The British Independent Film Awards are tonight so I thought I should give my predictions. I’ve seen a few of the films in contention, but I will predict what I think will win, not what I want to win.
Best British Independent Film: The Imitation Game- This is the only film in the nominees that has a genuine chance at challenging at the Oscars, and is the best film of the nominees. It could be close between TIG and Mr. Turner, but Morten Tyldum’s film should come out on top.
Best Director: Mike Leigh (Mr. Turner)- Always a favourite in the British film industry, Mike Leigh will win here, as his work in Mr. Turner is probably his most acclaimed of his career. John Michael McDonagh may give him a close run, but Leigh will win here again.
Best Debut Director: Yann Demange (’71)- Demange is the only one nominated in both directing categories, so it is pretty much a dead cert that he will win here.
Best Screenplay: Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)- The only one of the nominees who will be nominated in this category at the Oscars, Moore’s accomplished screenplay should see him win here.
Best Actress: Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle)- Mbatha-Raw is a newcomer who has taken 2014 by storm with her mature performances in Beyond the Lights and Belle. She will be rewarded by winning here and Keira Knightley will feel hard done by, as she has been put in the wrong category.
Best Actor: Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner)- Spall is a big favourite with British critics and they all love his performance in Mr. Turner. Benedict Cumberbatch’s far superior work in The Imitation Game will be unrewarded here, but he will have many other awards to celebrate as awards season goes on.
Best Supporting Actress: Imelda Staunton (Pride)- Staunton should be pleased that Knightley is in the lead category because otherwise she would have won, as her work is far superior. I wasn’t a massive fan of Staunton in Pride, but the British press love her, and she’ll win here.
Best Supporting Actor: Michael Fassbender (Frank)- This is probably the most difficult category to call, but I can see Fassbender winning here as he is excellent in Frank and it would be nice for them to be able to give an award to an A-lister.
Most Promising Newcomer: Ben Schnetzer (Pride)- Schnetzer has been seen three times in British cinemas this year, in The Book Thief, Pride and The Riot Club, and has impressed each time. Schnetzer is really impressive in Pride, managing to create a believable gay Northern Irish character despite him being American, and he is one to watch for the future.
Best International Independent Film: Boyhood- This is the best film of the year and is universally loved, especially in the UK, and will be a deserved winner here.
For the full list of nominations: http://www.bifa.org.uk/releases/british-independent-film-awards-nominations-2014