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BAFTA Predictions 2020: Setting the Stage for ‘1917’ and the Oscars?


The 73rd British Academy Film Awards, better known as the BAFTAs, are this upcoming weekend, sharing the day with the Super Bowl game in the states. The annual ceremony has been a reliable indicator for which films and performances the Oscars could go, especially over the last few years.

Down below are the final predictions, with commentary on what we expect our cinema friends from across the pond will choose.

1917This looks to be a two-horse race between Sam Mendes’ war film “1917” and Bong Joon-ho’s comedic-thriller “Parasite.” Pending a massive upset from one of the other three competitors, it seems to be one of these two heavy favorites. Mendes’ movie appears to have the home field advantage and would have a substantial lead as Oscars Phase 2 opened up for final voting this past Thursday. Gun to head, no pun intended, going with “1917,” but let’s be clear, this doesn’t “wrap it up” for Oscar. It’s still insanely close. If there was something that would convince us that this is more than a two-horse race for Oscars top prize, then “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood” winning BAFTAs top award would do that, but no one is expecting it.

WILL WIN: “1917”
COULD WIN: “Parasite”
SHOCK PICK: “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood”

sammendes 1917Again, looking at the home-field advantage, Sam Mendes‘ seems like a prime choice to snag this one up, mirroring his wins from Critics Choice, Globes, and DGA. However, looking at BAFTA’s history in their decisions, they can often zig when we expect them to zag. Choosing winners like Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”) over eventual Oscar-winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu (“Birdman”) or last year’s winner Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”) over Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Favourite”) or Pawel Pawlikowski (“Cold War”) are interesting examples. With a British passion for the subject matter, we’re sticking with Mendes, but Bong Joon-ho has a strong case for the upset, and it may just end up tilting that way.

WILL WIN: Sam Mendes, “1917”
COULD WIN: Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite”
SHOCK PICK: Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”

Joker BathroomShocker, the British love their Brits. Either by nationality or subject matter, some of the past winners thoroughly support the theory (i.e., Rami Malek, Gary Oldman, Eddie Redmayne, Chiwetel Ejiofor). Once in a while, however, they lean towards the dense American subject matter and “fall in line” as proven with past winners like Casey Affleck, Mickey Rourke, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. There have been moments when they throw wrenches in the game. Look at Jamie Bell winning in 2000 for “Billy Elliot” without an Oscar nomination and over eventual winner Russell Crowe (“Gladiator”), and contenders Tom Hanks (“Cast Away”) and Geoffrey Rush (“Quills”). All this said, it looks to be Joaquin Phoenix‘s anointing year but watch out for Jonathan Pryce to be rewarded for an illustrious career. To add, he’s also a previous nominee for “Carrington” in 1995, so they may feel inclined to vote for him.

WILL WIN: Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
COULD WIN: Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”
SHOCK PICK: Taron Egerton, “Rocketman”

judy first image hr 1 croppedAs the iconic Judy Garland, Renée Zellweger has demonstrated one of the best Hollywood comebacks seen in years with her work in “Judy.” Former Oscar-winner, written off by the press and audiences, transforms herself into one of the most beloved actresses in history, and nails every single beat, despite mixed notices on the movie. She’s a former BAFTA winner for “Cold Mountain,” and is likely to sweep through all the televised award shows. As a reader pointed out to us, and we spoke about on the last episode of “Circuit Breaker,” she will be the first person in our modern history, to sweep all the televised award shows (Critics Choice, Globes, SAG, and BAFTA) twice. We should also note, Saoirse Ronan is on her fifth BAFTA nomination, which could be building towards a possible upset. Then there’s Scarlett Johansson, previous BAFTA winner for “Lost in Translation” in 2004 (in lead, when the studio was pushing “supporting”) when she was also double nominated (although in the same category) for “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” That may mean something, but we think it’s in another category. Keep moving.

