Who were the big winners and what does it mean for the Oscars?
Thursday 22 February 2018
by REUBEN MUIR
The 2017 Awards season is close to its grand finale and the ending is looking more and more predictable, especially with the results of the BAFTA Awards. THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (2017) was the big winner with five wins, including Best Film, Actress, Supporting Actor and Original Screenplay. THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017) had three wins for Best Director, Original Score and Production Design.
These wins prove the two films remain the unchallenged frontrunners going into the Oscars and now the chances of an underdog challenge have slipped. The four acting categories awarded their respective frontrunners, Gary Oldman for DARKEST HOUR (2017), Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell for THREE BILLBOARDS and Allison Janney with I, TONYA (2017) all of whom are first time BAFTA winners. With these victories they might as well prepare their Oscar speeches. Another notable winner was Roger Deakins who won his fourth BAFTA for cinematography on BLADE RUNNER 2049 (2017) and looks set to finally win his long overdue Oscar after 14 nominations. An unusual statistic is that THREE BILLBOARDS not only won Best Film, it also won Best British Film and no film has achieved this since THE KING’S SPEECH (2010). and A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (1967) before that. The win for Best British Film is odd as it would be expected that the voters would try and award a smaller and equally acclaimed film like PADDINGTON 2 (2017) or GOD’S OWN COUNTRY (2017).
What this double win proves is that the British Academy have thrown their weight behind McDonagh’s film. However, THREE BILLBOARDS has not yet got the Best Picture Oscar in the bag. The BAFTAs used to be a good indicator of what would go on to win Best Picture at the Oscars - between 2000 and 2013 they have had the same result eight times out of 13 - but since 2013 the BAFTAs have gone a different way to the Oscars. So, THE SHAPE OF WATER may well still have the edge over THREE BILLBOARDS.
Some notable losers on the night were LADY BIRD (2017), THE FLORIDA PROJECT (2017) and GET OUT (2017), which all failed to get any awards. Other big contenders like PHANTOM THREAD (2017), CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (2017) and DUNKIRK (2017) all disappointed with single wins. The underperformance of DUNKIRK might well be the nail in the coffin for any recognition outside of the technical awards at the Oscars and therefore Nolan will again lose out on his well-deserved Best Director award. However, it might not be game over for GET OUT or LADY BIRD as both seem to have much stronger supporters in the US and, with the continuing #TimesUp/#MeToo movement, LADY BIRD could still surprise.
#TimesUp and #MeToo featured prominently at the ceremony, with many of the attending women wearing black in protest. The matter continues to dominate and has become the political issue of this awards season. Considering the impact the #OscarsSoWhite controversy had, a response from the Oscars should be expected.