In many ways, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards ended up being the most prescient pre-Oscar nominations this year, predicting Oscar’s Best Picture nominees 5-for-5 and being the first major group to place Kate Winslet in the lead-actress race for The Reader. So who’ll win when the BAFTAs are handed out this Sunday? Here’s a look at the major categories.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Button and Slumdog, which tied with 11 nominations, are the only real competitors. I can only assume that Slumdog‘s status as a British production will put it over the top. (Given the voters’ sometimes strange habits, Slumdog could very well win Best Film and lose Best British Film to a lesser-known entry like Hunger or Man on Wire.)
Clint Eastwood, Changeling
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
How can a local boy like Boyle go home empty-handed?
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
I really am sensing the momentum going Penn’s way in the overall race. I can’t imagine they’re not feeling it on the other side of the Atlantic too.
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Kristin Scott Thomas, I’ve Loved You So Long
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
This is the most fascinating category of the night, if you ask me. Yes, Winslet is in danger of vote-splitting. But Doubt‘s poor overall showing (only three nominations) indicates a lack of support for the film. I’d bet on Kate for The Reader.
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Brendan Gleeson, In Bruges
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Brad PItt, Burn After Reading
Chalk up another bittersweet win for Ledger.
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Freida Pinto, Slumdog Millionaire
Tilda Swinton, Burn After Reading
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
With Viola Davis strangely excluded, Cruz has a clear path to victory.
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Burn After Reading
J. Michael Straczynski, Changeling
Philippe Claudel, I’ve Loved You So Long
Martin McDonagh, In Bruges
Dustin Lance Black, Milk
If there’s an upset here, it’s McDonagh. But Milk‘s status as the only Best Film nominee in the category bodes well for Black.
Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon
David Hare, The Reader
Justin Haythe, Revolutionary Road
Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
It’s nice to see Revolutionary Road included here. But it’ll certainly lose as part of a Slumdog mini sweep.