by Graham Pierrepoint
The BAFTAs – the British equivalent to the US Academy Awards – recognize the very best in movie talent that has emerged in the past twelve months, celebrating the biggest blockbusters and the cream of the crop in acting, directing, production and more. Therefore, it’s often an extremely prestigious affair – and it provides a worthy run-up to the Oscars in late February. Actor and writer Stephen Fry hosted this year’s ceremony, and a number of surprises on the night led to many deserving professionals and productions taking home gongs.
La La Land – widely expected to take home a plethora of Oscars later this month – came away with five awards from its nominated total of eleven, meaning that it didn’t prove to be as much of a clean sweep as many had expected. However, it was still celebrated hugely with awards for Emma Stone as Best Leading Actress, Damien Chazelle as Best Director and awards for Best Cinematography, Music and – the biggest of the bunch – Best Film. The movie managed to beat out hot contenders such as Arrival, Moonlight, Manchester By The Sea and Lion in its categories, however, it lost out in what some may have perceived to have been upsets. Read our full movie review of La La Land here on One News Page.
Casey Affleck beat Ryan Gosling to the punch for Best Actor for his role in Manchester By the Sea, which also picked up Best Screenplay – Arrival, meanwhile, was recognized for its astounding sound direction – while Moonlight, widely regarded as perhaps a sleeper success at both the BAFTAs and the Oscars this year, failed to pick up an award. Hacksaw Ridge and Florence Foster Jenkins were recognized for editing and make up and hair respectively, while legendary comic director, writer and actor Mel Brooks was provided with the BAFTA Fellowship, the annual lifetime achievement award.
Another upset – arguably the biggest – was One News Page favorite Kubo and The Two Strings beating Zootopia, Finding Dory and Moana to Best Animated Film. The win is likely to be a huge boost to studio Laika, having struggled to make a financial success from the movie despite its almost unanimous critical acclaim – and now, having beaten both Disney and Pixar to the punch.
Will the BAFTAs prove to be predictive of what we may see unfold at the Oscars later this month? It’s hard to say – of course, there are two very different voting panels for each ceremony – but Moonlight, which stood atop Metacritic’s best-rated movies list for 2016 for considerable time, will certainly be looking to recoup its losses in the US on February 26th.