The BAFTAS are upon us. For years I have failed to see their relevance as, to me, they make the mistake of sucking up to Hollywood by constantly awarding prizes to American actors and directors who so kindly make the trip over and pretend to care (before rushing back to Hollywood to carry on working on what truly matters, the oscar campaign), while failing to promote and reward homegrown talent.
Indeed, Britain is to my knowledge the only country in the world to have film awards that mostly go to foreign (read American) films. Other countries such as Spain, France, Italy, and even Canada have strict rules that prevent foreign films to be nominated (apart from the best Foreign film category obviously). Of course the red carpet would not quite have the same cachet without the bevy of Hollywood stars. But just last year, how much more beneficial would it have been to award not just Best British film, but Best film to Fish tank? To reward some of the actors from In the loop?
To make things worse, the ceremony has got to be the worst snooze fest ever committed to tv. Stephen Fry managed to raise a few smiles as a kind of fairy godmother of British cinema, but Jonathan Ross has yet to make his mark (although, it could be worse... Ricky Gervais could be hosting it!)
Saying that, while the Golden globes had been seen for years to be a reliable indicator of the things to come at the Oscars, this has not been true for a long time, with their decisions becoming increasingly misguided and even embarrassing over the years (The tourist nominated as best film, really? And who could ever forget their best actress nod to none other than Pia Zadora back in the 80's!).
On the other hand, the BAFTAS and Oscars have gone hand in hand with their choices in the last few years. Indeed, its unexpected nods for best film and best director gave The hurt locker some momentum on its way to Oscar glory last year, at a time where the Avatar juggernaut seemed unstoppable.
So I shall post my predictions on these pages on Sunday, and then will follow this up with a live podcast on here at 9pm, hoping to relieve the tedium, raise a few smiles and embarrass myself when all my predictions turn out wrong!
Oh and while you're at it, it is still time to vote for Aaron Johnson for the Orange Wednesday Rising Star Award!