Posted Feb 02 2020

Last Word Calls The BAFTAs

Every year it seems like the time frame gets more and more truncated…Oh, that is the case this year. Got it.

With Uncle Oscar moving forward (or backward, depending how you look at it), the Brit contingent have moved even more backwards (!) to accommodate the fact they want as many stars as possible to private jet to the UK to enjoy a vegan meal and a lack of climate-destroying goodie bags. Despite the looming nature of Brexit and the potential pandemic of the Coronavirus – no, not the beer – Brad is coming (apparently also “No. not the beer” – but we’re predicting he’ll go home happy on the still water and vegan Coke.)

As ever, and in the interests of transparency, some of us here at Last Word Slopes should stand up as card carrying members of BAFTA, and only just made the voting deadline of this Wednesday past – 6 pm on the 29th, if you’re interested. Which doesn’t leave much time to assess the situation, something that is exacerbated by events at BAFTA this year. Its famed London Piccadilly HQ has closed for two years of planned renovations, meaning that our usual tactic – hanging round the club bar and asking other members what they liked – has been scuppered, as screenings have become fewer and at times less special (in terms of the talent here to press the flesh) and certainly more spread out over central London than before.

Nonetheless, we have been on hand to gauge as many temperatures as we can, and in light of that here present our predictions for what will happen this coming Sunday night.

And we’re gonna start sans dicking around by going straight for the big one – or at the very least, the most obvious.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – If Roger Deakins doesn’t win this for his remarkable one-take-alike work on 1917 – then we should all just go home! (And never darken a door in Piccadilly again.)

Which leads us nicely to -

BEST PICTURE – Now this was difficult. BAFTA don’t have the same down on Netflix as their American cousins do – but there is a general consensus floating around that The Irishman is simply too long and its boat has sailed, both.

1917 is the obvious potential winner here – something enhanced hugely by its Golden Globes and DGA wins. But we think it’s a cert for BEST BRITISH FILM and voters will think that’s enough. (See also Parasite, consigned, but hopefully happy, with BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM.)  

Plus, BAFTA likes to live dangerously – so we’re predicting that the real fight here is between Quentin and Joker. And much as the Brits love a Tarantino man (see Best Original Screenplay, below) we have a sneaking feeling they’re going to throw down the difficult gauntlet and go with Joker.

And while we’re talking about Joker – we also see it walking away with BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN (you could practically smell the trash strewn streets of that ‘70s Scorsese-infused New York – even though it was set in the ‘80s and, ahem, “Gotham”), and BEST HAIR AND MAKE UP – and no. not just the clowns. As for the acting side of all things Joker – stick around…

BEST SOUND sees the latest Star Wars disappointment in with a shot, but we see this going to Le Mans 66 – as it’s called in the UK – Ford V Ferrari apparently contravening something about advertising regulations. (How The Lego Movie snuck by, we have no idea!) Ford V Le Mans also looks likely to pick up BEST FILM EDITING.

BEST SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS once again sees Star Wars in with a shout, but we see this as a tussle between the epic universe-smashing Avengers Endgame and the altogether subtler de-aging process of Scorsese’s The Irishman, with the latter pipping the former to the post, making this the first (and possibly the last) time that Marty goes home with an award for Effects.

Sticking with Star Wars, we move onto BEST SCORE. There’s a chance here that sentiment will enter the voting shenanigans and nod in the direction of the about to be 88 year-old John Williams – after all, the score to Rise of Skywalker is nothing if not evocative of the last 42 years of our collective cinematic lives. But, we see the British Academy looking to the fresh blood of Joker’s Hilda Guonadottir – whom we voted for!

The new – and very welcome and long overdue – award for BEST CASTING  will be inaugurated by Sarah Crowe for the beautifully well cast The Personal History Of David Copperfield.

Meanwhile, over at BEST DOCUMENTARY  - we’d like to see it go to the awesome – and awe-inspiring - Apollo 11, but feel the emotive For Sama has this one sewn up.

BEST ANIMATED should by rights go to the wondrous Toy Story 4 – but when was the last time any “4” won anything? (On that logic – and the fact that it wasn’t any good – nix Frozen 2.) Shaun the Sheep’s Farmageddon was also technically a “2” – but’s it’s Aardman and we forgive their sins as they add another gong to their undoubtedly bulging cabinet.

BEST DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER sees the highly acclaimed Bait pick up its one award of the night.

Which brings u to the biggies.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Noah Baumbach is a serious contender here, but BAFTA love QT so we see Quentin walking away with this one for Once Upon A Time In Ellipsis-Confused Hollywood. Take that Manson!

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY is a tougher call however. Steven Zallian is a serious proposition for The Irishman, but we see this one addressing the balance of having ignored her in the director’s list and handing a salve to Greta Gerwig for her sublime take on Little Women.

BEST SUORTING ACTRESS – Laura Dern – forgone conclusion since Baumbach put pen to paper – or cranked up his MacBook – whatever!

BEST SUORTING ACTOR – Brad Pitt – foregone conclusion since the man opened his mouth on QT’s screen. And deservedly so. After years of being a great image, Brad has genuinely turned into a great actor. Yes Pinocchio, you are a real boy!

BEST ACTRESS – Rene Zellweger – we all knew that from day one, didn’t we?

BEST ACTOR – Meanwhile, back in Joker-land – Joaquin has this. But we all knew that from day one, didn’t we?

BEST DIRECTOR - Now, this is a difficult call. We feel BAFTA initially really wanted to hand this to Scorsese, almost as a career capping award if nothing else. But the recent seismic shift to 1917 means this is more than likely going the way of Sam Mendes.

Which leaves us with nothing more than the RISING STAR award, which we call as a smackdown between  Awkwafina and Jack Lowden, with Awks winning it, and Andy Serkis picking up something “special.” ‘Bout time too.

So there you have it, another night predicted up the wazoo. Come back Sunday and see just how right we were!!*





*…or not…



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