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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Atonement Wins BAFTA, Surprises for the Ladies

The BAFTA are being held today, but as Tom O'Neil reported earlier, the winner list was leaked before the ceremony. What's the deal this year with winner lists being leaked before the shows? If you want to watch it I believe it is being shown around 8:00 p.m. (not sure what channel). Anyway, no surprise as Atonement won Best Picture. Although, the only other BAFTA is won was Best Production Design, so that was somewhat surprising. Day-Lewis and Bardem won the acting awards, but there were two surprises for the ladies. Marion Cotillard beat Julie Christie (from the U.K. through India) and Tilda Swinton (from the U.K.) beat Cate Blanchett.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's not like the BAFTAs have to award their own countrywomen, but I just think it's a bit surprising that Christie lost. Personally, I think Cotillard gave the better performance this year. Sad to say, but American audiences get turned away by movies with subtitles and I truly believe that is what has hurt her. Julie Christie is an icon and she gave a great performance, too. Maybe, the BAFTAs simply looked at the performances and couldn't deny the prize to Ms. Cotillard. And if they are the only ones that do, then I applaud them for that.

As for Swinton, I think she did have an advantage from being a English actress. She has somewhat been forgotten in this race and it was nice to see her get rewarded. On Oscar night, the Best Supporting Actress race will be a mess and I have no idea where it will go.

Atonement's win doesn't really give it that much of a boost. Considering that the Best Film at the BAFTA has not matched up with the Oscars since 2000 (Gladiator). They tend to go in a different direction. The BAFTA actually matched four times in five years from 1996-2000, only missing in 1997 (Full Monty). Still, it usually goes with a film with some foreign flavor. Really, I guess what I'm trying to say is the BAFTA holds very little weight in the big picture at the Oscars.

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