WILL WIN: Renée Zellweger, “Judy”
COULD WIN: Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
SHOCK PICK: Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”

Once2520Upon2520a2520Time2520in2520Hollywood2520brad2520pitt2520boots2520gqIf this were “Hollywood High School,” Brad Pitt would be the Prom King this year, as he has killed it at every award show, has gained even more popularity than he previously had, and is getting the awards season treatment that he richly deserves. The BAFTA community has loved him for years, with multiple nominations in not just acting but as a producer. They recognized him as one of the critical three for “The Departed,” which wasn’t emulated by the Academy, who only rewarded Brad Grey and Graham King when the film won Best Picture in 2006. He nabbed himself three acting citations after for “Burn After Reading,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and “Moneyball,” before winning the BAFTA in 2014 for “12 Years a Slave,” which replicated at the Oscars. It’s his time, and honestly, we’re all just lucky to be watching it all happen. If you’re looking for an alternate, Sir Anthony Hopkins looks like a safe bet for “The Two Popes.” On his sixth nomination for BAFTA Film, he’s a two-time winner for “The Silence of the Lambs” (for which he won the Academy Award) and “The Remains of the Day” (the same year he was double nominated along with “Shadowlands”). He was also the recipient of the Academy Fellowship award in 2008. Fun fact to add, Tom Hanks has never won a BAFTA. Wonder if that means anything?

WILL WIN: Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood”
COULD WIN: Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”
SHOCK PICK: Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

So here’s where we roll the dice. In 2017, all four eventual Oscar acting winners repeated at all the televised award shows (Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney). We are in a position to have the same thing happen again, and rather than step in line with what the tea leaves are reading, we’re looking for a crack in the “perfect picture.” With a double nomination, Margot Robbie makes like a strong case for a person who could spoil it for frontrunner Laura Dern, who is on her first-ever BAFTA nomination for “Marriage Story.” Double acting nominees, in the same category, have a high probability of winning for one of their nominated performances. Robbie is just the 10th person in BAFTA history to achieve this, and in those nine other times, six of them won for one of the performances.

BAFTA Double Nominees in the same category

  • 1983 – Michael Caine – “Educating Rita” (WON and TIED with Dustin Hoffman for “Tootsie”) and “The Honorary Consul” – LEAD
  • 1992 – Miranda Richardson – “The Crying Game” and “Damage” (WON) – SUPPORTING
  • 1993 – Anthony Hopkins – “The Remains of the Day” (WON) and “Shadowlands” – LEAD
  • 1998 – Geoffrey Rush – “Elizabeth” and “Shakespeare in Love” (WON) – SUPPORTING
  • 2003 – Scarlett Johansson – “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and “Lost in Translation” (WON) – LEAD
  • 2003 – Sean Penn – “21 Grams” and “Mystic River” – LEAD
  • 2004 – Kate Winslet – “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Finding Neverland” – LEAD
  • 2005 – George Clooney – “Good Night, and Good Luck” and “Syriana” – SUPPORTING
  • 2008 – Kate Winslet – “The Reader” (WON) and “Revolutionary Road” – LEAD

Then we look down the barrel to Scarlett Johansson, nominated for “Jojo Rabbit,” who looks to be the upset pick in both of her categories at not just BAFTA, but also the Oscars. She’s a previous winner and a double nominee in two categories, and she could tick up the charts. And then there’s Florence Pugh, a Rising Star BAFTA nominee, who tore through the season with her turn in “Little Women,” and could have the advantage, especially if they are going heavy for British cinema all around. It’s going to be much closer here than at the Academy Awards, where Dern should clean up easily, but for the sake of not repeating, Pugh squeaks by in the end.

WILL WIN: Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”
COULD WIN: Florence Pugh, “Little Women”
SHOCK PICK: Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”

1parasiteThis should be interesting considering Quentin Tarantino looks to be the favorite based on his win from the Golden Globes for “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood.” His two previous BAFTA wins for “Pulp Fiction” and “Django Unchained” both translated to Oscar accordingly so it would bode well for him to pick this one up. We have a sneaking suspicion that if they are looking elsewhere in the Director category, then this may be the pick up for Bong Joon-ho and fellow screenwriter Han Jin-won for “Parasite.” Netflix is also hoping that the once realistic dream that Noah Baumbach would win his Oscar in Original Screenplay for “Marriage Story” could be revived, but he may just be happy to join the party at this point.

WILL WIN: “Parasite” (Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won)
COULD WIN: “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood” (Quentin Tarantino)
SHOCK PICK: “Marriage Story” (Noah Baumbach)

The Two PopesWhile many are convinced that this category is leaning towards Greta Gerwig‘s adaptation for “Little Women,” admittedly not far-fetched, this crop of nominees seems much more fluid at both BAFTA and the Oscars. Anthony McCarten won this category in 2014 for “The Theory of Everything,” proving the point of them loving their own talent and stories. In recent conversations, I’ve theorized that “The Two Popes” could go the way of something like “Gods and Monsters” in 1998; a film that looked great for the Academy early on in its respective season, before stumbling near the finish line (one BAFTA nod, 2 Critics Choice nods). On Oscar night, Bill Condon won Adapted Screenplay without nominations from the Globes, SAG, or Critics Choice, while walking into the ceremony with a WGA nod. The film beat presumed favorite “The Thin Red Line,” which was nominated for Best Picture and “Out of Sight,” another critically beloved one that was thought to be a spoiler. This could start building that narrative considering what “The Two Popes” has done over the season.   Looking at the others, Taika Waititi would prove to be an exciting, well-received choice by man for “Jojo Rabbit,” but we suspect the larger masses may not embrace the film as much. And then who knows if the leading 11 nominations for “Joker” means anything outside of just Joaquin Phoenix, which on paper, just doesn’t make much sense.

