Ford On Film

Chronicles of a silver screen addict

The Favourite and Roma are the big winners from a solid BAFTAs 2019

It’s been a funny old awards season so far, hasn’t it? For every terrific, acclaimed film like The Favourite and Roma, we’ve seen award wins for…less terrific films like Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody. Last night’s BAFTAs was a mostly-solid night of awards – nothing too controversial, nothing too outstanding, just a bunch of mostly worthy winners and some very creaky gags from host Joanna Lumley, who seemed to inspire nothing but winces from the crowd. Let’s break down a few of the winners:

The Favourite 1

Outstanding British Film: The Favourite 

I was rooting for You Were Never Really Here, but The Favourite was the expected choice. Yorgos Lanthimos’ spiky period drama is terrific fun, with a host of great performances and a fantastic screenplay. Can it go all the way at the Academy Awards, or will its racing ducks and angry handjobs alienate older voters?

The Favourite 2

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

Pretty expected here, as The Favourite lived up to its name on the night (more on that later) and Weisz is a national treasure. I can’t see this happening come Oscar night (Regina King seems a better bet), but I’m glad Weisz is getting recognition for her terrific performance – even if she should be in the leading category.

blackkklansman 2

Best Adapted Screenplay: BlacKkKlansman

Another solid winner, the Best Adapted Screenplay category had a few fine choices but given Can You Ever Forgive Me? and If Beale Street Could Talk were mostly shut out of the BAFTAs, and A Star is Born’s screenplay is arguably its weakest element, the award was Spike Lee’s. His badass acceptance speech, written on his ‘crackberry’, was one of the highlights of the night.

The Favourite 3

Best Original Screenplay: The Favourite

Again, hardly a surprise, especially against weak competition (Roma and Cold War are great films but not necessarily great screenplays, while Green Book and Vice were barely contenders on the night). The Favourite’s screenplay is terrific, offering a wealth of quotable lines and nasty twists. Only Green Book seems to pose a threat come Oscar night, but it’s hard to imagine not betting on The Favourite.

Film Review - Green Book

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali – Green Book

Green Book’s sole BAFTA came for Ali’s performance. Despite Ali being the favourite, I was sure BAFTA would reward Richard E. Grant for his body of work and sheer enthusiasm at being nominated. As great as Ali is, I can’t help but root for Grant to win on Oscar night.

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Best Cinematography: Roma

Possibly the least surprising award of the night. Cold War is another beautiful monochrome dream, but Roma really is one of the most extraordinary looking films of the decade.

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Best Film Not in the English Language: Roma

Expect to see the same result on February 24th. I’m still sad Burning isn’t nominated though.

Roma4

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón – Roma

Alfonso Cuarón seems bound to win his second Oscar for Best Director – Yorgos Lanthimos is excellent but The Favourite is an actor’s film, Pawel Pawlikowski is a rank outsider, and Spike Lee doesn’t seem to have quite merited his lifetime achievement yet. At least BAFTA got it right by nominating Bradley Cooper.

Rami Malek

Actor in a Leading Role: Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody

Really?  Look, I’ve only seen bits of Bohemian Rhapsody from awards packages and highlight reels, but I don’t understand how those goofy teeth and that lame moustache are beating out Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born. It was hardly a stacked line-up, but even so, Malek’s inevitable Oscar win feels somewhat bitter.

The Favourite 4

Actress in a Leading Role: Olivia Colman – The Favourite

That’s more like it! Olivia Colman is one of Britain’s finest actress and having deserved a nomination years ago for Tyrannosaur, it’s great to see her finally gaining some proper recognition. Can she topple Glenn Close for…sorry let me look up what that film nobody saw is called, oh that’s right, The Wife, for the Oscar? I really hope so.

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Best Film: Roma

Now this was a bit of a surprise. I should have guessed given The Favourite won Outstanding British Film, but it seemed like a solid lock for Best Film as well. Given Green Book’s controversy, A Star is Born’s lack of momentum and The Favourite’s weirdness, will Roma be the next Best Picture winner at the 91st Academy Awards? I think it might just do it.

By Harry J. Ford

 

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