‘The Revenant’ conquers the 2016 BAFTAs taking Best Film and four other awards

'Mad Max: Fury Road' wins four BAFTAs

The 2016 EE British Academy Film Awards were handed out Saturday, February 14th in London and “The Revenant” was the big winner of the night.

After losing Best Film and Best Director to Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” last year, Alejandro G. Iñárritu took both prizes for his “Birdman” follow up.  The 20th Century Fox and New Regency epic also provided Leonardo DiCaprio with the Best Actor honor and won Best Sound and Cinematography.  This is Iñárritu’s second major win this year after taking the equivalent directing honor from the DGA last weekend.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” didn’t earn the picture and director nominations with BAFTA it found with The Academy, but it was a nice night overall for George Miller’s masterpiece.  “Fury Road” won Editing, Production Design, Costume Design and MakeUp.  It will be curious to see what happens Oscar night as “The Revenant” wasn’t nominated by BAFTA in two of those categories.

The other two big Best Picture hopefuls, “Spotlight” and “The Big Short,” took home the same screenplay honors they won at the WGA Awards last night (Original and Adapted, respectfully).   You can spin it that it would have been a game changer in the Oscar race if either took Director or Best Film here, but this organization didn’t go along with The Academy’s “Birdman” love last year so is it really that much of a key indicator?  Frankly, the two academies may not be as similar as many of us would like to believe.  You only need to see the major differences between the nominations overall to realize its still the major guilds that matter.

Of course, BAFTA did pick two winners that are definitely locks to take home Oscar statues two weeks from now: DiCaprio and “Room’s” Brie Larson.  The latter won the SAG, but many thought “Brooklyn’s” Saoirse Ronan had a shot of getting some UK love with a BAFTA win here.  Simply wasn’t meant to be as John Crowley’s drama earned only a Best British Film award.

The two other notable wins of the night went to “Steve Jobs'” Kate Winslet in Supporting Actress and “Bridge of Spies'” Mark Rylance in Supporting Actor. Neither of them went up against their primary Oscar competition (Vikander was nominated for “Ex Machina” here), but they certainly are making things interesting.

Here’s a list of all the winners and nominees with commentary when applicable.

BEST FILM
THE BIG SHORT Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Brad Pitt
BRIDGE OF SPIES Kristie Macosko Krieger, Marc Platt, Steven Spielberg
CAROL Elizabeth Karlsen, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley
THE REVENANT Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Arnon Milchan, Mary Parent, Keith Redmon – WINNER
SPOTLIGHT Steve Golin, Blye Pagon Faust, Nicole Rocklin, Michael Sugar

Thoughts: Before the BAFTAs I said this was a race between “Spotlight” and “The Revenant” for Best Picture. That hasn’t changed.

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
45 YEARS Andrew Haigh, Tristan Goligher
AMY Asif Kapadia, James Gay-Rees
BROOKLYN John Crowley, Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey, Nick Hornby – WINNER
THE DANISH GIRL Tom Hooper, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Anne Harrison, Gail Mutrux, Lucinda Coxon
EX MACHINA Alex Garland, Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich
THE LOBSTER Yorgos Lanthimos, Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Efthimis Filippou

Thoughts: Great win for the “Brooklyn” crew who are potentially looking at leaving the Dolby Theater completely empty handed later this month.

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
ALEX GARLAND (Director) Ex Machina
DEBBIE TUCKER GREEN (Writer/Director) Second Coming
NAJI ABU NOWAR (Writer/Director) RUPERT LLOYD (Producer) Theeb – WINNER
SEAN MCALLISTER (Director/Producer), ELHUM SHAKERIFAR (Producer) A Syrian Love Story
STEPHEN FINGLETON (Writer/Director) The Survivalist

Thoughts: Thought the more well known Garland would take this prize, but classy choice by the BAFTA membership to go with Nowar.

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
THE ASSASSIN Hou Hsiao-Hsien
FORCE MAJEURE Ruben Östlund
THEEB Naji Abu Nowar, Rupert Lloyd
TIMBUKTU Abderrahmane Sissako
WILD TALES Damián Szifron – WINNER

Thoughts: Nice win after losing the Oscar last year to “Ida.”

