Across the Pond, ‘La La Land’ Continues Awards Season Sweep at BAFTAs
Cheerio, and cor blimey! The BAFTAs, Britain’s most prestigious film awards program, took place Sunday night in London and recognized the finest achievements of the year on the silver screen. And in 2017, regardless of which side of the Atlantic your awards show happens to be transpiring, that includes an evening-long salute to awards juggernaut La La Land. With a little less than two weeks to go before Oscar night, Damien Chazelle’s crowd-pleasing musical picked up a few more accolades to pad its portfolio and brighten its chances for the big dance.
La La Land snared the top distinction of the evening, the coveted Best Film prize, edging out the likes of fellow Oscar contenders Moonlight, Arrival, and Manchester by the Sea. (This win may not be fully predictive of Oscar’s results, however — Moonlight only came to theaters in the U.K. a few weeks ago, and hasn’t enjoyed the push of publicity the film has seen stateside.) Emma Stone landed the Best Actress award, Chazelle took Best Director, and the film went ahead and claimed the Best Cinematography and Best Original Music titles while they were at it.
Among the other usual suspects — another Best Actor win for Manchester by the Sea’s Casey Affleck, another Supporting Actress prize for Fences’ Viola Davis — BAFTA-specific races offered a little change of pace. The distinction of Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer went to Babak Anvari for his slow-burning horror film Under the Shadow (currently on Netflix and more than worth a look!), and the prize for Outstanding British Film went to the Palme d’Or winner I, Daniel Blake. Also surprising was the strong turnout from Lion, which earned Dev Patel a Best Supporting Actor win and landed the Adapted Screenplay prize. Lion’s starting to look like a potential dark-horse upset for Oscar night, too — truly, there’s no Academy Award that Harvey Weinstein can’t win through sheer force of will.