BAFTA: La La Land wins top prize ahead of Oscars

Festivals and Awards

The BAFTA Awards are one of the most stylish and fun awards shows you there is. Full of our favorite British stars and hosted by the brilliant Stephen Fry, it is also an incredible opportunity to discover lesser known British films and talent (you never know who the next big thing will be). My only problem, the two-hour delay between the actual ceremony and the TV broadcast, which forces anyone interested with the thrill and suspense of awards season to avoid stumbling upon the list of winners on the Internet. But now, let’s focus on this year’s show.

La La Land (11 nominations), Arrival (9 noms) and Nocturnal Animals (noms) led the pack of nominees. Unsurprisingly, after winning seven Golden Globes and earning 14 Oscar nominations, Damien Chazelle’s musical became once again, the unbeatable contender, with 5 wins, including picture, director, actress, music and cinematography. This can only be a good sign ahead of the Oscars.

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Best British Film went to I, Daniel Blake and I honestly though Ken Loach’s speech was the best of the night. In his speech, the outspoken director discussed the current state of the benefits system, the main theme of his film and a social reality in many countries, as well as the British Government’s refusal to accept refugee children fleeing war in Syria. A less direct political tone was present throughout the ceremony, which is a clear message to the world that cinema is not going to be quiet and just entertain the masses, now more than ever it is a powerful platform to speak out against social injustice. And I’m afraid that those still claiming that the film industry is out of touch with normal people should look around them to see that they are wrong. That’s all for the political part of the article.

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In the acting department, the only surprise was Dev Patel’s win in the Best Supporting Actor category, an award Mahershala Ali was expected to take home, since he is the favorite to win the Oscar later this month. This edition was also marked by notable snubs of many Oscar favorites: Denzel Washington (who recently won the SAG Award for Best Actor for his outstanding performance in Fences), Isabell Huppert (who won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama) and Octavia Spencer (Supporting Actress, Hidden Figures). Do Washington and Huppert’s absences secure Casey Affleck and Emma Stone’s Oscar victories? I think so, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Another important moment of the evening was the BAFTA Fellowship Award presented to legendary comedian Mel Brooks. Brook’s express his gratitude for receiving an award given to other legendary actors such as Alfred Hitchcock and Lawrence Olivier and kept the audience laughing during his joke-laced acceptance speech. A tone that was in accordance with the general mood of the ceremony hosted by the great Stephen Fry, who kept referencing the current political climate with his usual comic tone. He is a true heir of Mel Brooks. In fact, many of today’s greatest comedians would not exist if it wasn’t for him.

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As a special mention, I would like to recommend the winner of Outstanding Debut by a Writer, Director or Producer awarded to Under the Shadow. This Iranian horror film set during the war in the 1980’s was a smashing hit at Sundance last year and I was able to see at in August at the Sundance NextFest in Los Angeles. I have never seen anything of the sort. The movie plays with the unfamiliar and with the uneasiness created by the unknown, but the realistic setting and the psychological fear keeps the audience at the edge of the seat. I still get chills when I think about it.

I’m finally going to finish with my personal, emotional and unnecessary opinion on a documentary that actually did not win a BAFTA tonight : the first feature I ever worked in, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years was up for Best Documentary. Despite losing against Ava Duvernay’s 13th, I felt obliged to mention it at the beginning of the entry because of how proud I’ve felt to be a part of a documentary that received an award that I love and respect. In case you haven’t seen it yet, please do. And I’m not saying that because I’ve been involved in it (I don’t receive a share of the profits anyway), but because both director Ron Howard and producer Nigel Sinclair (to whom I’ll always be grateful for giving me this wonderful opportunity) put together a film that makes you look at an iconic band such as The Beatles in a whole different way and see them, not as some great singers from the past, but as young boys who had dreams just like we do nowadays*. Also, interesting enough, since I was watching the BAFTAs I missed the Grammys and it turns out, WE WON! So when God closes a door he opens a window (or something like that).

Full list of winners here:

Best Film

  • La La Land
  • Arrival
  • I, Daniel Blake
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Moonlight

Outstanding British Film

  • I, Daniel Blake
  • American Honey
  • Denial
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Notes on Blindness
  • Under the Shadow

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer

  • Under the Shadow
  • The Girl With All the Gifts
  • The Hard Stop
  • Notes on Blindness
  • The Pass

Film Not in the English Language

  • Son of Saul
  • Dheepan
  • Julieta
  • Mustang
  • Toni Erdmann

Documentary

  • 13th
  • The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Night—The Touring Years
  • The Eagle Huntress
  • Notes on Blindness
  • Weiner

Animated Film

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Finding Dory
  • Moana
  • Zootropolis

Director

  • La La Land – Damien Chazelle
  • Arrival – Denis Villeneuve
  • I, Daniel Blake – Ken Loach
  • Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
  • Nocturnal Animals – Tom Ford

Original Screenplay

  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Hell or High Water
  • I, Daniel Blake
  • La La Land
  • Moonlight

Adapted Screenplay

  • Lion
  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hidden Figures
  • Nocturnal Animals

Leading Actor

  • Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
  • Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
  • Jake Gyllenhall – Nocturnal Animals
  • Ryan Gosling – La La Land
  • Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic

Leading Actress

  • Emma Stone – La La Land
  • Amy Adams – Arrival
  • Emily Blunt – The Girl on the Train
  • Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Natalie Portman – Jackie

Supporting Actor

  • Dev Patel – Lion
  • Aaron-Taylor Johnson – Nocturnal Animals
  • Hugh Grant – Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
  • Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

Supporting Actress

  • Viola Davis – Fences
  • Hayley Squires – I, Daniel Blake
  • Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea
  • Naomie Harris – Moonlight
  • Nicole Kidman – Lion

Original Music

  • La La Land
  • Arrival
  • Jackie
  • Lion, Dustin O’Halloran
  • Nocturnal Animals

Cinematography

  • La La Land
  • Arrival
  • Hell or High Water
  • Lion
  • Nocturnal Animals

Editing

  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Arrival
  • La La Land
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Nocturnal Animals

Production Design

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Doctor Strange
  • Hail, Caesar!
  • La La Land
  • Nocturnal Animals

Costume Design

  • Jackie
  • Allied
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • La La Land

Make Up & Hair

  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Doctor Strange
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Sound

  • Arrival
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land

Special Visual Effects

  • The Jungle Book
  • Arrival
  • Doctor Strange
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

British Short Animation

  • A Love Story
  • The Alan Dimension
  • Tough

British Short Film

  • Home
  • Consumed
  • Mouth of Hell
  • The Party
  • Standby

The EE Rising Star Award (voted for by public)

  • Tom Holland
  • Ruth Negga
  • Lucas Hedges
  • Laia Costa
  • Anya Taylor-Joy
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