HOLLYWOOD—Its hard to believe I totally forgot that the 71st British Academy of Film and Television Arts was being held during the early hours on Sunday, February 18. Leading all contenders going into the ceremony was the film “The Shape of Water” with 12 nominations; however, it was “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” that reigned supreme. The flick took home five prizes including Best Film. It has been a battle all season long between “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” So with the Academy Awards less than 2 weeks away, it’s clear those two films are the frontrunners for the top prize.

While the Best Film prize was lost, Guillermo del Toro took home the prize for Best Director for “The Shape of Water.” At this point, I really don’t see anyone being a threat to his awards season dominance except Christopher Nolan for “Dunkirk” and it would take a major push for such an upset to transpire. When it comes to the Best Actor category, Gary Oldman added another award to his mantle this year for his performance in “Darkest Hour.”

People may as well call it now, Oldman is a lock for that Oscar and there is NO virtual threat that can change that if you ask me. On the Best Actress side, Frances McDormand who has dominated the entire season like Oldman picked up the prize for her sensational turn in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” In the Supporting races, it was Sam Rockwell who was victorious for his performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” The guy really has no competition except for Willem Dafoe for “The Florida Project.” If Oscar voters want to spread the wealth instead of allowing “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” to sweep in most of the categories, this is the one race where an upset could transpire.

For Best Supporting Actress it was Allison Janney who took home the BAFTA for her work in “I, Tonya.” Trust me if you have NOT seen this movie, rush to see it, it’s absolutely phenomenal and should be garnering much more attention than it is. Now some interesting developments in the Best Original Screenplay race, America. Martin McDonagh won for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which was a bit of a surprise. I really don’t see McDonagh winning this prize at the upcoming Oscars; this is more a race between Jordan Peele “Get Out” and Greta Gerwig “Lady Bird.” For Best Adapted Screenplay, James Ivory was victorious for “Call Me by Your Name.”

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” also won the BAFTA for “Outstanding British Film in 2018,” while “The Shape of Water” took home prizes for Production Design and Original Music and “Dunkirk” won for Sound. “Blade Runner 2049” picked up prizes for Cinematography and Special Visual Effects. “Phantom Thread” won for Costume Design, while “Baby Driver” won for Editing, and “Darkest Hour” picked up the BAFTA for Make-Up and Hair. “I am Not a Witch” took home the BAFTA award for “British Writer, Director or Producer in 2018. So with the BAFTA Awards now behind us, it’s all about the Academy Awards which will be handed out on Sunday, March 4. Expect some surprises, but not too many people!