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BAFTA 2015: Winners, lack of surprises and Oscar predictions

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With the Golden Globes and Screen Actor’s Guild Awards having recently passed, the next in the award season saga for British filmgoers was the BAFTAs - British Academy Film and Television Awards.

Four of the prestigious categories - Best Leading Actor, Best Leading Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress - were awarded to those who received the respective awards at the recent Golden Globes. All of the winners are also nominated in their respective categories for Oscars, which will be awarded on the 22nd of this month.

Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel led the way, receiving five awards, though in more technical categories - Best Makeup and Hair, Best Original Music, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Original Screenplay. Boyhood and The Theory of Everything tied, receiving three awards each, with The Theory of Everything winning Outstanding British Film, Best Leading Actor for Eddie Redmayne and Best Adapted Screenplay, and Boyhood winning Best Director for Richard Linklater, Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette and the big one - Best Film.

Once again Eddie Redmayne won the Best Leading Actor award for his performance as Stephen Hawking, whom was present at the ceremony, in biopic The Theory of Everything. He deserved to win, though all nominees gave strong, emotional performances, and I have a strong feeling that the Oscar may be his in a couple of weeks time.

The other Best Leading Actor nominees included fellow Brits Benedict Cumberbatch and Ralph Fiennes, as well as Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Keaton. The nominees for this award varied slightly from the respective Oscar nominees, with Jake Gylenhaal’s performance in Nightcrawler having been snubbed by the Oscars, though he was nominated for this award at the Golden Globes, but also lost to Redmayne. Michael Keaton won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for his performance in Birdman, and was seen as a frontrunner to win this BAFTA award.

The other British nominees included Benedict Cumberbatch, for his performance at Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. Cumberbatch was nominated in this category at the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards but lost to Redmayne both times, and I have a feeling he may lose once again to Redmayne at the Oscars. Being another young British actor, nominated for a non-fictional role, portraying the famous mathematician, Alan Turing, who went through triumphs and struggles in his life, makes it hard not to compare Cumberbatch’s performance with Redmayne’s - however, in my opinion, they both equally deserve to win.

The other British nominee in this category, Ralph Fiennes, nominated for his performance in The Grand Budapest Hotel, was also nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical category, which he lost to Michael Keaton. Fiennes’ performance was also snubbed by the Oscars. I would have liked Fiennes to have won the Best Leading Actor BAFTA, however Eddie Redmayne’s win was deserving and unsurprising, given his other recent wins in the category.

The Best Leading Actress BAFTA went to Julianne Moore, for her performance in Still Alice. The nominees she was up against included Amy Adams, for her role in Tim Burton’s Big Eyes. Adams was also snubbed by the Oscars, but won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical, and was thus a strong contender for the BAFTA.

Moore was also up against the two British nominees, Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything and Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl; both are nominated for the respective Oscar and were both nominated for the respective Golden Globe, but also lost to Moore. Both gave great, BAFTA-worthy performances, and Rosamund Pike was thought, by many, to be a frontrunner for both this and the equivalent Golden Globe.

Reese Witherspoon, for Wild, was another worthy nominee, and was also my personal favourite to win the BAFTA. I still see her as having a strong chance of winning the Oscar for Best Leading Actress, even if Moore has won the BAFTA, Golden Globe and SAG Award in this category this year. I would have liked to have seen Felicity Jones win, as her co-star in The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne, has won several awards for Best Leading Actor, and I think both their performances were as powerful as each other. However, Julianne Moore was a deserved winner, and will no doubt go on to win the Best Leading Actress Oscar.

J.K Simmons won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Whiplash, against tough competition from Edward Norton (Birdman), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Mark Ruffalo,(Foxcatcher) and Steve Carrell (Foxcatcher); the latter, Carrell, being the only one snubbed in the Oscar nominations for this category. J.K Simmons recently won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and thus his BAFTA win didn’t come as much of a surprise. Though all the nominees were deserving and I couldn’t have predicted a different winner, it would have been nice to have seen Steve Carrell win.

Patricia Arquette won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, meaning that all four of the main, prestigious acting awards were received by the same recipients as their respective Golden Globes. Arquette was another deserving winner, but she faced tough competition from the other actresses: including the two British nominees, Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game) and Imelda Staunton (Pride). Emma Stone was one of the nominees, seen by many to be a frontrunner to win the award for her role in Birdman, and was also my favourite to win. Rene Russo was also nominated for her role in Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler. This category yet again, had a deserving but unsurprising winner.

Richard Linklater won yet another award for Best Director, for Boyhood, as he also won the Best Director award at the recent Golden Globe Awards. The other nominees in this category were Alejandro G. Iñárritu for Birdman, Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, James Marsh for The Theory of Everything and Damien Chazelle Whiplash. The latter two, Marsh and Chazelle, were snubbed by the Oscars in this category unfortunately. I personally expected Whiplash’s director, Damien Chazelle, to win it, but all the directors were deserving and there was little difference between the director’s nominated in terms of the standard of their films. I think Linklater has a strong chance of also winning the Best Director Oscar.

The Best Film BAFTA was won by Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, which also won Best Motion Picture - Drama at the recent Golden Globes, making this win, yet again, unsurprising. It also stands Boyhood in good stead for winning the Best Picture Oscar it is also nominated for. The other BAFTA nominees in this category were Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything, all of which are also nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. As a big Wes Anderson fan, I would have loved The Grand Budapest Hotel to have won, however Boyhood, was more than deserving.

Another notable award given out was the EE rising Star BAFTA, which was decided by public vote and was won by Jack O’Connell, who recently starred in Starred Up and Unbroken. This award was presented to him by James McAvoy, who won it nine years ago. It has also previously been won by Eva Green, Shia LaBeouf, Kristen Stewart, Tom Hardy and Juno Temple, who have all gone on to do big things in the acting world, so we will hopefully and probably be seeing a lot more of Jack O’Connell in years to come. O’Connell won against Whiplash star Miles Teller, The Wolf of Wall Street’s Margot Robbie, Shailene Woodley, (The Fault In Our Stars) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, (Beyond The Lights). I always saw the award being won by either Jack O’Connell or Shailene Woodley; Jack is worthy winner.

This year’s Fellowship award was given to Mike Leigh, veteran film director, famous for All or Nothing, Vera Drake and the recent Mr. Turner. The award was presented to him by Sally Hawkins and Imelda Staunton, actresses with whom he has collaborated with on several occasions.

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