DOCUMENTARY
AMY Asif Kapadia, James Gay-Rees – WINNER
CARTEL LAND Matthew Heineman, Tom Yellin
HE NAMED ME MALALA Davis Guggenheim, Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald
LISTEN TO ME MARLON Stevan Riley, John Battsek, George Chignell, R.J. Cutler
SHERPA Jennifer Peedom, Bridget Ikin, John Smithson

Thoughts: While not as critically adored in the UK as in the US, “Amy” was always the frontrunner to win here.  And, as the most recognizable documentary to Academy members it “should” win the Oscar as well (although Netflix is pushing hard with an expensive “What Happened Miss Simone?” campaign).

ANIMATED FILM
INSIDE OUT Pete Docter – WINNER
MINIONS Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE Mark Burton, Richard Starzak

Thoughts: I mean, duh.

DIRECTOR
THE BIG SHORT Adam McKay
BRIDGE OF SPIES Steven Spielberg
CAROL Todd Haynes
THE MARTIAN Ridley Scott
THE REVENANT Alejandro G. Iñárritu – WINNER

Thoughts: Another major win for Iñárritu. Sad to say it’s gonna be hard for Miller to stop that train Oscar night.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
BRIDGE OF SPIES Matthew Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
EX MACHINA Alex Garland
THE HATEFUL EIGHT Quentin Tarantino
INSIDE OUT Josh Cooley, Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve
SPOTLIGHT Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer

Thoughts: Won the WGA last night, wins the BAFTA today wins the Oscar two Sundays from now.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
THE BIG SHORT Adam McKay, Charles Randolph – WINNER
BROOKLYN Nick Hornby
CAROL Phyllis Nagy
ROOM Emma Donoghue
STEVE JOBS Aaron Sorkin

Thoughts: Won the WGA last night, wins the BAFTA today wins the Oscar two Sundays from now.

LEADING ACTOR
BRYAN CRANSTON Trumbo
EDDIE REDMAYNE The Danish Girl
LEONARDO DICAPRIO The Revenant – WINNER
MATT DAMON The Martian
MICHAEL FASSBENDER Steve Jobs

Thoughts: Biggest lock of the night for months and it will be the biggest lock of the night on Oscar Sunday.

LEADING ACTRESS
ALICIA VIKANDER The Danish Girl
BRIE LARSON Room – WINNER
CATE BLANCHETT Carol
MAGGIE SMITH The Lady in the Van
SAOIRSE RONAN Brooklyn

Thoughts: At this point Larson is as much a lock as DiCaprio is.  This was Ronan’s only legit shot at a win for her work in “Brooklyn” and “The Lady in the Van” was a substantial hit in the UK.  Larson still won. ‘Nuff said.

SUPPORTING ACTOR
BENICIO DEL TORO Sicario
CHRISTIAN BALE The Big Short
IDRIS ELBA Beasts of No Nation
MARK RUFFALO Spotlight
MARK RYLANCE Bridge of Spies – WINNER

Thoughts: Would it have said something about “Spotlight” or “The Big Short’s” support if Ruffalo or Bale won?  Sure, but Rylance is a British stage legend. This was his or Elba’s once the nominations were announced.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
ALICIA VIKANDER Ex Machina
JENNIFER JASON LEIGH The Hateful Eight
JULIE WALTERS Brooklyn
KATE WINSLET Steve Jobs – WINNER
ROONEY MARA Carol

Thoughts: Winslet beat out Vikander here, but she beat out her performance in “Ex Machina,” not in “The Danish Girl” for which she’s nominated for Oscar.  There are some rumblings that Vikander is vulnerable to Winslet, but I’m not sure I buy it yet. Although, wouldn’t it be fun if both DiCaprio and Winslet won Academy Awards on the same night?

ORIGINAL MUSIC
BRIDGE OF SPIES Thomas Newman
THE HATEFUL EIGHT Ennio Morricone – WINNER
THE REVENANT Ryuichi Sakamoto, Carsten Nicolai
SICARIO Jóhann Jóhannsson
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS John Williams

Thoughts: While the 87-year-old composer has never won a competitive Oscar this is his sixth BAFTA and the first since 1991.

CINEMATOGRAPHY
BRIDGE OF SPIES Janusz Kamiński
CAROL Ed Lachman
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD John Seale
THE REVENANT Emmanuel Lubezki – WINNER
SICARIO Roger Deakins

Thoughts: John Seale had a shot here, but this win may be one of many for “Revenant” tonight. Moreover, Chivo is looking at a rare three straight Oscar wins.

