Ben Affleck's 'Argo' wins three BAFTA Awards, including Best Film and Best Director
The BAFTA Awards went down tonight in London and it's a big moment in the race. As Guy reminded yesterday in his predictions column, the organization has tailored its process closer to the Academy's, eliminating branch-voted winners in favor of allowing all members to vote throughout the categories. The result could be some powerful Oscar foreshadowing.
Check out the full list of winners below. Along with each winner I've offered up my thoughts as a running commentary as the show progressed. In a nutshell, though, the new system yielded very few big surprises, though there were one or two eyebrow raisers in the bunch.
Circle on back later tonight as Guy will put a bow on the festivities with his own postmortem, after he wraps up his daily Berlin Film Festival duties. And, as always, keep track of all the ups and downs of the 2012-2013 film awards season via The Circuit.
Best British Film: "Skyfall"
Comments: Well, but of course. The most successful film ever in the UK was bound to take this prize, despite the presence of something like "Les Misérables." And with the latest Bond missing out on a Best Film nomination, this was sure to be its consolation. Ben Affleck and Bradley Cooper presented the award.
Best Short Film: "Swimmer"; Best Short Animation: "The Making of Longbird"
Comments: These categories share zero nominees with their Oscar counterparts and I've seen none of them, so I can't really offer up much here. Though "Swimmer" comes from the brilliant Lynne Ramsay. Rafe Spall and Helen McRory presented the awards.
Best Costume Design: "Anna Karenina"
Comments: And that's probably our Oscar winner, too. I've been wondering lately, though, whether the more seen and loved "Les Misérables" could steal both this and Best Production Design, though. Nevertheless, here's an example of a wide body of voters going with Joe Wright's film and Jacqueline Durran's gorgeous work. Ben Wishaw and Alice Eve presented the award.
Best Makeup and Hair: "Les Misérables"
Comments: See above. My instinct when the Oscar nominations were announced was that "Les Misérables" was sure to take this. Then I went over to the side of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." Then even to "Hitchcock." Lately I've been leaning back toward "Les Misérables" and this is clear indication that it could pull it off. The film beats out its Oscar competition at the BAFTAs.
Best Animated Film: "Brave"
Comments: Remember, there were only three nominees, and one of them wasn't "Wreck-It Ralph." Nevertheless, as Anne and I discussed at length in the podcast Friday, Pixar really is some stiff competition for Disney's in-house marvel. Don't be surprised if it wins the Oscar, too.
Best Sound: "Les Misérables"
Comments: I'm very intrigued by the sound mixing category at the Oscars this year (the BAFTAs combine mixing and editing under the banner of "Best Sound"). "Les Misérables" could pull it out as the big musical nominated for Best Picture, just as "Chicago" and "Ray" before it, as well as "Dreamgirls," which wasn't nominated for Best Picture. Or "Skyfall" could squeeze in some more love like "The Bourne Ultimatum." More and more, though, it appears the former is more likely.
Best Film Editing: "Argo"
Comments: That probably seals it for the film's shot at the Best Film award later tonight. If "Life of Pi" was going to be a big threat I imagine it may have won this, but we'll see. "Argo" should be considered the favorite for the Oscar in this category, too, and lovely that William Goldenberg will grab an award when he's also in the mix for another tight piece of work editing some of the most suspenseful sequences of "Zero Dark Thirty." Jeremy Irvine and Olga Kurylenko presented this and Best Sound.
Best Cinematography: "Life of Pi"
Comments: And I imagine Claudio Miranda will win the ASC Award tonight as well, en route to Oscar in a few weeks. Nothing much more to say about it. Roger Deakins looks likely to wait it out a bit longer. "Zero Dark Thirty" star Mark Strong presented the award.
Best Original Music: "Skyfall"
Comments: Well, even with the homeland pride, that's a bit of a surprise. Thomas Newman, Oscarless to date, picks up his second BAFTA to date. He also won on his first nomination, for "American Beauty" (which fell to "The Red Violin" at the Oscars). David Morrissey and Paloma Faith presented the award
Best Original Screenplay: "Django Unchained"
Comments: This is a bit of a surprise, given that "Amour" was probably even more favored here than at the Oscars. That shifts up the dynamic just a little bit. Maybe Quentin Tarantino is gunning for Oscar number two? "Lincoln" star Sally Field presented the award.