After last night’s 2017 BAFTA Awards, the question on everyone’s lips is who will take home the Oscar prizes, so here are our top picks and potential dark horses. You might think this will be the shortest blog post ever, with the content merely consisting of the words ‘La La Land’, but will it really be a clean sweep for the modern musical? Well, perhaps, but there are other contenders still in with a shot of Oscar glory, so we’ve taken a look at some of the main categories…
Let’s start with the big prize and for this one we have to admit that for any film OTHER than La La Land to win this one would be a HUGE surprise. It won the Golden Globe (albeit in the less competitive Musical and Comedy category), and now it’s taken home the BAFTA. It’s pretty fair to say La La Land looks unstoppable in the main category. But who else just might be in with a shot? The much-lauded Moonlight was hotly tipped this awards season, but failed to take home anything at the BAFTAs (although it has been suggested its later UK release date has hindered the buzz here somewhat) and Manchester By the Sea has seen success, but we doubt they can stop the musical juggernaut at this point.
Best Director and Best Actress
We’ve put these two together because you can apply the above argument to both these categories too. Emma Stone has been picking up gongs left right and centre for her turn in La La Land, and there is a feeling that this is very much her year. The same goes for the film’s director, Damien Chazelle, who at the sickeningly young age of 31 looks set to pick up his first Oscar. Let’s try and be happy for him.
Although Casey Affleck won the BAFTA last night for his performance in Manchester by the Sea, this category isn’t quite so clear cut. La La Land’s Ryan Gosling in very much in with a shot at the Oscar’s for this one, and Denzel Washington shouldn’t be written off either after picking up the SAG award for Fences. The safe money would definitely be on Affleck, but don’t be too surprised if the Oscars reward another effort on 26th February.
Best Supporting Actor
An interesting category this one, because Dev Patel’s somewhat surprising BAFTA win for Lion could well have increased the chances of Best Supporting Actor being slightly more competitive than other Academy Awards (and thank goodness, because most categories are looking fairly predictable on the whole). Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali has been looking like the frontrunner, but was Patel’s BAFTA win a case of the Brits rewarding their own, or a sign that the momentum is now with him? We’ll find out in a few weeks’ time.
Best Supporting Actress
After her BAFTA win, this one looks like it’s very much in the bag for Viola Davis after her powerful performance in Fences, and who could argue with that? Certainly not us.
Best Animated Feature
Sometimes it’s the kids’ films that sum up our times, thoughts and feelings so much better than live action movies, and this year’s picks are no exception. Zootopia (known as Zootropolis in the UK) is very much a fable for our troubled times and will make a very deserving winner, but will it be pipped to the post by BAFTA winner Kubo and the Two Strings? Historically BAFTA and the Academy haven’t always gone for the same pick in this category, so our money’s still on Zootopia. Or Zootropolis. Whatever you want to call it, it’s an excellent movie for all ages.
We’ve have to wait and see whether our predictions are correct or not, but one thing’s for certain – they’ll be plenty to discuss and dissect the following morning, so bring it on.
By Anna Scott, 13th February 2017