La La Land hopes to waltz away with 11 BAFTAs
It’ll be a strange mixture of glitter and grit that’s celebrated at this year’s BAFTA film awards.
La La Land may lead the nominations with 11 nods but, true to its British roots, tonight’s ceremony will shine the light on some truly meaningful, harder-hitting stories.
I, Daniel Blake is up for five of the night’s biggest prizes – best film, outstanding British film, best director, original screenplay and best supporting actress for Hayley Squires.
Despite winning a host of awards over the last year, including the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or, it hasn’t received any Oscar nominations. However, the drama about Britain’s welfare system will go head-to-head against the much-hyped musical later.
Beyond awards, its director Ken Loach has bolder ambitions. He wants it to encourage the production of more diverse, political and risky films – and give commissioners the confidence to invest in movies about the way we live.
It will be interesting to see if I, Daniel Blake can upset the apple cart.
La La Land is widely expected to sweep the board and, according to Variety magazine’s Steven Gaydos, the film is “right there at the BAFTAs in a big way”.
The magazine’s executive editor credits the confidence that BAFTA has shown in the film as influencing the number of Oscars nods it has received.
Mr Gaydos said: “I’m asked often about how Americans view the BAFTAs and, I think, that those nominations for La La Land really helped it be taken more seriously.
“When the UK experts come out and say ‘we think this is phenomenal’, it really has an impact.”
Like I, Daniel Blake, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is also up for five BAFTAs, including special visual effects.
Casey Affleck’s powerful performance in Manchester By The Sea is widely considered to be the one to beat in the best actor category. However, Andrew Garfield could cause an upset for his role in Mel Gibson’s pacifist war movie Hacksaw Ridge.
Garfield is certainly in with an outside chance for his portrayal of Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who saved the lives of 75 men without firing a single shot during the bloodiest battle of WWII.
The actor has been modest about all the attention he’s been getting of late, but it is arguably one of his finest performances.
“My ego loves it – and I’m very weary of it!” he admits.
Even if Garfield doesn’t win, he will still likely have cause to celebrate. He says he fully intends to cheer-on ex-girlfriend Emma Stone – as her “biggest fan”.
She’s odds on to win best actress for La La Land, even though she’s going up against Hollywood royalty, Meryl Streep.
Other notable Britons nominated for awards include Naomie Harris, Hugh Grant and Dev Patel.
Stephen Fry returns to hosting duties – a sign that his controversial joke (that last year’s costume designer winner looked like a “bag lady”) has officially been forgiven. It will be his 12th time leading the proceedings.
And there’ll be real-life royalty sat amongst the stars. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have confirmed they’ll be attending. Kate Middleton will undoubtedly give Hollywood’s leading ladies a run for their money in the glamour stakes.
However, if we see a repeat of the anti-Trump political speeches of recent award shows, it could potentially be an uncomfortable watch for Prince William and his wife.
That will be the real challenge for BAFTA. Can they separate out the ceremony’s inevitable political sentiment from the messages of the films that are being celebrated?
Source: Sky News – Entertainment