BAFTA Predictions 2015

While the odds on the 2015 BAFTAs are yet to appear on goldderby.com or awardscircuit.com (the go-to places for awards predictions), I’d still like to make a stab at predicting the major categories, based on Oscar and Golden Globes odds, release schedules and previous results. Winners in Bold. Also, I have discounted Selma, Still Alice and all others released from February onwards as even though they are eligible, no film that was released from February onwards last year was nominated, eg. Dallas Buyers Club, Her, etc.

Best Film: Birdman, Boyhood, Gone Girl, The Imitation Game, Unbroken.

Outstanding British Film: ’71, The Imitation Game, Mr. Turner, Pride, The Theory of Everything.

Best Director: Alejandro G. Inarritu (Birdman), Angelina Jolie (Unbroken), David Fincher (Gone Girl), Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), Richard Linklater (Boyhood).

Best Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Michael Keaton (Birdman), Steve Carell (Foxcatcher), Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner).

Best Actress: Amy Adams (Big Eyes), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Julianne Moore (Maps to the Stars), Reese Witherspoon (Wild), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl).

Best Supporting Actor: Bill Nighy (Pride), Edward Norton (Birdman), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher).

Best Supporting Actress: Emma Stone (Birdman), Imelda Staunton (Pride), Keira Knigtley (The Imitation Game), Laura Dern (Wild), Patricia Arquette (Boyhood).

EE Rising Star: Ben Schnetzer (Pride/The Riot Club), Chadwick Boseman (Get on Up), Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle), Jack O’Connell (Starred Up/’71/Unbroken).

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Best Actor Predictions- Updated

My line up for Best Actor has changed somewhat in recent weeks as it starts to become clear who are the sure-fire nominees and who has to battle it out for the remaining places. As it stands, there are four main contenders who are all but certain to be nominated while there are 4 or 5 that are trying to nab the 5th place.

1. Michael Keaton (Birdman)- Despite tough competition, Keaton is the runaway leader for his comeback role in Birdman, in which he plays an almost fictionalized version of himself. Birdman has been released in the U.S. to many positive reviews and has been stated as Keaton’s best work yet. It’s Keaton’s way back onto the A-List and could win him his first Oscar.

2. Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)- From what I have seen, Redmayne looks like he could give the best performance of the year in a transformative role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. The film is released in the U.S. on Friday and all reports are positive stating that Redmayne’s performance is reminiscent of Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot.

3. Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)- This performance doesn’t look as strong as the competition but it is the kind of role that will get Oscar attention. I’m going to see The Imitation Game when it is released in the UK in two weeks and, while I’m not a massive fan of Cumberbatch, I’m sure he will get nominated.

4. Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)- While I’d love to see Carell win, I can’t see it happening, despite his transformative role in Foxcatcher. At this stage in his career, a nomination will be great for Carell. He won’t win at the Oscars, but he has a real chance at the Golden Globes.

5. Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)- The first trailer for this film was really promising and even though it’s a year full of top competition, Cooper is my choice for the 5th slot as he is on a hot streak (2 nods in 2 years) and I have been a bit disappointed by what I have seen from his nearest competition.

Other Contenders: Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner), David Oyelowo (Selma), Jack O’Connell (Unbroken), Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice), Miles Teller (Whiplash).

100/1 Contenders – October 2014

OK, Some of these may be the same as my previous blog, but some have changed drastically as odds are always changing around this point of awards season, especially as films in contention are being released/premiered and we see which of them are getting the buzz from critics. All odds as of 27/10/14 and according to GoldDerby.com

Best Picture: Inherent Vice- In my previous post, I said that Whiplash was still a contender and now, a month on, it is at 33/1 and 9th favourite overall. However, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice has gone the other way and is now finding itself at 100/1, despite some positive reviews from NYFF. With an all-star cast including Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin and Reese Witherspoon, this has to be in contention.

Best Director: Clint Eastwood, American Sniper- With new footage released, American Sniper is a late contender and could score some major nominations. The trailer for this film is probably the best of the year and after his so-so musical Jersey Boys, Eastwood looks like he is back on form and could be nominated for the first time since 2006, despite Best Director being one of the most competitive categories.

