BAFTA 2009 Winners Boost FilmEdge Oscar Picks


Earlier today, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts celebrated the best film nominees from across the pond in their own distinct style and offering a diversity of international talents. Several major category choices also mirror FilmEdge’s own Academy Award predictions, including:

Best Film — THE HURT LOCKER

Best Director — Kathryn Bigelow

Original Screenplay — Mark Boal

We’ve picked this one-two punch to top the Oscars next month, and the BAFTAs continue the momentum building behind this film.  The cross-Atlantic award isn’t a direct correlation to the Academy’s choice, of course, but the trend now shifts up one more gear.  If anything, THE HURT LOCKER’s major Oscar competitor, AVATAR, is a stunning film visualized from a director who is expected to deliver visually stunning films and has already been rewarded for doing  just that.  In contrast, few expected Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal to stun audiences with their gripping drama of conflict and human casualty.  This difference reinforces the competitive edge this film should enjoy at the Oscars in two weeks.

Adapted Screenplay — Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

As expected, UP IN THE AIR gets is major recognition via its painfully relevant and timely script and should repeat this victory in Hollywood.

Best Animated Film — UP

While Henry Selick’s CORALINE and Wes Anderson’s FANTASTIC MR. FOX richly deserve their nominations and recognition, Disney*Pixar fairly well invented the reason for this category in modern film award presentations, and when they work their magic-in-motion their art is sublime. UP embodies this tradition at its best and FilmEdge expects to see producer Pete Docter take the stage to add the Golden Boy to this film’s high accolades.

Best Actor — Colin Firth

FilmEdge doesn’t expect Firth to steal the Oscar away from our pick, despite his praised work in A SINGLE MAN.  We’re still backing Jeff Bridges to win for CRAZY HEART behind the momentum his role has garnered as a troubled country singer.

Best Actress — Carey Mulligan

This is a tough comparison since the odds-on Oscar favorite in the category, Sandra Bullock, wasn’t nominated for a BAFTA.  FilmEdge clings to its upset hunch that Carey Mulligan may steal the win from Bullock and/or Meryl Streep, much in the same way that Jeff Bridges will win for his lauded acting in a film otherwise overlooked by the Academy.  It may be hard to pin the feel-good vibe of THE BLIND SIDE’s based-on-a-true-story solely on Bullock’s performance — it seems unlikely the film would have made the Best Picture cut in a film-film list, its only other Oscar nomination.  Streep remains excellent but, like Cameron above, isn’t that also expected of her especially when playing such a notable real-life personality.  Was this role a SOPHIE’S CHOICE-size stretch for the actress? FilmEdge’s bet may not pay off, but like the BAFTAs we’re still backing Mulligan to pull off the Oscar surprise in a performance that was AN EDUCATION to audiences.

Supporting Actor — Christoph Waltz

Supporting Actress — Mo’Nique

Often either category can be a wild card at the Academy Awards, but FilmEdge expects the BAFTAs also picked what should be the two locks at this year’s Oscars.

Music — Michael Giacchino

Same here as the BAFTAs match FilmEdge’s pick for Original Score, as Michael Giacchino’s soaring compositions lifted the hearts and adventurous spirits of audiences who enjoyed UP this summer.

Cinematography — Barry Ackroyd

Editing — Bob Murawski, Chris Innis

FilmEdge is most pleased to see the BAFTA go to Ackroyd for his indispensible contribution to making THE HURT LOCKER such a tense, involving, immediate war drama.  He’s our pick over Mauro Fiore’s strong work perhaps overwhelmed by the splendor of AVATAR.  Likewise for Murawski and Innis’ brilliance in erasing the envelope of psychological distance between film and audience in THE HURT LOCKER.  Their win at the recent ACE Awards only improves their chances for an Oscar.

FilmEdge continues to follow results and updates during the awards season, leading up to our complete list of Oscar predictions before the ceremony March 7th.

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