After a Covid-hit year, the film awards season is back in full swing, with the Baftas this weekend returning to red carpet throngs and in-person speeches.
Where an international crisis, namely the pandemic, hit events over the past couple of years, and pummeled cinema attendance in the process, this year’s British Academy Awards are taking place during another international crisis - the war in Ukraine.
Expect nominees, winners and presenters to use the platform to voice solidarity with the people of Ukraine, as witnessed at last month’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, I would also anticipate then colours of the Ukraine flag to be in evidence on the red carpet, as stars reconcile being at a celebratory event with what it’s going on in the world.
But prizes will be given and film, which has sustained many of use during the dark days of the Global pandemic, will be saluted for offering some respite perhaps from truly challenging times.
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So here are my predictions for the just a few of the award winners, coupled with some wishful thinking.
I’ve seen hundreds of films in the past year or some and I for one am grateful for the distraction.
The Power of the Dog (but don’t discount Belfast).
Outstanding British Film
I hope After Love (but don’t discount Belfast).
I have a feeling After Love’s Joanna Scanlan might just do it for her wonderful performance. Emilia Jones for Coda is a close contender.
Surely it’s Will Smith’s year for King Richard, though I’d be equally happy to see Benedict Cumberbatch triumph for The Power of the Dog.
It looked like West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose will clean up this year for her standout performance in the film. Personal choice for me is Jessie Buckley, always fantastic, she steals The Lost Daughter even from Olivia Colman for me.
Surely Troy Kotsur for Coda, but how I loved the incredible performance of 11-year-old Londoner Woody Norman.
Jane Campion for The Power Of The Dog, I can’t see anyone beating her.
EE Rising Star
Voted for by the public, this one I see going to Lashana Lynch for No Time To Die.
Outstanding Debut for a British Writer, Director, or Producer
Aleem Khan for his staggering directorial debut with After Love
Outstanding Film not in the English Language
I would say Drive My Car from Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi is unbeatable here. A truly wonderful film.
The winner will be Flee, about the tragedy of the refugee experience told powerfully through animation. Summer of Soul would be the only one to beat it.