February 16, 2014



Although there were some new faces due to release patterns and category differences, in the big picture, the BAFTAs–Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars–turned out to be very much like the Golden Globes.  The full list of winners is here, but the headline is that 12 YEARS A SLAVE managed once again to win Best Picture despite little or no support elsewhere, the only major distinction being that because DALLAS BUYERS CLUB wasn’t in release in the UK, Matthew McConaughey wasn’t even nominated for the Best Actor award, allowing Chiwetel Ejiofor to win that prize.  (Similarly, Jared Leto wasn’t nominated for Supporting Actor, freeing up that category for Barkhad Abdi of CAPTAIN PHILLIPS.)

The other major awards went to 12 Years‘ competition.  Jennifer Lawrence won Supporting Actress for AMERICAN HUSTLE over Lupita Nyong’o, Alfonso Cuaron won Director for GRAVITY (the big winner of the night with 6 mostly technical awards) rather than Steve McQueen, and Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope won Adapted Script for PHILOMENA over John Ridley’s screenplay.

The remaining major awards were given to familiar winners:  Cate Blanchett for Best Actress for BLUE JASMINE, David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer for AMERICAN HUSTLE‘s Original Script, FROZEN for Animated Film.

The big question, of course, is whether 12 Years can pull this off again at the Oscars.  For those who like historical footnotes:  the last time a Best Picture Oscar winner won as little as 1 additional award was THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH in 1952, and the last movie to win Best Picture only was MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY in 1935.  (GRAND HOTEL did it one better in 1932, not even being nominated for any award besides Best Picture but winning anyway.)  Oscar voting is going on right now and continuing until February 25, and with 12 Years as the shakiest favorite in recent memory, it figures that the other studios still in the hunt (and The Weinstein Company, which assumes that if there’s a hunt, it’s in it) will be working overtime to try and crack its lead.



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."