‘La La Land’ Tops BAFTA Awards, But Surprises Ensue—What Does This Mean for Oscar?

     February 13, 2017

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The BAFTA Awards took place on Sunday night, which are regularly referred to as the “British Oscars” because, well, they are. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards is the most prestigious ceremony across the pond every year, with unique categories like Best British Film and Rising Star Award. They’re also a pretty solid predictor of Oscar glory in various categories, so prognosticators like myself pay close attention.

In a shock to absolutely no one, La La Land took home the Best Film prize as well as Best Director for Damien Chazelle, Best Actress for Emma Stone, Best Cinematography for Linus Sandgren, and Best Original Music for Justin Hurwitz. So yeah, the La La Land train kept on rolling, and this is absolutely 100% your Best Picture Oscar winner. However, there were a couple of surprise wins that could signal shakeups at the Oscars in just a few weeks.

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Image via The Weinstein Company

Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali has been the frontrunner to win Best Supporting Actor for months now, but at the BAFTAs Dev Patel pulled an upset for Lion. Since the year 2005, the BAFTA and the Oscars have matched up in the Best Supporting Actor category all but three times, and signaled eventual Oscar upsets like Mark Rylance and Alan Arkin. Does this mean Ali is an underdog going into the Oscars? No, but Patel’s chances just shot way up, and given that the love for Lion is pretty heavy within the industry, it wouldn’t be a shock if Oscar voters went with Patel here.

Casey Affleck won Best Actor at the BAFTAs for Manchester by the Sea, but given that Denzel Washington wasn’t even nominated for a BAFTA, this just further proves that Best Actor is a two-man race rather than giving Affleck the edge. Washington won the SAG Award, which is a very accurate predictor of Oscar glory, so this one’s gonna be a squeaker.

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Image via Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions

Kenneth Lonergan also won Best Original Screenplay for Manchester over La La Land, which is probably its biggest competition in the same Oscar category. The big question there will be whether La La Land voters will simply tick this off as one in a series of La La Land votes, or if they’ll stop and consider Lonergan for Original Screenplay.

The BAFTAs also gave us a better idea of what might happen in some of the tighter technical categories at the Oscars. La La Land won Cinematography, but that one’s a fairly close race with Lion and Moonlight serving as serious contenders. And John Gilbert won Best Editing for Hacksaw Ridge in a category that has become much more exciting in recent years with wins for films like Mad Max: Fury Road and Whiplash. It used to be that at the Oscars, Best Editing went to the eventual Best Picture winner, but that category has been diverse as of late, and the action of Hacksaw Ridge or intricately emotional editing of a film like Arrival could prevail.

Check out the full list of nominees and winners for the 2017 BAFTA Awards.

BEST FILM
ARRIVAL Dan Levine, Shawn Levy, David Linde, Aaron Ryder
I, DANIEL BLAKE Rebecca O’Brien
LA LA LAND Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz, Marc Platt – WINNER
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA Lauren Beck, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Kimberly Steward,
Kevin J. Walsh

MOONLIGHT Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski

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Image via Cannes Film Festival

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
AMERICAN HONEY Andrea Arnold, Lars Knudsen, Pouya Shahbazian, Jay Van Hoy
DENIAL Mick Jackson, Gary Foster, Russ Krasnoff, David Hare
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM David Yates, J.K. Rowling, David Heyman, Steve Kloves, Lionel Wigram
I, DANIEL BLAKE Ken Loach, Rebecca O’Brien, Paul Laverty – WINNER
NOTES ON BLINDNESS Peter Middleton, James Spinney, Mike Brett, Jo-Jo Ellison, Steve Jamison
UNDER THE SHADOW Babak Anvari, Emily Leo, Oliver Roskill, Lucan Toh

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
The Girl With All the Gifts: MIKE CAREY (Writer), CAMILLE GATIN (Producer)
The Hard Stop: GEORGE AMPONSAH (Writer/Director/Producer), DIONNE WALKER (Writer/Producer)
Notes on Blindness: PETER MIDDLETON (Writer/Director/Producer), JAMES SPINNEY (Writer/Director), JO-JO ELLISON (Producer)
The Pass: JOHN DONNELLY (Writer), BEN A. WILLIAMS (Director)
Under the Shadow: BABAK ANVARI (Writer/Director), EMILY LEO, OLIVER ROSKILL, LUCAN TOH (Producers) – WINNER

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
DHEEPAN Jacques Audiard, Pascal Caucheteux
JULIETA Pedro Almodóvar
MUSTANG Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Charles Gillibert
SON OF SAUL László Nemes, Gábor Sipos – WINNER
TONI ERDMANN Maren Ade, Janine Jackowski

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Image via Netflix

DOCUMENTARY
13th Ava DuVernay – WINNER
THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK- THE TOURING YEARS Ron Howard
THE EAGLE HUNTRESS Otto Bell, Stacey Reiss
NOTES ON BLINDNESS Peter Middleton, James Spinney
WEINER Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg

ANIMATED FILM
FINDING DORY Andrew Stanton
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS Travis Knight – WINNER
MOANA Ron Clements, John Musker
ZOOTROPOLIS Byron Howard, Rich Moore

DIRECTOR
ARRIVAL Denis Villeneuve
I, DANIEL BLAKE Ken Loach
LA LA LAND Damien Chazelle – WINNER
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA Kenneth Lonergan
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS Tom Ford

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Image via LAIKA

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
HELL OR HIGH WATER Taylor Sheridan
I, DANIEL BLAKE Paul Laverty
LA LA LAND Damien Chazelle
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA Kenneth Lonergan – WINNER

MOONLIGHT Barry Jenkins

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
ARRIVAL Eric Heisserer
HACKSAW RIDGE Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight
HIDDEN FIGURES Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder
LION Luke Davies – WINNER
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS Tom Ford

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