What the Baftas tell us about the Oscar race

From BBC - February 19, 2018

Sunday's Bafta Film Awards saw Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri beat The Shape of Water to the best film prize.

The two go head to head again at the Academy Awards on 4 March. Will Three Billboards triumph once more, or will it be the turn of Guillermo del Toro's film to shine?

Here's our take on how things are looking as we near the business end of the current film awards season.

Does Three Billboards' Bafta win mean the Oscar's in the bag?

Absolutely not. The Baftas and the Oscars have not agreed on best picture since 12 Years a Slave in 2014.

One possible reason for this is the different way the organisations vote. Bafta operates a first-past-the-post system where the film with the most votes wins. But the Oscars use a more complicated preferential ballot where second, third and so on preferences can be taken into account.

The Academy's system is more likely to reward consensus rather than passion. What's more, Three Billboards has experienced something of a backlash in the US which, in a very open race, could harm its chances against Dunkirk, Get Out, The Shape of Water and others.

What can the Baftas tell us about the best picture Oscar race?

The four films that lost on Sunday - Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk and The Shape of Water - have clearly had their chances dented.

In the cases of Darkest Hour and Dunkirk, those dents are pretty big. If British-themed films ca not win on their home territory, how likely are they to triumph in LA?

Yet all of this could help a film like Get Out. It did not get a Bafta nomination, so has not been damaged by not winning. What it does have is a huge amount of momentum in the US.

The make-up of the American Academy is slowly changing, with more women and people from ethnic minorities joining its membership. Around a fifth of that membership only joined in the last two years, and these new voters could make the difference.

What about the acting categories?

Back in 2014, two performances from Dallas Buyers Club won almost every prize going. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both went on to win the Oscars for best actor and supporting actor.

What about the other categories?

Is there any significance to Daniel Kaluuya's Rising Star win?


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