BAFTA Awards 2014 in Review

Stephen Fry hosted this year’s British Academy Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs), overseeing a night that provided laughter, tears and even a surprise or two. For a while now 12 Years a Slave and Gravity have been expected to dominate the 2014 awards season, and as we approach the upcoming Academy Awards, Hollywood’s ‘main event’, it was evident that these two monolithic productions would be remembered most prominently in the night’s proceedings. That’s not to say that the night was without its upsets, producing a few shockers that saw some genuinely incredible films being showcased in what was above all a very British evening. Here’s how the last year in film looked when the dust had settled:

 

BEST FILM

12 Years a Slave (WINNER)

American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Gravity

Philomena

Steve McQueen’s harrowing depiction of one man’s experiences of slavery in this epic period piece inspired by real events was the favourite going into this awards ceremony, and its win here was justly deserved. One of the most powerful films about slavery that has ever graced the screen, and featuring some downright prolific performances, the way in which 12 Years a Slave maturely handles its weighty subject matter is matched only by the emotional intensity that explodes from its characters throughout every scene.

 

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM

Gravity (WINNER)

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Rush

Saving Mr Banks

The Selfish Giant

There has been a degree of controversy over whether or not Gravity should be in this category at all, given that its two lead actors are both American and its director is Mexican. There are those who will forget that the film was written and made in England by hundreds of British crew members, and who will feel that it is ineligible for an award that should have rightly gone to the powerful Mandela. These ill opinions aside, Gravity collects an award amidst tough competition, somewhat making up for missing out on the Best Film Award in the process.

 

DIRECTOR

Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave

David O Russell – American Hustle

Paul Greengrass – Captain Phillips

Alfonso Cuarón – Gravity (WINNER)

Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street

Causing a huge upset, Mexican born Alfonso wins an award that many were sure would go to Steve McQueen. Beating the favourite, as well as the legendary Martin Scorsese, means that Gravity’s intense lengthy action sequences and beautifully rendered shots cement its place as one of the most acclaimed films of the year, and looks stronger than ever going into the Oscars.

 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell – American Hustle (WINNER)

Woody Allen – Blue Jasmine

Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón – Gravity

Joel Coen & Ethan Coen – Inside Llewyn Davis

Bob Nelson – Nebraska

The writers of American Hustle, employing their signature improvisational style acclaimed by critics in last year’s Silver Linings Playbook, build on their success by snatching up the award for best original screenplay. This style allows the film to reveal delicately intricate character studies that go beyond what the events of the plot offer – a thoroughly deserved award.

 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

John Ridley – 12 Years a Slave

Richard LaGravenese – Behind the Candelabra

Billy Ray – Captain Phillips

Steve Coogan & Jeff Pope – Philomena (WINNER)

Terence Winter – The Wolf of Wall Street

Home-grown talent Steve Coogan picks up the award for adapted screenplay, miraculously fending off favourites 12 Years a Slave and The Wolf of Wall Street. This heart-warming, funny and very British tale of friendship deserves the accolade, proving that underdogs can win in big categories, especially at the BAFTAS.

 

LEADING ACTOR

Bruce Dern – Nebraska

Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave (WINNER)

Christian Bale – American Hustle

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street

Tom Hanks – Captain Phillips

This fact that this is the second big win for 12 Years a Slave is unsurprising, but what is suprising is that this is the only other award that the film managed to win throughout the evening. Ejiofor is phenomenal as Solomon, a free man in 19th century America who has his liberty cruelly taken away from him by greedy slave owners, and who must struggle to retain his identity and hope as he is subjected to the very worst that mankind is capable of.

 

LEADING ACTRESS

Amy Adams – American Hustle

Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine (WINNER)

Emma Thompson – Saving Mr Banks

Judi Dench – Philomena

Sandra Bullock – Gravity

Despite stiff competition, no one can deny that Cate Blanchet’s enchanting performance of a woman pushed to the edge in Blue Jasmine was entirely worthy of the top spot. This much was clear to see from the sincerity of the applause that broke out, and the admiration in the eyes of the vast assembly of Hollywood talent as she received her well-earned award.

