BAFTA Awards 2014

BAFTA 2014 - Header

While I was tucking into a slightly unfulfilling offering of Ray, the glitz and glamour of the film world was taking over the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, for the 2014 British Academy Film Awards. And while the blog is essentially about anything and everything, right now at the start of 2014 it does appear to be rather film heavy. So it makes sense to me, to pass judge on the winners and losers and give my thoughts on who won wot!

So without further ado:

Leading Actor in 2014

Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) BAFTA Winner Text 
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Leading Actress in 2014

Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) BAFTA Winner Text
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)

Two categories that were never really going to throw up much in the way of surprises if I’m totally honest. I must confess I haven’t seen The Wolf of Wall Street, and so it’s hard to say 100% that Chiewetel Ejifor deserved it more than Leonard DiCaprio but for me the overriding sense from the nominations, in both categories, is that no one performance really stands head and shoulders above any other – whether you look at that as a good or bad thing with a fun debate to have – but for me the scales tip balance in favor of the poor side.

I must add though, that with mental health issues being so important to me, I didn’t actually find Cate Blanchett’s performance and portrayal 100% convincing, but she did cause me for the first time ever while sitting in a cinema, to get a sudden overwhelming need to shout at the screen. Thankfully though, I managed to suppress my urge but if momentarily she convinced me that much, then I can’t really complain she won.

Adapted Screenplay in 2014
Philomena BAFTA Winner Text
12 Years A Slave
Behind The Candelabra
Captain Phillips
The Wolf Of Wall Street
Original Screenplay in 2014
American Hustle BAFTA Winner Text
Blue Jasmine
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska

This time around I must confess I disagree slightly with the British Academy and the way the votes have fallen. There can be no question that Philomena is a good film, but does it deserve to get the nod over Captain Phillips? I’m not so sure. And I’m afraid I cannot agree that American Hustle has been the best original screen play of the last year. It’s better than Blue Jasmine, Gravity and Inside Llewyn Davis but for me, Nebraska deserved the scoop the prize.

Supporting Actor in 2014
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) BAFTA Winner Text
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Daniel Brühl (Rush)
Matt Damon (Behind the Candelabra)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Supporting Actress in 2014
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) BAFTA Winner Text
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Oprah Winfrey (The Butler)
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)

This time it’s a straight 50/50 split for me. It would have been the crime of the century if Barkhad Abdi had left empty handed, he steals Captain Phillips and honestly, the rest of the field, aside from potentially Michael Fassbender don’t even get close to Abdi.

However, Hollywood’s golden girl – Ms Lawrence – just doesn’t deserve it. It’s arguable the worse category to pick as it’s just too, too strong a field. Absolutely anyone apart from Jennifer Lawrence could have deservedly won it. Julia Roberts for me made August: Osage County, Lupita Nyong’o is stunning as Patsey in 12 Years A Slave and both Sally Hawkins and Oprah Winfrey arguably out shine the main characters in what are essentially both small sub roles within their respective films. Force me to pick, and I’d go Julia Roberts, but Sally Hawkins isn’t far behind.

Film in 2014
12 Years A Slave BAFTA Winner Text
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Philomena
Director in 2014
Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity) BAFTA Winner Text
Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave)
David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips)
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf Of Wall Street)

Based purely on the nominations and not my personal feelings, I don’t think you can argue with 12 Years A Slave being named the over all best film, but in truth it’s a safe list of nominations. However, Alfonso Cuarón picking up best director ahead of Steve McQueen suggests that there might be some truth in the rumors that the awards circuit may shun him for being too “art house”.

For me though, it’s another safe list of nominations from which Cuarón should be handing the award over to Paul Greengrass. From a sense of pure direction, I just think Greengrass creates the better film, Gravity relies too much on it’s effects, Captain Phillips is more polished in comparison.

Outstanding British Film in 2014
Gravity BAFTA Winner Text
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
Philomena
Rush
Saving Mr. Banks
The Selfish Giant
Animated Film in 2014
Frozen BAFTA Winner Text
Despicable Me 2
Monsters University

I’m going to struggle to really argue much here, purely because I haven’t seen Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, The Selfish Giant or Monsters University. And because I do actually agree with the winners. Through slightly gritted teeth. It certainly isn’t the film of the year, but it has revolutionised people’s feelings about the use of 3D and based purely on just how visually spectacular it is, Gravity’s win is fair enough (thankfully they didn’t put it up against Captain Phillips).