WILL WIN: “The Two Popes” (Anthony McCarten)
COULD WIN: “Little Women” (Greta Gerwig)
SHOCK PICK: “Joker” (Todd Phillips, Scott Silver)



WILL WIN: “1917” (Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Jayne-Ann Tenggren, Callum McDougall, Krysty Wilson-Cairns)
COULD WIN: “Rocketman” (Dexter Fletcher, Adam Bohling, David Furnish, David Reid, Matthew Vaughn, Lee Hall
SHOCK PICK: “For Sama” (Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts)


WILL WIN: “For Sama” (Waad Al-Kateab, Director/Producer and Edward Watts, Director)
COULD WIN: “Maiden” (Alex Holmes, Director)
SHOCK PICK: “Retablo” (Álvaro Delgado-Aparicio, Writer/Director


WILL WIN: “1917” (Roger Deakins)
COULD WIN: “The Irishman” (Rodrigo Prieto)
SHOCK PICK: “Joker” (Lawrence Sher)


WILL WIN: “Ford v Ferrari” (Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland)
COULD WIN: “The Irishman” (Thelma Schoonmaker)
SHOCK PICK: “Jojo Rabbit” (Tom Eagles)


WILL WIN: “Little Women” (Jacqueline Durran)
COULD WIN: “Judy” (Jany Temime)
SHOCK PICK: “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood” (Arianne Phillips)


WILL WIN: “1917” (Dennis Gassner, Lee Sandales)
COULD WIN: “The Irishman” (Bob Shaw, Regina Graves)
SHOCK PICK: “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood” (Barbara Ling, Nancy Haigh)


WILL WIN: “Judy” (Jeremy Woodhead)
COULD WIN: “1917” (Naomi Donne)
SHOCK PICK: “Joker” (Kay Georgiou, Nicki Ledermann)


WILL WIN: “1917” (Thomas Newman)
COULD WIN: “Joker” (Hildur Guðnadóttir)
SHOCK PICK: “Little Women” (Alexandre Desplat)


WILL WIN: “1917” (Scott Millan, Oliver Tarney, Rachael Tate, Mark Taylor, Stuart Wilson)
COULD WIN: “Ford v Ferrari” (David Giammarco, Paul Massey, Steve A. Morrow, Donald Sylvester)
SHOCK PICK: “Rocketman” (Matthew Collinge, John Hayes, Mike Prestwood Smith, Danny Sheehan)


WILL WIN: “1917” (Greg Butler, Guillaume Rocheron, Dominic Tuohy)
COULD WIN: “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” (Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, Neal Scanlan, Dominic Tuohy)
SHOCK PICK: “The Lion King” (Andrew R. Jones, Robert Legato, Elliot Newman, Adam Valdez)


WILL WIN: “Parasite” (Bong Joon-ho)
COULD WIN: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (Céline Sciamma, Bénédicte Couvreur)
SHOCK PICK: “Pain and Glory” (Pedro Almodóvar, Agustín Almodóvar)


WILL WIN: “For Sama” (Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts)
COULD WIN: “Apollo 11” (Todd Douglas Miller)
SHOCK PICK: “American Factory” (Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert)


WILL WIN: “Toy Story 4” (Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen)
COULD WIN: “Klaus” (Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh)
SHOCK PICK: “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” (Will Becher, Richard Phelan, and Paul Kewley)


WILL WIN: “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood” (Victoria Thomas)
COULD WIN: “Marriage Story” (Douglas Aibel and Francine Maisler)
SHOCK PICK: “Joker” (Shayna Markowitz)


WILL WIN: Kaitlyn Dever
COULD WIN: Jack Lowden
SHOCK PICK: Awkwafina


WILL WIN: “In Her Boots” (Kathrin Steinbacher)


WILL WIN: “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)” (Carol Dysinger, Elena Andreicheva)

Share your BAFTA Predictions in the comments below!

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Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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