Best Actor: Jack O’Connell, Unbroken- This is the same as last time because I really do think that Jack O’Connell has more of a shot than people are giving him credit for. Unbroken currently stands 3rd in the Best Picture race and as it is a biopic, it is heavily reliant on a strong central performance, that I’m sure O’Connell can deliver. It’s a packed field of top talent with 4 all but sure things, but O’Connell is still in with a chance of a nomination.

Best Actress: Emily Blunt, Into the Woods- Emily Blunt has found herself onto the Hollywood A-List this year after her hit blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow and, if Into the Woods is a critical success, she could be in with a chance of an Oscar nod. She’s currently second in the running at the Golden Globes but she has less of a chance as all 5 slots look like they have been filled in this category, but she’s still in with a shout.

Best Supporting Actor: Miyavi, Unbroken- Last time, I chose Domnhall Gleeson in this category for the same film but after seeing the second trailer that has been released, it shows that Miyavi has a much larger and much showier role. Miyavi portrays Mutsuhiro Watanabe who had a major influence of Louis Zamperini’s time at the Japanese prisoner of war camps and looks like his role may be similar to Michael Fassbender’s in 12 Years a Slave that got him a nomination and was, in my personal opinion, the best performance of last year.

Best Supporting Actress: Katherine Waterston, Inherent Vice- In her first major role, Waterston is getting a lot of buzz and support online for her performance in Inherent Vice. As she is a newcomer she is less likely to be nominted but if she delivers a strong enough performance, she could have a shot, despite tough competition.

Best Picture Contenders- October 2014

With an Oscars host announced, the awards season is gearing up and is ready to be one of the most competitive in years. There is a wide range of films in contention for the coveted Best Picture gong, including quirky dramas, biopics, thrillers and blockbusters all ready to battle. Here are the likely nominees, as of 16/10/2014.

1. Unbroken- Currently second favourite at the bookies, Unbroken is my pick to win as it has all the ingredients to make the perfect Oscar baiting film. It’s yet to have it’s premiere, but with the footage seen so far, Angelina Jolie’s biopic is likely to be a major contender.

2. Boyhood- The bookies favourite in the category, Boyhood is sure to be a contender as it is a truely wonderful film and brilliant achievement. It may be hindered by it’s summer release in limited cinemas, but it has enough magic to stick in the memories of the awards voters.

3. Birdman- With it’s popularity increasing all the time, Birdman has a limited release in the U.S. this weekend, where the Academy voters will see if it is worthy of all it’s buzz. Expect nods in major categories, with Michael Keaton likely to win Best Actor, but it won’t win.

4. Foxcatcher- With it’s showings at almost every festival going, Foxcatcher is gaining a lot of love from critics. Unfortunately, most of the praise is going to the acting so expect nods for Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo, but don’t expect any major wins.

5. The Imitation Game- Having grown through the rankings following it’s Toronto win, The Imitation Game is likely to score a nomination here aswell as nods for it’s stars, Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, but it’s likely to go home empty handed.

6. Interstellar- Everyone is very excited to see Christopher Nolan’s latest, and could be the only Blockbuster to be a major contender. It will win a sack load in the technical categories but unless it knocks everyone’s socks off, it won’t win any major awards.

7. Gone Girl- It’s impressed most after it’s worldwide release, but has gone down in the rankings recently as you can’t see it winning anything, but a handful of nominations will be a good result for them.

8. The Theory of Everything- Despite currently losing a head to head rivalry with The Imitation Game, it is likely to score a few nominations, especially for it’s stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.

9. Selma- Still completely unseen, we can’t really judge Selma yet, but the premise of a Civil Rights film about Martin Luther King will surely be a hit with the Academy.

10. Inherent Vice- In the last month, Inherent Vice has had it’s first trailer release and it’s worldwide premiere at NYFF, to mixed reviews. This has led to a drop in buzz, but it should hold on for a nod.

Other Contenders: The Grand Budapest Hotel, American Sniper, Whiplash, Into the Woods, Fury.

100/1 Contenders

As latest odds comes in, we are still unsure of the quality of some of the films in contention and when giving odds, it is often the case that it is the main contenders (about 12 in categories with 10 nominees and 7 in categories with 5 nominees) that are given odds under 100/1. So, that means that there are plenty of films in contention that are 100/1 at the Oscars and these are the ones that could cause an upset and get nominated. Odds from GoldDerby.com as of 30/9/14.

