In the first year that BAFTA switched to the Academy's system of letting the entire membership vote across most categories, we had every reason to expect their customary quirks to disappear with branch-specific voting. Gone are days, probably, of "Mulholland Drive" winning for Best Film Editing, or Pedro Almodovar taking Best Director for "All About My Mother," as BAFTA increasingly settles into its assumed role as one more Oscar-minded precursor.
But wait -- not so fast. Where they could merely have checked off every consensus favorite from the season thus far, BAFTA threw in enough individual choices to suggest they're at least as keen on guiding Oscar voters to viable alternatives as they are in merely guessing their taste. Some of their choices, meanwhile, were merely about celebrating their own industry: witness the Best British Film award for people's favorite "Skyfall," which, as I mentioned in my review, is really its own kind of British heritage film. (They could, after all, have gone with "Les Miserables," which nonetheless ended the night with the most trophies of any film.)