Sunday, February 13, 2011

BAFTA 2011

It's an awards show! What's not to like? Perhaps understandably, BAFTAs get the smelly end of the big awards hoopla, mainly because they are not held in the glitzy Hollywood, but in the drizzly London. Looking outside the window, I'm pretty sure the celebs are re-thinking their wardrobe choices.

The location of the awards play an important part in BAFTA Awards' desperate attempt at being relevant, which is why I have a rather dubious perspective. And here's my point - in a year when UK Film Council is no more, it is a slap in the face to have an awards show that instead of giving priority to local output, it acts as a dress rehearsal for Hollywood's big do in a couple of weeks' time.

Don't get me wrong, I love these films as much as the next guy, but when the rest of the European countries hold their own equivalent awards shows, American films are nominated in the Foreign Film category.

Hold on, Bru. Don't you believe in a world devoid of boundaries and nationalities? Yes, I am. But I am also in favour of spreading the spotlight evenly across the imagined communities we have created. So, BAFTAs should showcase, with the brightest of spotlights and with as much confetti as they can muster, the British films. Can you imagine The King's Speech winning the Goya or the Caesar? Third World War will break out.

So, with great consternation, I am going to sit in front of my TV tonight and hope that some sort of justice is handed.

And that is one of the reasons why I am actually quite excited about this year's ceremony. Why? Because in a couple of categories BAFTAs will raise two humongous middle fingers at the AMPAS. You will see what I mean in a minute.

I will post a very similar piece before the Oscars, so this is more of a dress rehearsal for me as well.

Let's set the one and only rule of the game: I will only voice my opinion in categories where I have seen at least 3 out of 5 nominated films. Here we go:


Will Win: The King's Speech - an obvious choice, which will make plenty of people cry in patriotic glee. Yours truly will also cry, for other reasons.

Should win: Inception - in a year with too many adaptations, remakes and rehashes, this restored our faith in original ideas.

Dark horse: The Social Network - it will win the Oscar, so a loss here is not that big of a deal.


Will win: The King's Speech - what? Exactly.

Should win: Another Year - it's Mike Leigh. If Britain should be proud of one thing right now (and there isn't much to be proud of in this country lately), then it's this guy. Knight him already.

Dark horse: 127 Hours - it's Danny Boyle. If Britain should be proud of another thing right now, then it's this guy. Knight him already.


Will win: Colin Firth (The King's Speech) - despite my misgivings of the film (and there were plenty), Firth's performance was extraordinary.

Should in: James Franco (127 Hours) - but it was nothing compared to Franco's performance.

Dark horse: Jeff Bridges (True Grit) - it's difficult to distance Bridges from the Dude anymore, but it was another great turn by a ridiculously consistent actor.


Will win: Natalie Portman (Black Swan) - a bravura performance, that calls for an award. Regardless, this is Portman's best turn since Garden State.

Should win: Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) - that's right, well done BAFTA. Not the supporting actress, but the Best Actress. Take that AMPAS.

Dark horse: Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right) - a solid performance.


Will win: Pete Postelwaithe (The Town) - this will be more of a celebration of his career than this particular performance, but I'm more than OK with that.

Should win: Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) - yes, he dons an American-via-Brazil accent, but he is about to be the most famous Brit in the world. And he was overlooked for his incredible turn for Never Let Me Go.

Dark horse: Christian Bale (The Fighter) - another Brit donning the American twang, his performance was a little bit overkill at times, but he still stole the show in every frame he was in.

Will and should win: Lesley Manville (Another Year) - not even a close contest here.


And here, my friends, please raise your collective hands and give LA the birdie, because this is where BAFTA wins over the Oscars this year. Hands down.

Will win: David Fincher (The Social Network) - by a very, very close margin. I love the guy, he is one of my heroes. But it should have been for Seven or Fight Club.

Should win: Christopher Nolan (Inception) - should I even ...?

Dark horse: Danny Boyle (127 Hours) - can he do it again? Yes. Will he? Probably not.


Will win: David Seidler (The King's Speech) - not cool, not cool at all.

Should win: Christopher Nolan (Inception) - should I even ...?

Dark horse: Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg (The Kids Are All Right) - it had bits of dodgy dialogue here and there, but it had the smarts.


Will and should win: Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) - another foregone conclusion.


Will and should win: Roger Deakins (True Grit) - rule of thumb: if Roger Deakins is nominated, he should win.


Will win: Lee Smith (Inception) - by a very, very close margin over ...

Should win: Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter (The Social Network) ... these guys. The complex narrative was seamless in its execution.

Dark horse: Jon Harris (127 Hours) - Boyle's directing style is so unique, his editors must hate him. So, kudos to this guy.


Will and should win: The Secret in Their Eyes - I recently re-watched this and it is still phenomenal.

What about the other categories? A) Either I don't have any real arguments for or against the nominees. B) See the one and only rule for this post. We'll see how things pan out tonight. But if Christopher Nolan doesn't win, I'm going to lose my shit.

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