‘Three Billboards’ Wins Big at the BAFTAs as the Oscar Race Gets Clearer

     February 18, 2018

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The British Academy of Television Arts has announced the winners for the EE British Academy Film Awards for 2018, otherwise known as the BAFTAs. The BAFTA winners are a key stop on the way to the Oscars, as they are not only a prestigious organization in their own right, but give us a preview of how a voting body made up of industry professionals using a preferential ballot might go. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water led going into the ceremony with 12 nominations, and it came away with three wins including Best Director—with the BAFTA and DGA in hand, del Toro is now the heavy favorite to win this category at the Oscars.

But the big BAFTAs winner was Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, which won five awards including Best Film, Actress (Frances McDormand), Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell), Original Screenplay, and hilariously, Best British Film. Indeed, while the movie takes on racial politics in America, it was a British production from a British-Irish writer/director. Three Billboards clearly went over well with the BAFTAs given all the nominations, and it was the favorite to win Best Picture here so none of this is a huge surprise.

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Image via Alcon Entertainment / Warner Bros.

So what do the winners tell us about the impending Oscar race? Well I still think Best Picture is fairly wide open—Three Billboards is far more divisive in the U.S. than it was across the pond, and the last three BAFTA Best Picture winners were La La LandThe Revenant, and Boyhood, which all failed to win Best Picture at the Oscars. So yeah, Best Picture is still a crapshoot as far as I’m concerned.

But with Allison Janney‘s Best Supporting Actress win here that category is likely sewn up, although there always exists the possibility for an upset when it comes to the Supporting categories. Eyes were on whether Lesley Manville or Laurie Metcalf might surprise at the BAFTAs, but instead the Janney train kept on rolling.

The other major category I had my eye on was Best Cinematography. Roger Deakins won the BAFTA for his stunning work on Blade Runner 2049, but despite being nominated 14 times at the Oscars, he’s never won an Academy Award. His biggest competition at the Oscars is from Dunkirk and The Shape of Water, but with this BAFTA win in hand I’m starting to think this might finally be his year.

And Baby Driver took the Best Editing trophy in something of a minor surprise, as Dunkirk is a formidable force here. Could Baby Driver go all the way? Since the BAFTAs adopted the preferential ballot in 2012, every Best Editing BAFTA winner has won the Oscar except for Rush, which wasn’t nominated at the Oscars.

Additionally, Best Score is one to keep an eye on. Alexandre Desplat has been the frontrunner for his terrific Shape of Water score, but Johnny Greenwood‘s surprise Oscar nomination for Phantom Thread had some wondering if he could take the win. Desplat won the BAFTA, and since 2013 the BAFTA and Oscar for Best Score/Film Music has matched perfectly. We shall see.

For now, see what the Brits thought about 2017 in film by checking out the full list of BAFTA winners below.

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Image via Fox Searchlight

BEST FILM
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME Emilie Georges, Luca Guadagnino, Marco Morabito, Peter Spears
DARKEST HOUR Tim Bevan, Lisa Bruce, Eric Fellner, Anthony McCarten, Douglas Urbanski
DUNKIRK Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas
THE SHAPE OF WATER Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Martin McDonagh – WINNER

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
DARKEST HOUR Joe Wright, Tim Bevan, Lisa Bruce, Eric Fellner, Anthony McCarten, Douglas Urbanski
THE DEATH OF STALIN Armando Iannucci, Kevin Loader, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou, Ian Martin, David Schneider
GOD’S OWN COUNTRY Francis Lee, Manon Ardisson, Jack Tarling
LADY MACBETH William Oldroyd, Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly, Alice Birch
PADDINGTON 2 Paul King, David Heyman, Simon Farnaby
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI Martin McDonagh, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin – WINNER

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
THE GHOUL Gareth Tunley (Writer/Director/Producer), Jack Healy Guttman & Tom Meeten (Producers)
I AM NOT A WITCH Rungano Nyoni (Writer/Director), Emily Morgan (Producer) – WINNER
JAWBONE Johnny Harris (Writer/Producer), Thomas Napper (Director)
KINGDOM OF US Lucy Cohen (Director)
LADY MACBETH Alice Birch (Writer), William Oldroyd (Director), Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly (Producer)

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Image via Amazon Studios / Magnolia Pictures

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
ELLE Paul Verhoeven, Saïd Ben Saïd
FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER Angelina Jolie, Rithy Panh
THE HANDMAIDEN Park Chan-wook, Syd Lim – WINNER
LOVELESS Andrey Zvyagintsev, Alexander Rodnyansky
THE SALESMAN Asghar Farhadi, Alexandre Mallet-Guy

DOCUMENTARY
CITY OF GHOSTS Matthew Heineman
I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO Raoul Peck – WINNER
ICARUS Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk
JANE Brett Morgen

ANIMATED FILM
COCO Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson – WINNER

LOVING VINCENT Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Ivan Mactaggart
MY LIFE AS A COURGETTE Claude Barras, Max Karli

DIRECTOR
BLADE RUNNER 2049 Denis Villeneuve
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME Luca Guadagnino
DUNKIRK Christopher Nolan
THE SHAPE OF WATER Guillermo del Toro – WINNER
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI Martin McDonagh

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Image via Fox Searchlight

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
GET OUT Jordan Peele
I, TONYA Steven Rogers
LADY BIRD Greta Gerwig
THE SHAPE OF WATER Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI Martin McDonagh – WINNER

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME James Ivory – WINNER

THE DEATH OF STALIN Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, David Schneider
FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL Matt Greenhalgh
MOLLY’S GAME Aaron Sorkin
PADDINGTON 2 Simon Farnaby, Paul King

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