Awards Season 2019: The ultimate guide to the BAFTAs and the Oscars

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It’s that time of year again. With the BAFTAs and the Oscars both taking place this month awards season is in full swing. 2019 has proved to be a fascinating year with surprises, snubs and stars aplenty. Marvel has scored a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars for the first time with Black Panther, Netflix has emerged as a serious awards contender with its monochromatic hit Roma, and Lady Gaga has been nominated for Best Actress for her work in A Star is Born. Not many could have predicted that a year ago.

When watching the BAFTAs or the Oscars it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with all the stories surrounding each award. Who’s going to win? Who should have won? Who wasn’t even nominated? Here at FARID we’ve done our absolute best to answer all these questions and then some. Having seen all the films nominated in the ‘major’ categories (acting, directing, best film) for the BAFTAs and the Oscars we endeavour to offer you our insight into the 2019 awards season.

Best Supporting Actor

BAFTAs

Timothée Chalamet – Beautiful Boy

Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman

Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Mahershala Ali – Green Book

Sam Rockwell – Vice

Oscars

Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman

Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Mahershala Ali – Green Book

Sam Elliot – A Star is Born

Sam Rockwell – Vice

Bookies Favourite: Mahershala Ali

FARID’s Pick: Richard E. Grant

We start with one of this year’s strongest categories. Sam Rockwell returns to contention having won this award for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at the BAFTAs and the Oscars last year. Despite his spot-on performance as George W. Bush in Vice he is considered a bit of an outsider for this years award. BlacKkKlansman is also more likely to pick up awards elsewhere than for Adam Driver’s considered performance as Detective Flip Zimmerman.

The undisputed front runner is Mahershala Ali for his role as the enigmatic pianist Don Shirley in Green Book. Ali won in this category in 2017 for Moonlight and has already won at this year’s Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice and SAG Awards. The True Detective star is a deserving winner in our opinion but spare a moment to consider the ever-loveable Richard E. Grant who, at 61, has been nominated for major acting awards for the first time. Grant is supremely funny as coke-dealing petty criminal Jack Hock in Marielle Heller’s wonderful Can You Ever Forgive Me? Seeing as Heller has been criminally overlooked for a Best Director nomination we’d love to see Grant surprise everyone and take home the prize.

Best Supporting Actress

BAFTAs

Emma Stone – The Favourite

Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

Claire Foy – First Man

Margot Robbie – Mary Queen of Scots

Amy Adams – Vice

Oscars

Emma Stone – The Favourite

Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk

Marina de Tavira – Roma

Amy Adams – Vice

Bookies Favourite: Rachel Weisz (BAFTA), Regina King (Oscar)

FARID’s Pick: Emma Stone

This year the Supporting Actress category is proving to be difficult to predict. The BAFTAs have opted to nominate Claire Foy and Margot Robbie whilst the Oscars have gone for Regina King and Marina de Tavira. The inclusion of De Tavira is a strong indicator of how well Roma is regarded at the Oscars this year. Regina King’s stunning performance in If Beale Street Could Talk appears to be the favourite for the Oscar, despite not getting a BAFTA nod. Instead the BAFTAs have opted for a British actress in Foy, and a British icon in Elizabeth I, portrayed by Robbie.

In the midst of all this is Amy Adams who, unfortunately, seems destined to miss out on an award yet again. With less screen-time then some of the other nominees it seems as if her intelligent performance as Lynne Cheney won’t be enough to get her over the line. As for Stone and Weisz in The Favourite, it seems cruel to choose either one over the other. If we had to pick just one we think Stone would edge it, largely down to the fact that she really does pull off a flawless English accent whilst surrounded by hundreds of English actors, no mean feat.

Best Actor

BAFTAs

Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody

Viggo Mortensen – Green Book

Steve Coogan – Stan & Ollie

Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born

Christian Bale – Vice

Oscars

Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody

Willem Defoe – At Eternity’s Gate

Viggo Mortensen – Green Book

Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born

Christian Bale – Vice

Bookies Favourite: Rami Malek

FARID’s Pick: Viggo Mortensen

Christian Bale is no stranger to awards success having won an Oscar for his role in The Fighter back in 2011. This time out the Welsh actor is cutting a significantly different figure as the conniving politician Dick Cheney in Vice. Despite the strength of Bale’s performance the fact that Gary Oldman won last year for a similarly prosthetically enhanced role in Darkest Hour seems to be hurting his chances of taking home the top prize. Bradley Cooper is in contention for his heartbreaking turn as alcoholic rockstar Jackson Maine in the surprise hit of the year A Star is Born. Whilst we’re sure Cooper appreciates the nomination he is entitled to feel a little frustrated to have been snubbed for Best Director at the Oscars. Perhaps if he wins Best Actor he’ll forgive them.

From one film about a rockstar to another we have Rami Malek for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in another surprise hit Bohemian Rhapsody. Despite receiving a mixed reception from critics one aspect of the film that was universally praised was Malek’s performance. A win at the Golden Globes makes him the favourite going in. Finally, we have Viggo Mortensen for his performance as bouncer turned chauffeur Tony Lip in Green Book. The Danish-American was unlucky not to win in 2016 for Captain Fantastic but enters this year’s race with slightly higher expectations. Mortensen is a force to be reckoned with throughout the film and for our money gave the best dramatic performance of the year.

