So it has been over 67 years since the first BAFTAs were held and on February 16, 2014 the 67th BAFTA awards ceremony was held again to honor the great actors, directors and contributors of the movies in Britain. Even though the biggest night for the stars of film industry is when Oscar Awards are distributed, the night of BAFTAs is also of crucial importance since it plays an important role as a preliminary to the Oscars. If your movie has done great at the BAFTAs, it will surely do great at the Oscars. The event took place, the awards were given, some were applauded while others hit their palms in disappointment.
Overview Of The Event
There were two movies that were standing head to head and were the toughest and most favorite competitors in the 67th British Academy Film Awards; Gravity and 12 years a slave. The awards were held at the Royal Opera House as they have been held since 2008. While it might sound disappointing to some fans and lovers of 12 years a slave but it’s true that Gravity was the best movie of the night with the highest number of nominations and wins. Gravity had 11 nominations and it won 6 out of them. On the other hand, 12 years a slave was nominated for 10 awards but was able to collect only 2 out of them.
Another big contender in the nominations was American Hustle with 10 nominations. The number of awards for American Hustle was higher than 12 years a slave with 3 awards for the former and 2 for the latter. Captain Phillips was another big fighter in the nominations with 9 nominations but the movie was only able to bag 1 win for the supporting actor. The night was not the best for the director of 12 years a slave, Mr. Steven McQueen, who was expected by millions to take a bunch of awards home for his 3rd movie. Overall, the event went well without any problems and big controversies.
The Controversy At The Awards
There are always dozens of controversies that revolve around Oscars when they take place but that wasn’t really the case with BAFTAs. Overall, it was a peaceful event with nothing too crazy to slather the shine of the night. The best movie of the night was the only controversial topic at the ceremony but it didn’t have any effect on the ceremony itself. Gravity was not genuinely a British movie for some of the people whereas the award for the outstanding British movie was given to Gravity. As mentioned earlier, the controversy didn’t have any effect at the ceremony so the cheers, shouts and screams were at their peak when the movie won the award.
However, the director of Gravity, Alfonso Cuaron, had to talk about the movie and he touched upon the controversy about the movie in his interview as well. The director said that the movie met all the requirements of being a British movie as mentioned in the terms of British Academy Film Awards. Since his movie qualifies fully as a British movie, he’s not much jolted by the controversial comments from some people. He also said that besides a few actors and things, everything in the movie was genuinely British, so the criticism doesn’t have the strength to upset him.
Another controversy revolved around Gravity as fervent sci-fi movie fans criticized the movie for some scientific flaws. Alfonso gave a response to this controversy too while mentioning that the astronauts actually loved the movie whereas the people who are not astronauts seem to criticize it a lot. He also said that it is a movie and just like any other movie the flaws had to be there. It must be remembered here that a big controversy surrounded Titanic on the role of Leonardo Dicaprio but a funny “whoops” as a response from the director, James Cameron, was all that people could get. All in all, the ceremony was great and the only controversy was not a controversy to be highlighted a lot.
A Few Unexpected Moments At The Awards
The biggest and most unexpected was for Steve McQueen who was the favorite of many and his movie had second highest nominations for the awards. Seeing 6 awards going to the Gravity was quite disappointing for the director. The most disappointing moment for him would have been when the best director’s award was awarded to Alfonso Cuaron, the director of Gravity. It was even more disappointing for him that a movie with so many nominations and such high expectations was able to take home only 2 awards. Most of the results of the awards are really going to have a big effect on the Oscars that are about to take place in March.
12 years a slave had 10 nominations and one of the nominations was for the best actress in supporting role. Most of the spectators anticipated the supporting role in the movie, Lupita Nyong’o, to take the award home but it didn’t turn out that way. Barkhad Abdi took the award for the best supporting actor while there were many eyes waiting to see Michael Fassbender, the supporting role in 12 years a slave, to receive that award. Abdi had some great words to say at his award receiving speech but behind the stage he expressed his true emotions when he said he was shocked to receive the award. Coming out of thousands of auditions for the role and winning the award was unbelievable for him.
Nominations And Wins At BAFTAs
If there was an award for the most nominations, Gravity would have taken that award too. The movie was nominated for 11 awards in total and its performance was spectacular with 6 wins. There were 10 nominations each for American hustle and 12 years a slave but unexpectedly American hustle was able to get 3 awards in comparison to 2 for 12 years a slave. The Great Gatsby only had 3 nominations out of which it was able to take 2 home. Captain Phillips had 9 nominations, behind the candelabra and saving Mr. Banks had 5 nominations. Philomena, rush and the wolf of Wall Street had 4 nominations each.
- The best director award went to Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity and other awards received by the movie include; best cinematography, outstanding British film, best sound, best original music and best special visual effects.
- Cate Blanchett took the award for best leading actress for her role in Blue Jasmine.
- Best Film award went to 12 years a slave.
- Jennifer Lawrence was able to pick the best supporting actress award for her role in American Hustle, whereas best supporting actor went to Barkhad Abdi.
- Best leading award, a big award, went to Chiwetel Ejiofor for his role in 12 years a slave.
- Best outstanding debut British writer award was given to Victor while the director in the same category was given to Kelly.
- The act of killing was picked as the best documentary whereas the best production design went to the great Gatsby.
- Best non-English movie was The Great Beauty whereas the best animated and short film awards went to froze and room 8 respectively.
Some Notable Reactions From The Winners
Winning can be pleasing, shocking, upsetting and a norm for those who win a lot of awards. However, the reactions given by the winners onstage and backstage are the moments to be remembered and captured.
Award for the best editing was given to Rush but it was Ron Howard, the director of the movie, who came on stage to receive the award. He gave a pretty funny remark by introducing himself as the director of the movie and informed that the editors could not come because they were busy on another movie but they sent their warm regards to the audience. Another notable reaction was from Joshua Oppenheimer for winning the best documentary award for the act of killing. He thanked the many volunteers who helped him in completing his documentary while risking their lives and professions. He also said that the genocide showed in the documentary was caused by America and Britain and they must acknowledge their contributions in it.
Catherine Matin took the award for the best costume design for The Great Gatsby but his reaction was natural and funny. Catherine said that she didn’t like the novel since her teenage but it was Luhrmann who forced her to read that novel again. As a consequence Catherine’s thoughts changed about the novel and it was her who forced him to make a movie on the novel. Barkhad Abdi said he loved London and thought more events should be held in this city. He said he was shocked and to a question about how he felt about the ceremony night he said he was nervous to see so many people in one place.
Lubezki, the winner for best cinematography for Gravity, sent a very funny and ironic note thanking the crew, staff and his teacher, Alfonso Cuaron, for the win. The note was read by Cuaron. David O Russell received the award for best supporting actress since Jennifer Lawrence was not there and among many he thanked himself on behalf of Jennifer Lawrence. The winner of EE rising star category, Will Poulter, said backstage that he was so nervous on the stage while receiving the award that he didn’t dare to bring out the the speech he brought with him in his pocket.
On the whole, it was a great night and the loud cheering and shouting for Gravity ‘brought the London Opera House to life. After the BAFTAs all eyes are now on Oscar awards that are coming soon in the beginning of March. Let’s see if Oscars will honor the winners of BAFTAs in the same or similar categories or some surprises will give rise to some controversies.