Awareness and viewership of the Brit awards show (which was hosted by my fave Stephen Fry this year) has grown, especially since Awards coverage in general has gotten noisier and every tea leaf is sifted and read. In 2001, BAFTA, which was founded in 1947, moved the show into the height of the awrds frame when Academy members are still filling out their ballots. There has also been more promotion of BAFTAs in Los Angeles via BAFTA LA, which hosts such events as the Brittania Awards and July's Brits to Watch, which was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 5000 BAFTA members vote in the UK, while 1500 vote in the U.S.
The actual number of BAFTA members overlapping with the Academy is "hundreds rather than thousands," points out BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry. The Academy nominees who were favored to win at the BAFTAs were "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," which had 11 nominations, which took home only Best British Film and Adapted Screenplay, while "The Artist" (12 nominations) beat it for Best Film--and took seven total awards, including Best Actor for Jean Dujardin. These "Artist" wins will only boost its surging Oscar momentum.
Other BAFTA nominees in the Oscar race included Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," which won two tech prizes, Production Design for Dante Ferretti, and Sound. "The Iron Lady"'s Meryl Streep beat "The Help"'s Viola Davis for Best Actress; "Iron Lady" also won hair and makeup, which should repeat on Oscar night. Predictably, "The Help"'s Octavia Spencer did take supporting actress, as did Christopher Plummer ("Beginners"). Shut out were "My Week with Marilyn," "Midnight in Paris," "War Horse," and "The Descendants."
This year the BAFTAs added a documentary category, which was won by homegrown "Senna," which also took home Best Editing. Best Animated Film went to "Rango," which should also grab the Oscar. Foreign winner, Pedro Almodovar's "The Skin I Live In," was not Spain's submission for the Oscar.
And while North American theater attendance is flat, Berry points out that in the U.K.,attendance "is still going up." Like the Oscars, BAFTA winners that are still in play at the UK box office, at least, get a sizable bump.
The complete list of nominations is here.
BAFTA WINNERS (Breaking News)
Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
BEST ANIMATED FILM
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
BEST BRITISH PICTURE
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A DIRECTOR< WRITER OR PRODUCER
"Tyrannosaur" Paddy Considine (Director), Diarmid Scrimshaw (Producer)
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
"The Skin I Live In"
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
BEST MAKE-UP & HAIR
"The Iron Lady"
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2"
THE ORANGE WEDNESDAYS RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)
"A Morning Stroll" Grant Orchard, Sue Goffe
SHORT LIVE ACTION
"Pitch Black Heist" John Maclean, Gerardine O'Flynn