The 75th BAFTA Awards: A Summary and Review


While this season’s Globes faced public disgrace for revelations over its lack of diversity, the 75th BAFTAs have been praised for the effectiveness of their new measures.

According to The Guardian, the BAFTAs, since facing criticism for anti-diverse shortlists two years ago, have brought in 220 new rules and regulations to allow more authentic representation in shortlists and winners.

Nevertheless, just as at the Golden Globes in January, Jane Campion’s Western psychodrama The Power of the Dog picked up the biggest prizes of Best Picture and Best Director. Campion’s award was accepted by Benedict Cumberbatch as the New Zealand director had chosen to attend the Directors Guild of America Awards instead, where she made bizarrely inflammatory remarks about the Williams sisters in her acceptance speech.

Back in London, Will Smith took home Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as the Williams’ father in King Richard, while Joanna Scanlan pipped her competition, which was notably without the presence of high-profile snub-ees Olivia Colman and Kristen Stewart, to win Best Actress in a Leading Role.

In the supporting categories, Troy Kotsur (CODA) became the first deaf actor to win a BAFTA, while Ariana DeBose won for her screen-debut turn as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, adding to her already impressive trio of Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild, and Critics’ Choice  Award.

Ultimately, it was a largely unsurprising list of winners; the Hollywood Foreign Press would hardly have wanted any snub-related hullabaloo to compound their annus horribilis. Jane Campion’s Western psychodrama The Power of the Dog, detailing the growing tensions between two siblings and ranch-hands who exist at polar ends of the emotional spectrum, collected wins for ‘Best Motion Picture – Drama’, Kodi Smit-McPhee as ‘Best Supporting Actor’ and Campion as ‘Best Director’ – the first time the directorial accolade has been won by two women consecutively.

Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed – and, confoundingly, financial flop – West Side Story matched Campion’s western with three awards: one ‘Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy’ and two for its enigmatic leading ladies Rachel Zegler and Ariana DeBose who both outshone their 1961 incumbents in debut and breakout roles respectively.

CODA also picked up a win in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, where it beat off tough competition from the likes of Dune and Drive My Car, as well as The Power of the Dog. Paul Thomas Anderson won his (long, long overdue) first award from the ‘Big Four’ ceremonies in Best Original Screenplay for his coming-of-age comedy Licorice Pizza.

Dune was the biggest winner on the night, picking up five awards overall, most notably for Best Cinematography, where Greig Fraser triumphed over strong competition in the likes of Nightmare Alley and No Time to Die, and Best Score, won by the legendary Hans Zimmer. No Time to Die, the 25th Bond film in the franchise, collected the Best Editing award, a category which will controversially not be aired at the Academy Awards later this month.

Drive My Car was again victorious as the best foreign film, while in terms of British films, Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical Belfast won in the Outstanding British Film category, and Jeymes Samuel won the award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer thanks to his script and direction for the Western The Harder They Fall.

You can find a full list of all the winners and nominees here.

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