this one also ticks the period box…THE GREAT GATSBY

MUSIC/SOUND/VISUAL EFFECTS – Going out on a limb here, but we think these three disciplines are inseparable in this case and therefore believe the BAFTA voters will have the good sense to see that. And the triple goes to…GRAVITY. (Nice of them to actually bother nominating some others in the Effects category so at least some people can sit there on the night thinking they have a shot.)

As to the BAFTA Fellowship this year – we’re predicting it goes to Helen Mirren. And we’d put money on that!


So there you have it. We’ve called it. So now all BAFTA has to do is not get it wrong. Come back on Sunday when we’re going to be live-blogging the event, to see how it falls.




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