BAFTA Predictions 2014

Each year I do my best to watch all the award-nominated films, and to predict how the two big award ceremonies will go.Well, tomorrow is BAFTA day, and here are my thoughts:

I only comment on categories for which I have seen every nominee.

BEST FILM

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Gravity
  • Philomena

Hope: Philomena
Prediction: Gravity

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM

  • Gravity
  • Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
  • Philomena
  • Rush
  • Saving Mr Banks
  • The Selfish Giant

Hope: Saving Mr Banks
Prediction: Gravity

ANIMATED FILM

  • Despicable Me 2
  • Frozen
  • Monsters University

Hope: Frozen
Prediction: Frozen

DIRECTOR

  • 12 Years A Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Gravity
  • The Wolf Of Wall Street

Hope: The Wolf Of Wall Street
Prediction: American Hustle

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • American Hustle
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Gravity
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Nebraska

Hope: Gravity
Prediction: American Hustle

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • 12 Years A Slave
  • Behind The Candelabra
  • Captain Phillips
  • Philomena
  • The Wolf Of Wall Street

Hope: Philomena
Prediction: 12 Years A Slave

LEADING ACTOR

  • Bruce Dern, Nebraska
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave
  • Christian Bale, American Hustle
  • Leonardo Dicaprio, The Wolf Of Wall Street
  • Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips

Hope: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Prediction: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave

LEADING ACTRESS

  • Amy Adams, American Hustle
  • Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
  • Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
  • Judi Dench, Philomena
  • Sandra Bullock, Gravity

Hope: Judi Dench, Philomena
Prediction: Sandra Bullock, Gravity

SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
  • Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
  • Daniel Brühl, Rush
  • Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
  • Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

Hope: Daniel Brühl, Rush
Prediction: Bradley Cooper, American Hustle

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
  • Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
  • Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave
  • Oprah Winfrey, The Butler
  • Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine

Hope: Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Prediction: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave

ORIGINAL MUSIC

  • 12 Years A Slave
  • The Book Thief
  • Captain Phillips
  • Gravity
  • Saving Mr Banks

Hope: Saving Mr Banks
Prediction: Gravity

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • 12 Years A Slave
  • Captain Phillips
  • Gravity
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Nebraska

Hope: Gravity
Prediction: 12 Years A Slave

EDITING

  • 12 Years A Slave
  • Captain Phillips
  • Gravity
  • Rush
  • The Wolf Of Wall Street

Hope: The Wolf Of Wall Street
Prediction: Gravity

PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • 12 Years A Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Behind The Candelabra
  • Gravity
  • The Great Gatsby

Hope: The Great Gatsby
Prediction: Gravity

MAKE UP & HAIR

  • American Hustle
  • Behind The Candelabra
  • The Butler
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

Hope: The Butler
Prediction: American Hustle

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
  • Iron Man 3
  • Pacific Rim
  • Star Trek Into Darkness

Hope: Pacific Rim
Prediction: Gravity

I wish:

Dallas Buyers Club, Her and Ernest and Celestine all deserved nominations
Meryl Streep for August: Osage County needed a Best Actress nomination, and the film deserved a nomination for Best Film
Jonah Hill should have received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor (Wolf Of Wall Street)
Rush needed far more recognition

And finally, my thoughts on each of the contenders in this year’s BAFTA lineup:

12 Years A Slave
A film that was both far too short and far too long – there wasn’t time to truly get to know the characters, it feels like several episodes crammed into one big film. It was so “epic” that for me, it just couldn’t give me enough time or detail to care about anybody. Some fantastic performances and writing, and beautifully shot, but it fell sadly into feeling too ‘worthy’ and preachy. It was hugely overrated compared to the stunningly understated ‘The Butler’.

American Hustle
I genuinely don’t understand what all the fuss is about with this film. A fabulous cast, granted, but difficult to connect with and the development of tension didn’t really work for me. A little too complicated and self-indulgent for its own good.

