Oscar Road, part 6: The BAFTAs

429px-BAFTA_2008_-_MaskThe British Academy of Film and Television Arts, BAFTA in short is a British charity that hosts annual awards shows for excellence in film, television, television craft, video games and forms of animation. The British Academy Film awards ceremony which is the flagship event of the BAFTA is usually regarded as the British Oscars recognizing the best from the movie industry . They have been awarded since 1947 at an annual charity event held in early February. The 2009 BAFTAs were given on 8th February and Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire has quite swept away everyone with 7 BAFTAs. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button won 3 awards and all other movies including Dark Knight, Wall-E, In Bruges, Frozen River, The Wrestler, The Reader etc won one.
There were no big upset victories or big surprises this year. The roster of nominations was very similar to the one at Oscars, Generally the BAFTAs and the Oscars dont have much in common but this year seems to be different. Slumdog Millionaire won the Best Movie, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editor, Sound, Cinematography and Music awards. This is no different from what has happened at the Golden Globes or the Guild awards and many are betting high on Slumdog to repeat this at the Oscars too. By now every one knows that two Indians, AR Rahman and Resul Pookutty won the BAFTAs and are hoping Rahman wins at the Oscars too. However he should be wary because in the best song category where his ‘Jai Ho’ and ‘O Saya’ are nominated, Wall E’s ‘Down to Earth’ has already won some awards and the best score is an open race. However the novelty of Indian beats and rhythms must be wildly appealing to the oscar pollers and we all hope we wins it.

Mickey Rourke, Kate Winslet, Heath Ledger and Penelope Cruz won the Acting awards, lead and supporting respectively. This is again very expected. It clears up mist over supporting actress category now that Cruz has won the best supporting actress award wherever Winslet wasnt nominated for the category. She really deserves it for her fiery performance as possessive, crazy yet brilliant artist who is the mentor cum ex-wife of Javier Bardem in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
There is one category which is unique to the BAFTAs which is ‘Alexander Korda Award for Outstanding British Film of the Year ‘. the movies nominated this year were Man on Wire, Hunger, In Bruges, Slumdog Millionaire and Mamma Mia. I was hoping that one of the first three, all excellent yet relatively undiscovered films, would win. Man on Wire won and it was kinda mildly surprising that a documentary(it has been nominated for oscars too) beat out some great dramas and comedies. I have seen the film and it is quite brilliant. There is no doubt that it is going to win the best documentary oscar this year. A complete review of Man on Wire later.
Finally, in the foreign language category Kristin Scott Thomas’s Il y a longtemps que je t'aime took away the prize. This film beat out Vals im Bashir and Der Baadermeinhof Complex but hasnt been nominiated for the oscars. Thats it about the BAFTAs, I shall soon update with more reviews of oscar nominated films as we walk down the oscar road and see who deserves the oscars.

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