HOLLYWOOD—As awards season ramps up to the hotly anticipated Academy Awards, the British Academy of Film and Television Association handed out their awards on Sunday, February 8. Leading the pack of all nominees was “The Grand Budapest Hotel” with 11 nominations including Best Film, but only walked away with five awards, all in technical categories.
The festivities were hosted by Stephen Fry. The big winner of the night was the film “Boyhood” which took home the prize for Best Film, besting “Birdman” and “The Theory of Everything.”
Eddie Redmayne took home the prize for Leading Actor for his fantastic transformation as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.” Julianne Moore won for Leading Actress for her work in “Still Alice.” I’d say at this point, these two are locks, but Redmayne could face an upset Oscar-night courtesy of Michael Keaton “Birdman” or Bradley Cooper “American Sniper.”
Just the night before “Birdman” director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu picked up the top prize at the Directors Guild of America ceremony beating out Richard Linklater for “Boyhood,” so it was interesting to see Linklater win the award over Inarritu at the BAFTA ceremony. The Best Director race at the Academy Awards will indeed be a nail-bitter.
In the acting race, J.K. Simmons continued his reign as the one to beat in the Supporting Actor race for his work in the amazing “Whiplash.” For Supporting Actress, Patricia Arquette picked up the award for her performance in the drama “Boyhood.” These two are virtual locks at this point, unless the voters of AMPAS choose to deliver a curveball, which they have been known to do in the past.
“The Theory of Everything” took home the prize for Outstanding British Film. In the Best Animated Film race, “The Lego Movie” was victorious. In a bit of a surprise, the award for Original Screenplay went to Wes Anderson for “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” That same sentiment could be echoed in the Adapted Screenplay race where “The Theory of Everything” took home the prize.
“Whiplash” also took home prizes in the Sound category for Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann, while Tom Cross won the prize for Editing. The EE Rising Star Award went to “Unbroken” star Jack O’Connell, who beat out a list of impressive contenders including Miles Teller, Margot Robbie, Shailene Woodley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
Original Music, Make-Up and Hair, Production Design and Costume Design awards all went to “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
At this point, the race for Oscar is between “Boyhood” and “Birdman” and I honestly have the slightest clue who will take the top prize. This is one of the most exciting Best Picture races that I can recall since “Crash” and “Brokeback Mountain” battled it out.