Best Actress

BAFTAs

Olivia Colman – The Favourite

Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Lady Gaga – A Star is Born

Viola Davis – Widows

Glenn Close – The Wife

Oscars

Olivia Colman – The Favourite

Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Yalitza Aparicio – Roma

Lady Gaga – A Star is Born

Glenn Close – The Wife

Bookies Favourite: Olivia Colman (BAFTA), Glenn Close (Oscar)

FARID’s Pick: Olivia Colman

First things first both Viola Davis and Yalitza Aparicio are phenomenal leads in Widows and Roma respectively. Aparicio, in particular, takes the viewer on a journey that is absolutely mesmeric. Melissa McCarthy is also rightly recognised for her stellar performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Unfortunately (and unfairly) for McCarthy her reputation as a comedic actress makes a triumph in this category unlikely. As for the three other contenders, it’s almost impossible to call who will win. All three are something of surprises heading into the race. Lady Gaga has, of course, made the biggest transition swapping big stages for the big screen with apparent ease. She is almost a dead cert for Best Original Song regardless of whether she wins in this category or not.

It’s been 36 years since Glenn Close was first nominated for an Oscar in 1982. Her push to finally claim the prize she has been nominated for seven times has slowly built momentum to the point that she is now arguably the favourite for the award. Her performance in The Wife is hauntingly beautiful and could finally spell awards success for the Fatal Attraction star. That being said for us there can only be one winner. Olivia Colman is for The Favourite what Pelé was for the Brazilian football team. She drives this film forward like a rocket. Juggling comedy and drama in one hand whilst effortlessly sipping a cup of tea in the other, it’s the performance of a lifetime and is undoubtedly deserving of the BAFTA and the Oscar.

Best Director

BAFTAs

Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman

Pawel Pawlikowski – Cold War

Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite

Alfonso Cuarón – Roma

Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born

Oscars

Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman

Pawel Pawlikowski – Cold War

Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite

Alfonso Cuarón – Roma

Adam McKay – Vice

Bookies Favourite: Alfonso Cuarón

FARID’s Pick: Pawel Pawlikowski

The Best Director category is always hotly contested and this year is no different. Bradley Cooper and Adam McKay seem to be rank outsiders in a very competitive field. Yorgos Lanthimos is rightly receiving plaudits for The Favourite earning his first Best Director nomination. Spike Lee is also revelling in his first nomination for Best Director, 33 years after the release of his debut feature She’s Gotta Have It. This year the favourite is undoubtedly Alfonso Cuarón who is the only director in the field to have won both awards before for Gravity in 2014. This year his work on Roma has proved to be as meticulous as it is beautiful. Cuarón not only directed the film but also wrote it, edited it and served as director of photography. A staggering achievement, and most likely a deserving winner.

The other big success story in this category is Pawel Pawlikowski for his gut-wrenching romance Cold War. Whilst Pawlikowski may not have the same buzz going into the awards as Cuarón we would argue his direction of Cold War is just as profound and deserving of praise. One of the lesser-known films of the awards season Cold War is utterly gorgeous and will surely go on to be revered as a cult classic. We would love to see Pawlikowski get recognition for such a beautiful film by winning Best Director.

Best Film

BAFTAs

BlacKkKlansman

The Favourite

Green Book

Roma

A Star is Born

Oscars

Black Panther

BlacKkKlansman

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favourite

Green Book

Roma

A Star is Born

Vice

Bookies Favourite: The Favourite (BAFTA), Roma (Oscar)

FARID’s Pick: The Favourite

The big one. So big in fact the Oscars can’t quite contain themselves to just five nominations. Even with their expanded selection, the Academy has managed to miss Can You Ever Forgive Me? and If Beale Street Could Talk. Opting instead for commercial mega-hits Black Panther and Bohemian Rhapsody. Whilst we appreciate the Oscars are desperate to remain relevant to modern movie-going audiences we still feel this decision to be quite perplexing. Black Panther is at the very least an undeniably good film, not quite as good as the aforementioned If Beale Street Could Talk in our opinion, but still a solid film and a significant step for superhero movies.

The same can not be said for Bohemian Rhapsody which despite its stellar soundtrack managed to squander the opportunity to tell a competent Freddie Mercury story in favour of a Mamma Mia style greatest hits compilation which was very much style over substance. Vice has also managed to score a nomination for the Oscars, director Adam McKay has pedigree in this category having been nominated for The Big Short in 2015. The film is very much an outsider though in what is a hyper-competitive field.

Of the five films nominated for both the BAFTAs and the Oscars three are deemed to be the front-runners. Unfortunately for Bradley Cooper and Spike Lee A Star is Born and BlacKkKlansman don’t seem to be in contention. It’s difficult to say as to why this is, but as with every year favour is fickle and for whatever reason the powers that be have decreed both films as outsiders, but who really knows. Regardless both directors will likely be happy enough to see their passion projects nominated.

Of the remaining three films it is really hard to call an eventual winner. Green Book is clearly a major contender with Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen on top form in a fascinating and topical story battling racism and class. Peter Farrelly’s drama would be a popular winner and would put the status of Mahershala Ali as an Academy favourite beyond all doubt. In the build-up to the Oscars Roma seems to be ever so slightly nudging itself into pole position. The fact that both Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira have been recognised for their performances, as well as Alfonso Cuarón’s plethora of nominations, mean Roma will be right up there come the big night.

As for the BAFTAs The Favourite seems to be edging it. The undeniable British connection cannot be overlooked when considering the competition of Green Book and Roma. But to assume The Favourite is standing on anything other then its own merits would be doing it a great disservice. Yorgos Lanthimos absolutely brought the house down with a film that is vicious and vulnerable in equal measure. Rarely are three actors ever in such fine form as Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman. It really is a treat to behold. The Favourite is without a doubt one of the most exciting films we have seen in years and is undoubtedly our pick for the best film of the year.

Sunday 10th February

72nd British Academy Film Awards – 9pm BBC One.

Monday 25th February

91st Academy Awards – 1am Sky Cinema (subscription required).

Joe Thompson is Film Editor at FARID The Zine. You can find him on Twitter or writing for Five Good Films.

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