 

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips (WINNER)

Bradley Cooper – American Hustle

Daniel Brühl – Rush

Matt Damon – Behind the Candelabra

Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave

Barkhad Abdi snags the only award for the greatly overlooked Captain Phillips for his desperate portrayal of a Somali pirate. Whilst this win is a significant achievement for both Abdi and the film, one cannot help feel that Michael Fassbender was very unfortunate not to get this one. A lot of people were surprised at this result.

 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle (WINNER)

Julia Roberts – August: Osage County

Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave

Oprah Winfrey – The Butler

Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine

Jennifer Lawrence is very hot property in Hollywood at the moment, and improves upon her gargantuan success of last year with another respectable award here. Her portrayal of an angry, mentally unstable wife is certainly a standout character from the film.

 

Other awards:

 

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER

Colin Carberry (Writer) & Glenn Patterson (Writer) – Good Vibrations

Kelly Marcel (Writer) – Saving Mr Banks

Kieran Evans (Director/Writer) – Kelly + Victor (WINNER)

Paul Wright (Director/Writer) & Polly Stokes (Producer) – For Those in Peril

Scott Graham (Director/Writer) – Shell

 

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

The Act of Killing

Blue is the Warmest Colour

The Great Beauty (WINNER)

 

DOCUMENTARY

The Act of Killing (WINNER)

The Armstrong Lie

Blackfish

Tim’s Vermeer

We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks

 

ANIMATED FILM

Despicable Me 2

Frozen (WINNER)

Monsters University

 

ORIGINAL MUSIC

Hans Zimmer – 12 Years a Slave

John Williams – The Book Thief

Henry Jackman – Captain Phillips

Steven Price – Gravity (WINNER)

Thomas Newman – Saving Mr Banks

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Sean Bobbitt – 12 Years A Slave

Barry Ackroyd – Captain Phillips

Emmanuel Lubezki – Gravity (WINNER)

Bruno Delbonnel – Inside Llewyn Davis

Phedon Papamichael – Nebraska

 

EDITING

Joe Walker – 12 Years a Slave

Christopher Rouse – Captain Phillips

Alfonso Cuarón & Mark Sanger – Gravity

Mike Hill & Dan Hanley – Rush (WINNER)

Thelma Schoonmaker – The Wolf of Wall Street

 

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Adam Stockhausen & Alice Baker – 12 Years a Slave

Judy Becker & Heather Loeffle – American Hustle

Howard Cummings – Behind the Candelabra

Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin & Joanne Woodlard – Gravity

Catherine Martin & Beverley Dunn – The Great Gatsby (WINNER)

 

COSTUME DESIGN

Michael Wilkinson – American Hustle

Ellen Mirojnick – Behind the Candelabra

Catherine Martin – The Great Gatsby (WINNER)

Michael o’Connor – The Invisible Woman

Daniel Orlandi – Saving Mr Banks

 

MAKE UP & HAIR

Evelyne Noraz & Lori Mccoy-Bell – American Hustle (WINNER)

Kate Biscoe & Marie Larkin – Behind the Candelabra

Debra Denson, Beverly Jo Pryor & Candace Neal – The Butler

Maurizio Silvi & Kerry Warn – The Great Gatsby

Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor & Rick Findlater – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

 

SOUND

Richard Hymns, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, Micah Bloomberg & Gillian Arthur – All is Lost

Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro & Oliver Tarney – Captain Phillips

Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri & Chris Munro – Gravity (WINNER)

Peter F. Kurland, Skip Lievsay & Greg Orloff – Inside Llewyn Davis

Danny Hambrook, Martin Steyer, Stefan Korte, Markus Stemler & Frank Kruse – Rush

 

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS

Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould & Nikki Penny – Gravity (WINNER)

Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton & Eric Reynolds – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Bryan Grill, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams & Dan Sudick – Iron Man 3

Hal Hickel, John Knoll, Lindy De Quattro & Nigel Sumner – Pacific Rim

Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton, Patrick Tubach & Roger Guyett – Star Trek Into Darkness

 

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION

Everything I Can See From Here

I Am Tom Moody

Sleeping With The Fishes (WINNER)

 

BRITISH SHORT FILM

Island Queen

Keeping Up With The Joneses

Orbit Ever After

Room 8 (WINNER)

Sea View

 

THE EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)

Dane Dehaan

George Mackay

Lupita Nyong’o

Will Poulter

Léa Seydoux

 

 

Ciaran Dermott