The “Animated Film” category only having 3 nominations shows just how poor a year it has been. I found Frozen poor, and preferred Despicable Me 2, but I’m not their target audience. I will admit that Frozen does feel like more time and effort went into it. Everything just has a shin and gloss to it that seemed to lack slightly from DM2.

Special Visual Effects in 2014
Gravity BAFTA Winner Text
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
Iron Man 3
Pacific Rim
Star Trek Into Darkness
Original Film Music in 2014
Gravity BAFTA Winner Text
12 Years A Slave
The Book Thief
Captain Phillips
Saving Mr. Banks

And so Gravity’s pull on those little statues continues and once again I’m at 50/50 odds with the voters. Gravity for “Special Visual Effects” is obvious and would have been verging on the ludicrous to give it to anything else. But really: “Original Film Music”, I don’t remember much original music in Gravity? Certainly not Saving Mr Banks as it’s not really “original” and I think that Hans Zimmer played it safe with 12 Years creating a soundtrack that sounds familiar to his previous styles.

I haven’t seen The Book Thief as it hasn’t arrived in my local cinema just yet, but I am slightly concerned that I am talking myself out of arguing with BAFTA and saying “fair enough… give it to Gravity because nothing else stands out”. It is surprising not to see Inside Llewyn Davis nominated though.

Sound in 2014
Gravity BAFTA Winner Text
All Is Lost
Captain Phillips
Inside Llewyn Davis
Rush
Editing in 2014
Rush BAFTA Winner Text
12 Years A Slave
Captain Phillips
Gravity
The Wolf Of Wall Street

I think I’ve worked out what’s gone on – they’ve mixed the envelopes with the nominations in up. Change “Original Sound” and “Sound” and it makes sense. No? That really was how the nominations fell? No Saving Mr Banks in the sound category is a crime.

Editing is always a hard one to judge in my view as you never really know what was left on the cutting room floor and how that changed/effected the feel of the film and the over all end product. To see The Wolf Of Wall Street nominated though, a film that every argues needed more editing to it’s obscene running time is just bizarre.

Costume Design in 2014
The Great Gatsby BAFTA Winner Text
American Hustle
Behind The Candelabra
The Invisible Woman
Saving Mr. Banks
Hair and Make-up in 2014
American Hustle BAFTA Winner Text
Behind The Candelabra
The Butler
The Great Gatsby
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

I’d forgotten about The Great Gatsby, which sadly is both a reflection on it as a film and the strength of the rest of the year for releases. It promised a lot but failed to really deliver. However, especially up against it’s competitors it wasn’t going to lose “Costume Design” – it played it safe and stuck to a style that defines an era and a genre. Mention the charleston and swing and it’s the Great Gatsby that jumps straight into your head.

And if Gatsby had costumes sewn up, then American Hustle had Hair and Make-up in the bag. I think the bigger surprise is not that it won, but that it missed gaining the nod at the Oscars having somehow failed to be nominated. American Hustle has been described by many as a film purely about hair and make-up as the sight of Bradley Cooper in hair rollers can testify.

Still Reading? Still Awake? Only 2 more awards to go!

Production Design in 2014
The Great Gatsby BAFTA Winner Text
12 Years A Slave
American Hustle
Behind The Candelabra
Gravity
Cinematography in 2014
Gravity BAFTA Winner Text
12 Years A Slave
Captain Phillips
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska

Good to see The Great Gatsby pick up an award, I think it’s a film that suffers from a lot of problems but you cannot argue that the world into which it takes you is stunning and a complete credit to all those who worked on the film. And it gives me an excuse to post a link to: The Great Gatsby video that appeared online.

Ah, Gravity is back to it’s unstoppable self again. This is a hard fought category and I could make arguments for every film in there winning except from Inside Llewyn Davis that is my weak link. For me, I’d have gone for Nebraska over Gravity, but hey, I don’t vote!

The final act is for me to say, that the following awards were also given out, but having not seen them I can’t really comment on them!

No Comment
British Short Animation in 2014, British Short Film in 2014, Documentary in 2014, Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director or Producer in 2014, EE Rising Star in 2014, Film not in the English Language in 2014

And with that, I bring my commentary on the 2014 BAFTA’s to a close. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts and opinions, do you agree/disagree with me? Did you quit reading early on? Drop me a tweet or simply use #5wcBAFTA and let the debate begin…

Posted on by 5WC in Film, Opinion First Edition

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