Sunday, February 13, 2011

BAFTA Winners confirm front-runners + a few surprises.

It's almost over. With tonight's BAFTA ceremony completed, the last major awards show before the Oscars (let's not forget the Independent Spirit Awards, however) is out of the way, leaving only the BIG ONE left before awards season madness ends. As expected, BAFTA voters went a decidedly British route with their choices (though I'm not complaining...for the most part). But, in addition to confirming some long-standing front-runners, BAFTA's nominee roster also gave them room for a few surprises, some whom could plausibly repeat on Oscar night. Notable wins of ceremony include:

Best Actor (Colin Firth) and Best Actress (Natalie Portman): Unsurprisingly, Colin Firth and Natalie Portman continued to dominate their respective categories, a feat far from undeserved. Barring some gargantuan surprise (Annette Bening?), the BAFTAs for these two all but seal the deal for their Oscar wins.

Best Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush) and Best Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter): If only The King's Speech had a prominent leading lady, and the film could have very well swept the acting awards. What's interesting about both of these wins is that they both have good chances at the Oscars. Rush will likely lose to Christian Bale, but if the Academy really goes nuts for The King's Speech, anything's possible. Bonham Carter is in a trickier spot. The likely winner of this category, Melissa Leo, wasn't even nominated, so the two weren't in competition. Still, Carter could be viewed as "over due" by AMPAS, who have only nominated her once prior despite a career of acclaimed work. And she did win over Lesley Manville, who I thought would easily take this.

Best Film and Best British Film (The King's Speech): Taking both "top" awards of the night is recently ordained front-runner The King's Speech, which recently scored the triple crown (no pun intended) by winning at the PGA, DGA, and SAG. This only adds to the likelihood that the film will take the top prize from the Academy. That said, there may be another major category where it misses out....

Best Director (David Fincher): A slight rebound amid The Social Network's loss of front-runner status was Fincher's win for directing. With the chances high that the Oscars will be a blood bath between The King's Speech and The Social Network, it's not entirely unlikely that there could be a Picture/Director split, the first since 2005 (Crash/Ang Lee). Fincher's win is exciting for two reasons. Not only do I think he's a deserving winner, but his win in conjunction with TKS winning Picture only adds a little bit more suspense to the awards race, which it certainly needs.

For the rest of the winners, head on over the IMDb.

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