BAFTA predictions 2009

The BAFTAs are here; not as glitzy or desired as the Oscar but slightly more serious and weighty. And, of course, very British (do other awards have a category for a best film by their own country?). They are not an indicator of the Academy Awards, despite their jump to before the Oscars to give them a point. However, this doesn’t stop BAFTA from hoping. Predictions are fun, I haven’t seen all the films, so let’s have a look, shall we?

Best film
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

And the award goes to: Slumdog Millionaire. British, buzz, feelgood – I can’t see it any other way.

Best British film
In Bruges
Mamma Mia!
Man On Wire
Slumdog Millionaire

And the award goes to: I don’t think that the Slumdog will win in both categories; voter sympathy will go for a smaller film. I think that Hunger will be the choice for ‘worthy but small’. Oh, and BAFTA? Mamma Mia! should not be there. Seriously.

Leading actor
Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon
Dev Patel – Slumdog Millionaire
Sean Penn – Milk
Brad Pitt – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

And the award goes to: Depressing though it is to me, I think that Mickey Rourke will get it. I don’t want him to, and I don’t want to see his dogs on the BAFTA stage, but it is inevitable.

Leading actress
Angelina Jolie – Changeling
Kristen Scott Thomas – I’ve Loved You So Long
Meryl Streep – Doubt
Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road
Kate Winslet – The Reader

And the award goes to: Kate Winslet, despite the split vote. The shocker might see it go to Kristen Scott Thomas, but I reckon Kate Winalot will get it for The Reader. And bravo to BAFTA for recognising it as a leading role.

Supporting actor
Robert Downey Jr – Tropic Thunder
Brendan Gleeson – In Bruges
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
Brad Pitt – Burn After Reading
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt

And the award goes to: Heath Ledger, even though I’m not sure it’s the best performance. It is a great performance, but sympathy wins among actors. Great to see Downey Jr among the nominees, though …

Supporting actress
Amy Adams – Doubt
Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Freida Pinto – Slumdog Millionaire
Tilda Swinton – Burn After Reading
Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler

And the award goes to: This is a very tough category; I hope that it goes to Marisa Tomei.

Danny Boyle – Slumdog Milllionaire
Stephen Daldry – The Reader
Clint Eastwood – Changeling
David Fincher – The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon

And the award goes to: Danny Boyle. He doesn’t make a bad film and the Slumdog buzz (and the DGA) point to a deserved win.

Original screenplay
Burn After Reading – Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
In Bruges – Martin McDonagh
I’ve Loved You So Long – Philippe Claudel
Milk – Dustin Lance Black
Changeling – J Michael Straczynski

And the award goes to: Screenplays are very difficult to predict. I think that the British sympathy will go for Martin McDonagh, just because they are more aware of him from his theatre work. And it’s great to see a French screenplay in the nominees.

Adapted screenplay
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Eric Roth
Frost/Nixon – Peter Morgan
The Reader – David Hare
Revolutionary Road – Justin Haythe
Slumdog Millionaire – Simon Beaufoy

And the award goes to: Simon Beaufoy for the Slumdog Millionaire awards train. All the scripts are worthy, but the feeling of goodwill towards this film will win through.

There are other categories, but you don’t want to hear my opinions on all of them. I’m in two minds about watching the ceremony tonight – Jonathan Ross is hosting, someone who is neither as funny as he thinks nor as weighty on film as someone who presents The Film Programme should be. I would much prefer Stephen Fry – he did such a fantastic job in the past few years – and Ross is going to be playing it very safe after the suspension. Best of luck to all nominated, even though it isn’t really a contest, eh?

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