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2018 BAFTA Awards Preview

- 15:01, 16th January 2018
Frances McDormand picking up the Best Actress award at SAG Awards.

Award season is well underway in the film world and with the 2018 British Academy Film Awards just a couple of week away, our resident film buff, Jonathon Hague, gives his tips for this year’s ceremony.

Best Film

The Shape of Water to win @ 3/1 - BET NOW

Leading the way in nominations with 12 nods, Mexican auteur Guillermo del Toro has returned with his most critically acclaimed work since 2006’s Pan’s Labyrinth. The film follows a mute woman who falls in love with a mysterious water creature in this year’s best human/amphibian romance tale.

While the film has notched up most nominations at this year’s ceremony, it isn’t the favourite in the Best Film category, with Martin McDonaugh’s (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths) black comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri the current favourite at 10/11 after picking up the gong at the Golden Globes earlier this month. However, as The Shape of Water hasn’t been released in UK cinemas yet, there is still time for that hype to brew and with rumours that it could pick up 15 nominations at this year’s Oscars circulating, the odds could switch in the film’s favour.

BAFTA is known for picking the absolute favourite every year, but I have feeling that The Shape of Water might buck the trend.

Elsewhere, Dunkirk could be the best outside punt at 5/1, however the awards season isn’t too favourable to blockbusters apart from the technical awards. Darkest Hour and Call Me by Your Name are currently priced at 12/1 and are serious outside contenders. I expect this to be a two-horse race.

Best Actor

Gary Oldman to win @ 1/7 - BET NOW

The hype and award politics has swung greatly in favour of Gary Oldman for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.

Everything in the marketing campaign was geared towards Gary Oldman sweeping up and commanding the Best Actor awards and at the current 1/7 price you wouldn’t bet against him picking up gong at the BAFTAs.

Elsewhere, if you are looking for a risky punt then look no further than Daniel Day Lewis who is nominated for his final ever role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest masterpiece, Phantom Thread. While the romance and narrative are in place for a final send off for the British actor, he is unfortunate that it appears to be Gary Oldham’s ‘time’.

Best Actress

Frances McDormand to win @ 8/11 - BET NOW

After her victory at the Golden Globes, Frances McDormand is favourite to repeat her success at this year’s BAFTA awards for her performance as Mildred Hayes in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at 8/11. As one of the most respected actors in Hollywood and with three previous BAFTA nominations to her name but no wins, it must be her time. Many will still feel like she was robbed back in 1997 when she failed to pick up the award for her most iconic character, Marge Gunderson, in The Coen Brothers' black comedy master class, Fargo.

However, you couldn’t do wrong by putting your eggs in Saoirse Ronan’s basket for her kinetic display in Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird. This film has been celebrated by critics and audiences alike over in the states and with the 23 year-old already having a BAFTA nomination to her name for her performance in 2015’s Brooklyn, priced at 7/2 you could do a lot worse.

Best Director

Guillermo Del Toro to win @ 13/8 - BET NOW

Guillermo del Toro and Christopher Nolan are the clear front runners in the Best Director category for The Shape of Water and Dunkirk, respectively. Picking a winner between these two will be a close call, but with the hype going in The Shape of Water’s favour, Guillermo del Toro would be the worthy and most likely winner.

As I mentioned previously, award ceremonies aren’t kind to blockbuster films and Christopher Nolan has come to embody the modern blockbuster with his Batman trilogy, Inception, Interstellar and now Dunkirk.  Despite his grand directorial statement with Dunkirk, Guillermo del Toro’s auteur qualities will likely seem him triumph here.

Elsewhere, if you are fan of lush cinematography, films with a very unique tone and massive underdogs then 50/1 on Denis Vileneuve for Bladerunner 2049 is the pick for you.


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