BAFTA & DGA Reaction

The past 24 hours have likely been impactful when it comes to figuring the puzzle that is Oscar prognosticating. The BAFTAs and the DGAs announced their winners. The latter went as expected. The Brits, on the other hand, showed they are still capable of surprises.

Across that pond, Edward Berger’s All Quiet on the Western Front made a lot of noise. The German WWI epic won 7 out of its 14 nominations. This includes Best Film and Director. I predicted those categories would go to The Banshees of Inisherin and the Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once). Side note – I went 13 for 22 overall on the BAFTA picks. Quiet also took Adapted Screenplay over my favored Living. The other four were Film Not in the English Language, Cinematography, Original Score, and Sound. I called 3 of those 4, but had Babylon listed in Score instead. Ironically I picked Quiet to take Production Design. That went to Babylon.

While this is a great BAFTA performance for Quiet, I don’t believe it dramatically changes its dynamic at the Oscars. I still don’t view it as a threat to emerge victorious in Best Picture. It’s important to remember that just 3 out of the past 10 BAFTA winners ended up nabbing the biggest race at the Academy Awards. Nomadland (from 2020) is the only match of the previous 8 ceremonies. And, of course, Berger isn’t even nominated in Director for the Oscars.

In the lead acting derbies, I correctly called the victors with Cate Blanchett (Tár) and Austin Butler (Elvis). This solidifies each as the frontrunners and it especially hurts Colin Farrell for Banshees. I would say he needed this to have any real shot at Best Actor on March 12th (unless he somehow manages an upset at SAG next weekend).

Banshees made up for the Best Film and Actor losses in the supporting fields. Kerry Condon is Supporting Actress which I projected. She has emerged as the alternative to Oscar favorite Angela Bassett in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. One of the massive upsets is Barry Keoghan winning Supporting Actor over the heavily favored Ke Huy Quan for Everything Everywhere All at Once (who was sweeping until today). I still believe Quan is looking good for Oscar.

Further races I got right: Banshees in Original Screenplay; Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio as Animated Film (continuing its sweep); Elvis in Costume Design; Everything Everywhere for Editing; Avatar: The Way of Water‘s Visual Effects; Banshees for Outstanding British Film; and Aftersun for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer.

Where I went wrong: Navalny is Best Documentary over Fire of Love and Elvis took Casting instead of Everything Everywhere and won Make-Up & Hair over The Whale. That means Banshees and Elvis each earned 4 statues. Nothing else won more than one.

As I relayed in my DGA prediction, the directorial recipient there has matched the Oscar winning director 19 of 22 times in the 21st century. The Daniels were honorees for Everything Everywhere. Even though Everything won only Editing at BAFTA, I still think it’s the frontrunner for BP at the Oscars (as are the Daniels).

Bottom line: Quiet was loud at BAFTA. Yet the most significant storyline with Academy impact could be Butler and Blanchett firming up their standings.

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