Last night’s BAFTA Awards contained few surprises in the acting categories. Eddie Redmayne, Julianne Moore, Patricia Arquette and J.K. Simmons all went home with more hardware, making it all the more likely that those are the four names that will be called on Oscars night. Although the BAFTA voters have little influence at the Academy, the awards are significant. BAFTA used to give away its hardware after the Oscars; the date of the ceremony was brought forward several years ago specifically to assure its importance in awards season. So the choice of Richard Linklater as Best Director for Boyhood, and of the movie as Best Film, is important. Boyhood may be back in contention for Best Picture instead of Birdman, which the American guilds just seem to love.
Wes Anderson’s visually gorgeous The Grand Budapest Hotel won for Costume, Production Design and Makeup. Whiplash predictably won Best Sound and Best Editing. The big surprise of the evening, considering it’s the British Academy, was the fact that The Imitation Game – the wartime drama about Alan Turing and Bletchley Park – was completely shut out. The show was hosted by everyone’s favorite atheist, Stephen Fry. Looking at the celebrity audience in the royal Opera House during his opening monologue, Fry joked that while outside it was a mild and dry evening, inside it was “simply pissing down with stars.”