The BAFTA’s slightly controversial setting
Two days after leaving the European Union, the not so United Kingdom holds its most prestigious film awards ceremony hosted by the amazing Graham Norton. This year marked the 73rdannual BAFTA’s ceremony and saw stars from around the globe gather for a night of golden masks and “sustainability.” Criticised, like many award shows, for its lack of diverse nominees, such notable ones being no female director nominee and an all-white roster of acting nominees. So, in the “year when white men finally broke through” ,as host Graham Norton joked, who would take home the gold? My money is on the white guy…
Best Lead/ Supporting Actor
As expected, Joaquin Phoenix won the BAFTA for his lead performance in Joker. Phoenix took his stage time to focus on systemic racism with the industry, even holding himself accountable. I for one support his claims as Eddie Murphy could easily have been nominated for his performance in Dolomite Is My Name. Nonetheless, Joaquin’s win was well earned as he is, in my opinion, one of the greatest actors working today and his award recognition is long overdue.
Equally as expected , Brad Pitt won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as stuntman Cliff Booth in Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood. Pitt beat an all-star category including Tom Hanks, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Anthony Hopkins, which in my opinion, could’ve also done with the inclusion of Wesley Snipes for Dolomite Is My Name, however, Pitt’s win is deserved, plus, his acceptance speech was perhaps the most memorable of the night.
Best Lead/ Supporting Actress
It was an unlucky night for double nominees Margo Robbie and Scarlet Johanson as in the end, Renee Zellweger won best Leading Actress for her performance as Judy Garland in Judy and Laura Dern won best supporting Actress for her performance in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story.
Best Adapted/ Original Screenplay
In the night’s nicest surprise, Parasite won the BAFTA for best original screenplay. I for one thought it would wrongfully go to Tarantino for his morally questionable film Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood. So I was delighted when the Korean Language film and script won the award.
In the adapted screenplay category, Taika Waititi Won for JoJo Rabbit. Perhaps the most worthy winner for boldly and ambitiously taking a serious book such as Caging Skies by Christine Leunen and spinning it into a audacious and tasteful satire.
The award for Best Director went to Sam Mendes for the outstanding “one shot” war film, 1917. Despite the lack of female nominations, Mendes’ win is a strong one. The category is a close one between Mendes and, my personal favourite, Parasite director Bong Joon Ho. Nonetheless, 1917 is the meticulous work of a master director at the height of his power.
1917 took the crown as the winner of the Best Film BAFTA. Beating Parasite, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, The Irishman and Joker. It is this writer’s opinion that the award went to one of the most deserving films, the other of course being Parasite. I would’ve loved for Parasite to win, however if any other film was to win, I’m glad it was 1917 for its sheer technical mastery.
Overall, the BAFTA’s were very much as expected. This awards season has truly lacked competition as the same people have been winning the same categories again and again, ceremony after ceremony, including this year’s BAFTA’s. As well as there being no competition, there isn’t much disagreement with the winners. I have no issues with who is and isn’t winning, however I do believe Pain and Glory could be competing alongside Parasite in the predominately English speaking categories. Nonetheless, the right white men won.