Hollywood hits the UK on Sunday as the stars of this year’s biggest films arrive in town for the BAFTAs.
This year’s nominations have once again been criticised over the lack of diversity, as all the nominated actors are white – leading to the #BaftasSoWhite hashtag appearing on Twitter – and there are no women filmmakers shortlisted for best director or best film.
Batman spin-off Joker leads the way with 11 BAFTA nods in total, followed closely by Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, which each have 10.
Here are the things to look out for as the UK’s biggest night in film takes place.
First things first: who’s going to be there?
Well, this year’s ceremony looks set to be pretty A-list, with nominees including Joker Joaquin Phoenix, Judy star Renee Zellweger and Once Upon A Time’s Brad Pitt among the stars confirmed to attend the ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Other nominees who will make an appearance include Charlize Theron, Al Pacino, Adam Driver, Saoirse Ronan and Scarlett Johansson.
Plus, presenters and guests including Daniel Kaluuya, John Boyega, Sir Ian McKellen, Hugh Grant and 2019 winner Olivia Colman are also due to walk the red carpet.
With a week to go until the Oscars, let’s hope the BAFTA organisers have organised a party that will be hard to top.
Margot Robbie could beat herself
BAFTA voting rules allow a star to be nominated more than once, even in the same category, for different roles.
This is the position Margot Robbie finds herself in this year, making history with her name appearing twice on the shortlist for best actress for her performances in Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood and Bombshell.
It seems like an enviable place to be in, with double the chance of winning, but Robbie did come in for some criticism as the announcement of her two places on the shortlist came amid the #BaftasSoWhite backlash. It’s unfair to have two nominations when no women of colour are in the running, some argued.
Robbie addressed diversity in an interview with Sky News at the UK premiere for her latest film, Bird Of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn), but spoke about the issue of recognition for female directors.
“I hope that guys watch films with female leads as much as they watch ones with male leads,” she said. “‘Cause I watch films despite the gender of the protagonist and find a way to relate just on human behaviour.
“I feel if more men watch female-driven content they’d find a way to relate as well.”
Sorry, slebs – no gift bags this year
Awards ceremonies and goodie bags usually go hand in hand, but not in 2020. BAFTA organisers have worked out Hollywood movie stars don’t really need lavish freebies, so guests will go without the gifts this year.
It’s part of the BAFTAs going green, with the stars also being urged to make “sustainable fashion choices” as the ceremony strives to be carbon neutral for the first time.
Stars will walk on a recycled red carpet before tucking into a dinner made of sustainably sourced food, including a vegan starter and dessert. And they can forget the Evian, as single-use plastic is banned.
The London College of Fashion has also helped to create guidance for guests on how to make sustainable fashion choices.
BAFTA chair Dame Pippa Harris, who is also the producer of nominated film 1917, said that despite the changes, guests won’t go without.
“We traditionally have these big bags which have been filled with beauty products and big bottles of champagne and whatever,” she said.
“We felt that, in terms of transporting those around both before they are given to people and then the nominees have to lug them all the way back to America or wherever, that in and of itself was not a very sustainable thing to be doing.”
Guests will instead be given a “gifting wallet” made from recycled plastic, which will have “some nice things slotted into it, which will hopefully be just as exciting for people as a bottle of champagne would have been”.
Royals in the house
There obviously ain’t no party like a BAFTA awards party, because this is the second year in a row that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be hobnobbing with the stars.
Kensington Palace confirmed that William and Kate will be attending the ceremony, celebrating William’s 10th year as president of the film body.
Amanda Berry, chief executive of BAFTA, says the duke and duchess will be there “to celebrate another outstanding year in film”.
The royal couple will walk the red carpet at the star-studded event before presenting its highest accolade, the Fellowship, to film producer Kathleen Kennedy.
And then, presumably, letting their hair down at the after-party.
Wild Rose wild card
There were no real surprises in the main acting categories, with the exception of Irish star Jessie Buckley, for her performance in British film Wild Rose.
The other nominees – Scarlett Johansson for Marriage Story, Saoirse Ronan for Little Women, Charlize Theron for Bombshell, and Renee Zellweger for Judy – were pretty much a given, having featured in the shortlists for the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards, and also the Oscars too.
Buckley’s portrayal of “brassy, irreverent fun bag” Rose-Lynn Harlan, as she called her in an interview with Sky News last year, is brilliant, and her nomination truly deserved.
Nominated for BAFTA’s rising star award only last year, it would be a big leap to go on to win one of the night’s biggest awards. But a leap we would love to see – especially if she’s going to channel the potty-mouthed Rose-Lynn in her speech.
Frustratingly, in the same category, British star Cynthia Erivo is overlooked.
Her performance as slave abolitionist Harriet Tubman in Harriet has received critical acclaim and earned her an Oscar nomination, so why no BAFTA nod?
Erivo’s absence from the best actress shortlist is one of several snubs that prompted the #BAFTAsSoWhite backlash.
Other notable absences from the main categories include Lupita Nyong’o for Us, Eddie Murphy for Dolemite is My Name, and Golden Globe winner Awkwafina, although she is up for the rising star prize.
The winners and nominees in the majority of categories are voted for by 6,700 BAFTA members, who are comprised of industry professionals and creatives from around the world.
With only five places on the shortlists, voters are never going to please everyone. But diversity is definitely a problem that BAFTA, which has faced similar criticism in previous years, is not solving quickly enough.
Placing your bets
So who’s going to win? Well, we don’t have a crystal ball, but if we must pick out some front-runners then the leading actor and actress categories look pretty much a dead cert. Possibly.
Renee Zellweger and Joaquin Phoenix have cleaned up at all the ceremonies so far this awards season – Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice, SAG Awards, and they’re both favourites for the Oscars, too. So surely the BAFTAs are in the bag?
BAFTA nominations: The full list of stars and films in the running
Their biggest competition will likely come from British and Irish stars, so Taron Egerton for his performance as Elton John in Rocketman, and Saoirse Ronan for Little Women.
In the best supporting actor category, Brad Pitt has also bagged himself several awards already (and is also set to attend the ceremony, so it would be rude not to).
The supporting actress category is a tough one. Obviously, Margot “two noms” Robbie statistically has the best chance, but Laura Dern has won a lot of gongs for her performance Marriage Story so far this year. And then there’s British star Florence Pugh, who has received rave reviews for her portrayal of Amy March in Little Women. Argh! Sorry, we can’t call this one.
Best picture will probably go to Sam Mendes’ war epic 1917. It’s a British film and this is the BAFTAs, after all. Plus, it really is that good.
This year’s BAFTA ceremony is hosted by Graham Norton.
SOURCE : https://news.sky.com/story/baftas-2020-what-to-watch-out-for-as-stars-get-red-carpet-ready-11921578