Another one of the big ceremonies has come and gone – the BAFTA Awards took place on Sunday, 18 February 2018 in London, UK. This meant that, for once, us Europeans could watch a winter season award without having to stay up until 6 in the morning – yay for that. The British Academy awarded the best films of the year 2017, but the immediately striking thing was the presenter, or rather the lack of Stephen Fry, who has presented 12 times and was on quite a roll. Joanna Lumley stepped in his shoes and kept participants and the public entertained during the night, a memorable one at that, which resonated with the ‘Time’s Up’ movement in everything from outfits to jokes and acceptance speeches. Let’s then quickly go over the most important categories and the victors of the night.
Best Picture: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The frontrunner for the Oscars bagged the biggest prize on offer, as it emerged the winner in both Best Film and Outstanding British Film categories. Because, despite taking place in the US, revolving around American themes and mostly involving American actors, it ultimately still is a British production. It is an extraordinary film by all accounts, while also achieving a great fit with the harrassment scandals involving senior figures in the motion picture industry. Martin McDonagh found himself in the right place, at the right time to shine.
Best Leading Actor and Actress: Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand
Very unsurprisingly, the two legendary actors took home the prizes for leading roles, in Darkest Hour and Three Billboards respectively. It was the first BAFTA award for acting for both of them – Gary Oldman was previously nominated in 2012 for his role in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, while Frances McDormand somehow missed out on a statue for Fargo back in 1997, despite going on to win an Academy Award for the same role. About time for both of them, that’s for sure!
Best Supporting Actor and Actress: Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney
Sam Rockwell, after so many great performances in indie films that went largely unrecognised by major award givers, deservedly added another piece of silverware to his Golden Globe, for his role in Three Billboards. The race for Best Supporting Actress was considerably more open, with Allison Janney from I, Tonya coming out on top, which gave her an ample opportunity to joke about her relationship to the Royal Academy of Art.
Best Screenplays: Three Billboards and Call Be My Your Name
For the Original Screenplay category, Martin McDonagh came out on top with his masterful writing for Three Billboards, despite a very tight race with Jordan Peele’s Get Out. In the Adapted category, 89-year-old James Ivory won with his project, Call Me By Your Name, thus becoming one of the oldest recipients in the history of the competition.
The technical and audio accolades were more or less equally split between Dunkirk, Blade Runner 2049 and The Shape of Water – the latter only managing to bag three minor awards despite its 12 nominations. Phantom Thread scraped just one award, while Ladybird, Star Wars and Get Out had to go home empty handed. It was not all doom and gloom for the latter, however, as Daniel Kaluuya’s excellent performance was recognised with the EE Rising Star Award, which was voted for by the public.