So today marks the beginning of Awards Season 2014 with the announcement of the Bafta nominations in the run up to the awards ceremony on 16th February. Gravity has dominated proceedings with 11 nominations, closely followed by American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave with 10 each. Personally, I’m really happy to see Behind the Candelabra in there, it is one of my favourite films from last year.
I think there is a really nice mixture of films, each with its own merits within their genre. I think both populists and arts fans will be pleased with the spread of films. And we have to give credit where it’s due, I think 2013 was a spectacular year for film. So much variety and high standards of filmmaking, even notoriously “sub-par” sequels have even done quite well.
So I’ve tried to offer my predictions of winners below. There are some categories I can’t comment on, purely because I’m not knowledgeable enough in their categories or I haven’t seen the films (although they are a nice little addition to my 2014 ‘watch list’).
12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Philomena
Gravity – I think that it will be a close one between 12 Years and Gravity, but I think purely in terms of technical ability Gravity will just swing it. Also given the voting panel, Gravity has appeared on so many top 10 lists, I can’t even keep track any more.
Outstanding British film
Gravity, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Philomena, Rush, Saving Mr Banks, The Selfish Giant
Saving Mr Banks – in favour of variety, I’m going to predict that this one will go to Saving Mr Banks (even though I’m certain it will go to Gravity, but it would be incredibly dull to have Gravity as king of films 2013)
Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
Chiwetel Ejiofor – from what I’ve heard performances in 12 Years are exceptional, lots of buzz surrounding Chiwetel. And of course to honour the meme, Leonardo DiCaprio can’t possibly win best anything? Otherwise the online film community will lose it’s best modern joke…
Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr Banks)
This one is tough to call as I think they are all worthy winners, but if I was pushed I think it’s got to be Sandra Bullock. Known primarily for half-baked comedy roles, in recent films she’s become something of a female acting titan. Whoever wins, it’s well deserved.
Barkhad Adbi (Captain Phillips), Daniel Bruhl (Rush), Bradley Cooper (American Hustle), Matt Damon (Behind the Candelabra), Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Matt Damon – I’m going to be a bit biased here, and hope that Matt Damon wins this, purely because he was absolutely fantastic in Behind the Candelabra. However the reality of it will probably be in favour of Michael Fassbender, British cinema’s (Irish/German) golden boy. (Not a criticism I hasten to add! Michael Fassbender is pretty much flawless in anything he does, I think he could star in a pre-school nativity play and smash it)
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), Oprah Winfrey (The Butler)
Another toughie, but I think this will sway in the favour of 12 Years’ Lupita Nyong’o.
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), David O Russell (American Hustle), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)
I think this one will be hugely close, and it wouldn’t surprise me if any of them won, I suspect Alfonso Cuaron will be the winner on the night.
12 Years a Slave, Behind the Candelabra, Captain Phillips, Philomena, The Wolf of Wall Street
Biased again, but I hope Behind the Candelabra wins this one. But I think it will probably go to 12 Years.
American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska
This is a toss-up between Gravity and Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska too might be in with a shout.
Despicable Me 2, Frozen, Monsters University
It would be fantastic if Despicable Me 2 won, I don’t think Monsters University is particularly worthy… but putting this category into perspective, it’s a fairly weak category. I think animation overall this year has been fairly poor.
The Act of Killing, The Armstrong Lie, Blackfish, Tim’s Vermeer, We Steal Secrets
I suspect this is probably down to two The Act of Killing and Blackfish, and I think it will sway in favour of The Act of Killing
The Act of Killing, Blue is the Warmest Colour, The Great Beauty, Metro Manila, Wadjda
Again, this is probably down to The Act of Killing and Blue is the Warmest Colour.
12 Years a Slave, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska
I think that Gravity is undoubtedly the winner here.
American Hustle, Behind the Candelabra, The Great Gatsby, The Invisible Woman, Saving Mr Banks
Bias FlikGeek strikes again! Behind the Candelabra, the costumes themselves are a work of art!
12 Years a Slave, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Rush, The Wolf of Wall Street
I’ve always found editing a strange category, it’s effectively the bread and butter of the film industry, and probably the element of cinema most taken for granted. You only really notice editing when it’s bad! So not going to comment on this one!
Make-up and hair
American Hustle, Behind the Candelabra, The Butler, The Great Gatsby, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
This one is a toughie as I think all are in some way worthy of the award. Although there has to be some credit somewhere to the hairdresser who permed Bradley Cooper’s hair! I reckon this might go to The Hobbit.
12 Years a Slave, The Book Thief, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Saving Mr Banks
I can’t comment on this one I’m afraid, not knowledgeable enough about these films soundtracks!
12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Behind the Candelabra, Gravity, The Great Gatsby
I think this again is a toss-up, and I’m going to be controversial, but between Gravity and The Great Gatsby. It’s difficult to deny that whilst The Great Gatsby suffered from some serious plot/execution/acting flaws, it’s a stunningly beautiful film. I kind of hope Gatsby gets it.
All is Lost, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis, Rush
Sorry, something I can’t comment on again! FlikGeek can’t be good at everything…
Gravity, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Iron Man 3, Pacific Rim, Star Trek Into Darkness
Gravity is probably the favourite here, but could be just pipped to the post by The Hobbit.
Everything I Can See From Here, I Am Tom Moody, Sleeping with the Fishes
Can’t comment on these, but I will try to watch them and post a review separately!
Island Queen, Keeping Up with the Joneses, Orbit Ever After, Room 8, Sea View
As before, I will try to watch these!
Outstanding début by a British writer, director or producer
Colin Carberry, Glenn Patterson (writers, Good Vibrations), Kieran Evans (writer-director, Kelly + Victor), Scott Graham (writer-director, Shell), Kelly Marcel (writer, Saving Mr Banks), Paul Wright. Polly Stokes (writer-director and producer, For Those in Peril)
I think this could be fairly competitive, between Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr Banks) and Kieran Evans (Kelly + Victor).
Rising Star award
Dane DeHaan, George MacKay, Lupita Nyong’o, Will Poulter, Lea Seydoux
This is always a surprising category, I’d like Dane DeHaan to win, I thought he was spectacular in The Place Beyond the Pines, but equally I think Will Poulter has a very good chance. It’s not a category I’d like to speculate on, because whoever wins it, it’s a brilliant achievement for such a young actor or actress.
So there you go! This years Bafta nominees, I think the ceremony this year is going to be quietly surprising. The playing field is so wide open, it’s difficult to predict. And I think that 12 Years will be the success story of 2013, pulling the rug from underneath Gravity.
Check back on Sunday 16th Feb where I will be live tweeting throughout the event (#baftaflik) and posting a post-awards FocusFlik feature!