BAFTA (2019) film awards – preferred winners list

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The 2019 British Academy of Film and Television Arts annual film awards are tonight – 10 February 2019 – but who do we think will win the big eight awards? Read on for our preferred winners (in bold) and – if we think the awards will disagree – who could win (italics). We’ve linked to our reviews.

Best Film

BlackKklansman
The Favourite
Green Book
Roma
A Star is Born

I really admired BlackKklansman – something I never say about Spike Lee films! – and gave this 5/5. For me, it was the best film of last year. But I suspect The Favourite, with its bonkers female leads and Britishness will win the day.

Best Director

Spike Lee – BlackKklansman
Pawel Pawlikowski – Cold War
Yorgos Lanthinmos – The Favourite
Alfonso Cuaron – Roma
Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born

I’ve oscillated on this one. Usually with film awards, it follows that the Best Director made the Best Picture. With anti-Trump feeling across the entertainment industry strongly suggesting Roma, the Mexican movie gaining huge praise, will win big at the Oscars, will BAFTA voters do the same? I think BlackKklansman and The Favourite are more impressive pieces of cinema and have stronger stories and performances. I’ll plump for these choices but – heed my previous words!

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
Christian Bale – Vice
Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody
Steve Coogan – Stan & Ollie
Viggo Mortensen – Green Book

Bale has hungered for Best Actor awards for so long, pushing himself and – at times – his body in pursuit of the most impressive performance. He is a very good actor, but I was left unmoved by his portly, balding Dick Cheney in Vice, as much an advertisement for a brilliant make-up team than for his admirable skills. For me, the ‘technique’ of transformation, the method if you will, was too evident. But it is a showy, awards grabbing turn, rather like Rami Malek in the much talked about Bohemian Rhapsody.

Best Actress

Glenn Close – The Wife
Lady GaGa – A Star is Born
Melissa McCarty – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Olivia Colman – The Favourite
Viola Davis – Widows

When three of your actresses are nominated for the same film, what will the voters, suddenly conflicted, do about it? Will they, to avoid on-camera, forced smiles to hide disappointment? Or, just to stoke a few embers of fun, pit one against the other on the world stage? I think Olivia Colman’s superbly dowdy Queen Anne, pathetic and depressive but explosive when cornered, will scoop this and, I hope, the Oscar. But then there’s Glenn Close, whom the critics adore for The Wife…and she is long overdue a win.

Best Supporting Actor

Adam Driver – BlackKklansman
Mahershala Ali – Green Book
Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell – Vice
Timothee Chalamet – Beautiful Boy

Why was Driver Oscar-nominated, when leading actor John David Washington (far more impressive and watchable) has been completely ignored, by BAFTA and Oscar? Given his unaccountable omission, I would like Ali’s smooth, emotionally distant pianist to win but I think Grant will nab the statuette for a perfectly amusing forger.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams – Vice
Claire Foy – First Man
Emma Stone – The Favourite
Margot Robbie – Mary Queen of Scots
Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

So, here we go with some possible award win jiggery-pokery. Both Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone up for the same award, for producing two splendidly tart and bitchy performances in the same movie. Who to win? There are some stunning female co-nominees here too – from Margot Robbie’s anxious, neurotic Elizabeth I, Amy Adams’ powerful woman behind the man behind the throne and Clare Foy’s astronaut’s wife in First Man. I’ve gone for Adams…so why does my eye twitch, thinking Weisz, Weisz, Weisz…?

Best Original Screenplay

Cold War – Janusz Głowacki, Paweł Pawlikowski
The Favourite – Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
Green Book – Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga
Roma – Alfonso Cuaron
Vice – Adam McCay

For me Vice, with its rather arrogant Shakespearean-nods and fourth-wall breaking disappeared up its own whatsit. I haven’t seen Cold War but here we have a few very different screenplays, from Roma‘s slice of life realism to The Favourite‘s absurdist leanings. As The Favourite had just a bit more incident it gets my vote and, I think, BAFTA’s as well.

Best Adapted Screenplay

BlackKlansman – Spike Lee, David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel, Kevin Willmot
Can You Ever Forgive Me? – Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty
First Man – Josh Singer
If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins
A Star is Born – Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters, Eric Roth

BlackKlansman and Can You Ever Forgive Me both had impressive scripts, the former had the more interesting story, the latter just nudges it with its barbed, caustic dialogue.

The full list of nominees can be viewed on BAFTA’s official website.

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