The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) - the UK's equivalent of the Oscars - held its annual awards ceremony last night, and, in what some are calling "upsets," Chiwetel Ejiofor and Barkhad Abdi both won the BAFTA in their individual categories: Leading Actor and Supporting Actor.
In that regard, I should note that the actors who are favored to win the Oscars in both of those categories, were not nominated for BAFTAs, which is odd, given that they've both nearly cleaned up in other key awards ceremonies until now.
Of course I'm referring to Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, who were both shut out at the BAFTAs. For whatever reason, the film they starred in - Dallas Buyers Club - just didn't connect with the BAFTA voters, despite winning top trophies at the Producers Guild, Writers Guild and Screen Actors Guild, to start, and, as noted, are favored in the Oscar race. It was eligible for the awards, according to my research, despite not opening in the U.K. until February.
But their "snubs" have become gains for Ejiofor and Abdi - or so we can assume.
And, once again, Lupita Nyong'o's performance in 12 Years A Slave, apparently wasn't considered stronger than Jennifer Lawrence's in American Hustle, according to BAFTA voters, since they gave the award in the Supporting Actress category to Lawrence, much to my surprise, following in the footsteps of the Golden Globes. Although Nyong'o won the SAG award in that category - an award that I'd say carries more weight, and is more predictive in the Oscar race.
Time will tell, naturally, which of the two actresses takes little Oscar home next month, March 2.
Not as surprising (to me) was Alfonso Cuarón winning the Director BAFTA over Steve McQueen, and 12 Years A Slave winning for Best Film. I predict that Oscar voters will inevitably vote the same way.
And finally Lupita, also expected to win the Rising Star BAFTA, didn't. Instead, the award went to British actor Will Poulter.
Might we see a replay of all the above at the Oscars next month?
Well, while not a guaranteed predictor, consider this, the previous 2 BAFTA winners for Best Film went on to win the Oscars in the same category: Argo last year, and The Artist the year before that. The same goes for other categories: Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, to start. In each of those categories, in each of the last 2 years, the BAFTA winner was also the Oscar winner. Uncanny, isn't it?
BUT, Dallas Buyers Club was snubbed by the BAFTAs, so I expect the actors in that film will play *spoiler* at the Oscars. However, Jennifer Lawrence just might beat out Lupita again, for the Best Supporting Actress OScar.
See you in about 2 weeks!
Watch acceptance speeches for Chiwetel, McQueen, and Abdi below: