BAFTA wrap-up and what they might mean for the Oscars


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Brian Keim writes about how the BAFTAs might predict the outcomes of the upcoming Oscars.

Brian Keim, The Carroll News

Recently, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) held its annual award ceremony, granting trophies to films deemed to be the best of 2022. With this in mind, I have decided to take this opportunity to not only recap some of the major BAFTA winners but to also consider how they might hint toward the upcoming Academy Awards. Of course, these two award shows have no actual impact on each other, but the BAFTA winners could be indicative of who will win an Oscar. 

I should preface this article by saying that major film awards are granted almost exclusively based on campaigning and under-the-table deals, but it can still be fun to speculate on which films might win which awards and hope against hope that your favorite movie might get some recognition this year.

First, to take a brief glance over the BAFTAs, the big winner of the night was “All Quiet on the Western Front,” taking home seven awards including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director and the coveted Best Film. Austin Butler (“Elvis”) and Cate Blanchett (“Tár”) won the awards for Best Lead Actor and Best Lead Actress, respectively, and the awards for Best Supporting Actor and Actress went to Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon, both for their roles in “The Banshees of Inisherin.” Despite having nine nominations, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” only took home one award: Best Editing. To wrap up the major award recipients, “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” received the honor of Best Animated Film. Of course, this is not to say that any of the awards or films that I do not mention are unimportant, but for the sake of brevity I will be primarily focusing on the few films I have mentioned.

With “All Quiet on the Western Front” receiving seven awards and being nominated for six Oscars, it has a good chance of sweeping the Academy Awards as well, potentially grabbing Best Picture. The movie that popular opinion believes will win this honor currently, Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” was only nominated for one BAFTA, Best Original Screenplay, which it did not win. With seven Oscar nominations, “The Fabelmans” is likely to nab at least a few wins, but its status as Best Picture is far from guaranteed. “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is another beloved Best Picture nominee but its sole BAFTA win casts more doubt over its victory in this category.

The win of “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” as Best Animated Film is an interesting one to look into because it beat out two Pixar movies for the award. Looking at the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, in the 21 years that the award has been given, 15 of those years have resulted in a Disney-owned movie getting the award. However, with Pixar’s “Lightyear” lacking a nomination, and “Turning Red” getting mixed reception, del Toro has a chance of snagging a rare victory over Pixar in this category. Other contenders include Dreamworks’ “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” and A24’s “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” but del Toro’s wins at both the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes put the odds highly in his favor.

In terms of awards given to actors, the Oscars could go in a few different directions. The BAFTAs for Best Supporting Actor and Actress both went to stars of “The Banshees of Inisherin,” with Barry Keoghan surprisingly winning over “Banshees” co-star Brendan Gleeson, who had a far more prominent role in the film. Both of these performers are nominated for the same categories for the Oscars but not without heavy competition. With Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere”) and Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) receiving Oscar nominations for their outstanding performances, they seem to be the popular votes for their categories, but it truly is anybody’s game.

Switching focus to lead actors, Austin Butler’s win for his lead performance as Elvis Presley is not surprising given award shows’ affinity for biopic actors. With this in mind, he could easily take the Oscar for his portrayal, although he is going up against other strong leads such as Colin Farrell (“Banshees”) and Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”). Cate Blanchett also delivered a strong performance in “Tár” and is highly favored to take the Oscar. Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere”) and Ana de Armas (“Blonde”) have received much critical acclaim for their performances but Cate Blanchett by far seems to be the front runner.

To close, I will briefly discuss my overall predictions on the 2023 Academy Award outcomes. “Everything Everywhere” will likely take home more of the technical awards such as Best Editing and perhaps Best Director (although Spielberg is a favorite for that spot). Given its predecessor’s success at the Oscars, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” will potentially follow suit and win awards in set and costume design. Lastly, “The Fabelmans” will likely be a favorite among the Academy, since a revered director making a movie about making movies is something that would be right up its alley.

With the Academy Awards rapidly approaching, the hype is alive and well among hardcore cinephiles and casual moviegoers alike. Although I must reiterate that awards truly mean nothing about a film’s value or quality, it will always be enjoyable to see hard-working artists and performers get recognition for their amazing work done over the past year.