August: Osage County
Probably my favourite film of the season – incredible writing, directing and one of the best casts I’ve ever seen. Adapted from the play, the elements of cinematography only add to the incredible atmosphere. An astonishing piece of work.

Behind The Candelabra
A fascinating movie – fabulously written. Matt Damon should have been better though, even with such a difficult part. Really interesting, and nicely directed, but this could/should have been darker and more hard-hitting. There was scope to be more disturbing and gripping.

Blue Jasmine
This also passed me by a little bit. Blanchett was great, but the film was just quite bland for me. Not a lot happened, and it was quite slow. Obviously many will say that’s Allen’s style, but this wasn’t a patch on some of his other work. That said, it was a brilliant performance from Blanchett.

Captain Phillips
This was fun, and quite tense, but that’s it. A standard, decent action movie with a strong performance from Mr Hanks.

Despicable Me 2
Nothing on the first, but I loved it. Wonderful characterisation and brilliantly written. I don’t think it will take anything home, when up against Frozen.

Frozen
Everybody loves this film, and I’m one of the masses. That said, put Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff in a musical animation, and it’s difficult to go wrong. Fabulous story, some brilliant music, and great voice work. There could have been better songs written for the second half, and some of the dialogue should have been stronger. But a great film.

Gravity
An incredible movie, and a beautiful performance from Bullock. Tense and fantastically written. I don’t think it’s the film of the year, but I think the Academy will. Interestingly I think the American Academy will go for American Hustle as their film of the year.

Inside Llewyn Davis
I didn’t get this film at all. A bit similar to how I felt about Once, very slow and the atmosphere didn’t feel as sustained and interesting as I hoped. Some lovely, lovely touches, but this didn’t do a lot for me.

Iron Man 3
Oh, Robert Downey Jr! Fantastic effects and brilliant acting. Deserved to make the money that it has. Not as good as The Avengers, but still great.

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
Idris Elba makes this film, and he makes it good. But it’s not going to change the world, even with his glorious performance. Another one that isn’t a patch on The Butler.

Monsters University
Great fun movie. I actually enjoyed this more than the original! Again, in a year where Frozen hadn’t taken over the world, this could have done really well.

Nebraska
A really lovely film, very sweet and very moving. I enjoyed the filming style and it was really well written. I don’t think it deserves an award, but it is a good watch.

Pacific Rim
A really decent and fun new sci-fi with mind-blowing effects.

Philomena
One of the best films of the year. Simple, heart-wrenching, hilarious, and beautifully acted.

Rush
A real surprise of a film, this had me hooked from the off. Fantastically written, this is in my top five of the season. Astonishing performances and beautifully directed.

Saving Mr Banks
This should have done much better than it has. Thompson and Hanks are both brilliant, and it’s writing is spot-on. I’m confused why it hasn’t had more award recognition, perhaps it is a little too ‘mainstream’. But for me, this is a glorious movie and deserves big success.

Star Trek: Into Darkness
Another great mainstream sci-fi film. Lovely acting, particularly from our very own Mr Cumberbatch.

The Book Thief
Fantastic acting and great style, but something doesn’t work about it. I don’t know the book, but the story just didn’t grab me. Still a fantastic introductory performance from Sophie Nélisse, who steals scene after scene.

The Butler
What an incredible movie. Forest Whitaker is wonderful and the writing is spot-on. I wept more than I have in almost every other film this season. Sheer genius. That said, I didn’t rate Oprah Winfrey much, and I’m confused as to why she’s the only recognised performer.

The Great Gatsby
Beautifully designed and some wonderful performances. A great story, and the style/atmosphere is glorious.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
A self-indulgent film, but for fans of Middle Earth it’s still great fun escapism.

The Selfish Giant
Fantastic performances from the young actors, and very moving/gritty. The writing needed a spot more work though, and the film feels a little unfinished.

The Wolf Of Wall Street
Leo DiCaprio is amazing, and it’s beautifully written and directed. This should absolutely get DiCaprio, Hill and Scorsese the recognition they deserve. Incredible film.

Chris Snow, 15th Feb 2014