Best Picture: Whiplash- The winner at Sundance and a favourite at Cannes and Toronto, this music drama is sure to get at least a nod for J.K. Simmons as Best Supporting Actor and I can see it also getting nominated for Best Picture.

Best Director: Ava DuVernay- Selma- There hasn’t been any footage released from this Martin Luther King biopic at time of writing, but it could potentially be a big player during awards season, with Best Picture and Best Actor (David Oyelowo) both at 33/1, and DuVernay could be the first Black woman to be nominated at the Oscars for Best Director.

Best Actor: Jack O’Connell- Unbroken- Unbroken is currently my pick to win Best Picture and this is a film reliant on a terrific central performance. Unbroken is only O’Connell’s 3rd major role but this young British actor can easily spring a surprise and be nominated here.

Best Actress: Julianne Moore- Maps to the Stars- She could lose out because she will most likely be nominated for Still Alice, but if that falls through, she could still be nominated for Maps to the Stars. She won Best Actress at Cannes, and expect at least a Golden Globe nomination.

Best Supporting Actor: Domhnall Gleeson- Unbroken- Another young British actor, he is unlikely to be nominated, but is much more likely than the rest of the field in a poor year in this category.

Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain- A Most Violent Year- Chastain is heavily involved in this year’s awards season, with her appearing in contenders such as Interstellar, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, Miss Julie and A Most Violent Year, but the latter is her real chance at a nod, even though she probably won’t.

Best Director Contenders- September 2014

The best director race should be pretty straight forward on paper, but it is starting to turn into one of the hardest to call. Picking 5 Best Director nominees from 10 Best Picture nominees is always difficult and it is so far this awards season.

1. Richard Linklater: Boyhood- Linklater’s achievement with Boyhood is absolutely extraordinary and deserves every award going, but this is a strong field of contenders and could be pushed down as the awards season gets closer.

2. Bennett Miller: Foxcatcher- The winner at Cannes for Best Director has a strong shout for this award as he has more awards experience than his rivals and has reportedly done an excellent job with Foxcatcher.

3. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu: Birdman- With his first real attempt at mainstream cinema, the nominee for Babel is likely to bag a nod for Birdman.

4. Angelina Jolie: Unbroken- With her first directing gig, we are still unsure whether Jolie can pull it off, but with a great story like Louis Zamperini’s, I think she will and get a nomination.

5. David Fincher: Gone Girl- He may get pushed out soon, but the two-time nominee is still in the running for Gone Girl.

Other Contenders: Christopher Nolan: Interstellar, Morten Tyldum: The Imitation Game, Paul Thomas Anderson: Inherent Vice, Ava DuVernay: Selma, Wes Anderson: The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Best Actress Contenders- September 2014

Best Actress is looking like a three horse race, but it is all still to play for to get those two other nominations and for an overall winner.

1. Julianne Moore: Still Alice- Moore’s performance in Toronto has given her massive buzz as she wasn’t even in the running before that. Yet, with a trailer yet to be released, we can’t make our minds up for ourselves, but is the current favourite, especially as she is yet to win an Academy Award.

2. Amy Adams: Big Eyes- She lost a bit of buzz as so little footage had been released as Toronto was going on, but the early favourite still has a reasonable shot as the trailer for Big Eyes was released last week. Like Moore, she has had a lot of nominations without a win, but this year could possibly be her year.

3. Reese Witherspoon: Wild- With massive acclaim coming from Telluride and Toronto, the Oscar winner has kept herself in the running and will still be a massive contender, at least picking up her second nomination at the Oscars.

4. Rosamund Pike: Gone Girl- After the premiere earlier in the week, this British actress has had large acclaim and could bag herself a nomination. The only question is if it’s leading or supporting, but she’ll likely get a nod either way.

5. Felicity Jones: The Theory of Everything- She impressed in last year’s The Invisible Woman and The Theory of Everything could get her attention from places other than the UK. It’s early days, but she could still grab a nomination.

Other Contenders: Jessica Chastain: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby/A Most Violent Year, Hilary Swank: The Homesman, Shailene Woodley: The Fault in Our Stars, Angelina Jolie: Maleficent.