EDITING
THE BIG SHORT Hank Corwin
BRIDGE OF SPIES Michael Kahn
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Margaret Sixel – WINNER
THE MARTIAN Pietro Scalia
THE REVENANT Stephen Mirrione

Thoughts: One of the few wins this pundit is personally rooting for on Oscar night. Would be great to have Sixel get the recognition for the incredible work she did on her husband’s film.

PRODUCTION DESIGN
BRIDGE OF SPIES Adam Stockhausen, Rena DeAngelo
CAROL Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Colin Gibson, Lisa Thompson – WINNER
THE MARTIAN Arthur Max, Celia Bobak
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Rick Carter, Darren Gilford, Lee Sandales

Thoughts: Not up against “The Revenant” here, but a good win for the “Fury Road” team.

COSTUME DESIGN
BROOKLYN Odile Dicks-Mireaux
CAROL Sandy Powell
CINDERELLA Sandy Powell
THE DANISH GIRL Paco Delgado
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Jenny Beavan – WINNER

Thoughts: “The Revenant,” which isn’t nominated here, is certainly part of the Oscar mix but it’s intriguing that the Sci-Fi genre film won out of the more traditional period pictures (“Cinderella” obviously not true period).

MAKE UP & HAIR
BROOKLYN Morna Ferguson, Lorraine Glynn
CAROL Jerry DeCarlo, Patricia Regan
THE DANISH GIRL Jan Sewell
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Lesley Vanderwalt, Damian Martin – WINNER
THE REVENANT Sian Grigg, Duncan Jarman, Robert Pandini

Thoughts: In theory, this should be your Oscar winner.

SOUND
BRIDGE OF SPIES Drew Kunin, Richard Hymns, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Scott Hecker, Chris Jenkins, Mark Mangini, Ben Osmo, Gregg Rudloff, David White
THE MARTIAN Paul Massey, Mac Ruth, Oliver Tarney, Mark Taylor
THE REVENANT Lon Bender, Chris Duesterdiek, Martin Hernandez, Frank A. Montaño, Jon Taylor, Randy Thom – WINNER
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS David Acord, Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, Matthew Wood, Stuart Wilson

Thoughts: Having moderated a Q&A with this crew I feel well versed in how much work they did on the picture. It’s quite incredible and while I believe they will split the two categories at the Oscars with “Mad Max,” very well deserved.

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
ANT-MAN Jake Morrison, Greg Steele, Dan Sudick, Alex Wuttke
EX MACHINA Mark Ardington, Sara Bennett, Paul Norris, Andrew Whitehurst
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Andrew Jackson, Dan Oliver, Tom Wood, Andy Williams
THE MARTIAN Chris Lawrence, Tim Ledbury, Richard Stammers, Steven Warner
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Chris Corbould, Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, Neal Scanlan – WINNER

Thoughts: Now this is interesting. The big difference between The Academy and BAFTA is that “The Revenant” beat out “Ex Machina” for the Oscar nomination.  Could The Academy also reward the third highest grossing movie of all-time globally in this category? Something to consider before you fill out your Oscar pool ballots.

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION
EDMOND Nina Gantz, Emilie Jouffroy – WINNER
MANOMAN Simon Cartwright, Kamilla Kristiane Hodol
PROLOGUE Richard Williams, Imogen Sutton

Thoughts: The only overlap between the animated short film nominees for BAFTA or Oscar this year was “Prologue.”

BRITISH SHORT FILM
ELEPHANT Nick Helm, Alex Moody, Esther Smith
MINING POEMS OR ODES Callum Rice, Jack Cocker
OPERATOR Caroline Bartleet, Rebecca Morgan – WINNER
OVER Jörn Threlfall, Jeremy Bannister
SAMUEL-613 Billy Lumby, Cheyenne Conway

Thoughts: There was zero overlap between the live action short film nominees for BAFTA or Oscar this year.

EE RISING STAR AWARD
JOHN BOYEGA – WINNER
TARON EGERTON
DAKOTA JOHNSON
BRIE LARSON
BEL POWLEY

Thoughts: The only category voted on by the public.  Once again suggests “The Force Awakens” may have really turned Boyega into a legitimate movie star.

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With over a decade of experience in the movie industry, Ellwood survived working for two major studios, has written for Variety, MSN and the LA Times and co-founded HitFix, Inc. serving as its first Editor-in-Chief and President. Ellwood spends his time relaxing hitting 3’s on the basketball court and following his beloved Clippers.
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