Movie Talk is putting its reputation on the line and making a few brilliantly inspired predictions about who is going to be walking out of the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday night with a great big smile on their face. And who will be left in their seat with a great big cheesy fake smile on their face… Are we the descendants of greatness or do we need to talk about getting a new job? Give us your verdict in the comments…
Who would have thought a silent black and white comedy would be an odds-on BAFTA favourite? Yet The Artist, French director Michel Hazanavicius’s charming valentine to the early days of Hollywood, looks set for victory, with rivals The Descendants (too low-key), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (too drab), Drive (too violent) and The Help (too schmaltzy) all trailing in its wake.
Verdict: The Artist
Outstanding British Film
We Need To Talk About Kevin and Shame both won critical acclaim, but BAFTA voters will probably shy away from their dark subjects (a teen killer and a sex addict respectively). The enormously entertaining My Week with Marilyn would be a popular choice, but espionage drama Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is most likely to carry off this category.
Verdict: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Martin Scorsese charmed viewers with Hugo; Lynne Ramsay’s screen version of We Need To Talk About Kevin was scarily effective; and Tomas Alfredson did an impressive job adapting John le Carré’s complex Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; but the BAFTA prize-givers had better start practising how to pronounce the name of The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius.
Verdict: Michel Hazanavicius, for The Artist
Best Actor in a Leading Role
George Clooney has been a BAFTA acting nominee four times before but never a winner. With its mix of comedy and pathos, his portrayal of a grief-stricken father in The Descendants could see him finally triumph this year, but he’ll face stiff competition from Gary Oldman for his subtle performance as spymaster George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Verdict: Gary Oldman, in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Any other year, Michelle Williams’s enchanting performance as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn might well sway BAFTA voters, but she’s almost certain to lose out to a portrayal of another famous blonde. Meryl Streep goes beyond impersonation to get under the skin of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady and looks set to claim victory.
Verdict: Meryl Streep, in The Iron Lady
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branagh was enjoyably waspish as Laurence Olivier in My Week with Marilyn and Jim Broadbent proved surprisingly charming as Denis Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Yet they’re likely to lose out to Beginners’ co-star 82-year-old Christopher Plummer for his moving role as an elderly father who comes out as gay at the age of 72.
Verdict: Christopher Plummer, in Beginners
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Six-time BAFTA film acting winner Judi Dench could add to her collection for her portrayal in My Week with Marilyn of another acting legend, Dame Sybil Thorndike. This year, however, she’ll probably lose out to relative unknown Octavia Spencer for her acclaimed performance as a sassy outspoken maid in the 1960s Deep South in The Help.
Verdict: Octavia Spencer, in The Help
Orange Rising Star
It’s toffs versus hoodie this year as Old Etonian actors Tom Hiddleston (War Horse) and Eddie Redmayne (My Week with Marilyn) go up against Kidulthood actor Adam Deacon. Thor star Chris Hemsworth and The IT Crowd’s Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) are also in contention, but Hiddleston’s impressive range – from The Deep Blue Sea to Thor – should see him win.
Verdict: Tom Hiddleston